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KATIE ZERR: Naive or ignorant? Either way it’s wrong

Is being ignorant an excuse for using social media to support racism?
South Dakotans are conservative by nature and most are supporters of our president. But just because the tone of our nation at this time has darker turn under this administration do we have to follow suit?
Do the people who are supposed to be leaders in our state have to come out of the racism closet and show their ignorance to the nation, just because to some people it is becoming acceptable?
This week State Rep. Lynne DiSanto, R-Box Elder, was criticized by many after she made a post to Facebook supporting using a vehicle to strike protestors.
In DiSanto’s post, there was a drawing of an SUV striking stick-figure people. One of the figures, clearly a female, is shown on the hood of the vehicle. Another is running in front while yet another is left behind, crumbled in the road. Along with the supposed cartoon is text stating “All Lives Splatter,” “Nobody cares about your protest” and “Keep your ass out of the road.”
“I think this is a movement we can all support,” DiSanto added to the post. She added the hash tag “alllivessplatter”.
Comments from South Dakotans and from others around the nation were quick to condemn the post that was shown on several national media outlets, but not everyone condemned the post. There have been those who agreed with what she had posted and have showed their support for the legislator.
DiSanto removed the post from her Facebook page and in a statement to the Rapid City Journal said she was sorry that people took offense to the post. She went on to say the message should not be perceived as support or condoning people being hit by cars.
Really? What else did her post and her comments mean?
She told the Journal she perceived it differently. She perceived it as encouraging people to stay out of the street.
Again, really? That is not at all what she said in her added comments.
The tone of her post was very clear to most who saw it. The realty firm at which she was an associate has terminated her connection with the business.
Even if DiSanto is really that ignorant about racism in this country, how can she be so insensitive to what has happened in this nation in the past several years?
Is she uneducated about what happened in Charlottesville?
Has she forgotten that a white supremacist mowed down counter-protestors with his vehicle, leaving a young woman dead? Was he just trying to tell those people to stay out of the street?
Even if DiSanto is so naive that she didn’t realize the racist tone of the post, she certainly has to have compassion for the family and friends of Heather Heyer. How can a person who is supposed to be a leader in this state, show so little compassion for the loss of a life in the exact manner in which she is promoting on her Facebook page.
I do not believe that DiSanto did not know what that meme meant. I do not believe that she is so innocent in all of this.
I believe, like so many others in our country at this time that she thinks it acceptable to post racist opinions in public. After all, “many nice people” have aired those opinions.
Although our president has condemned the violence in Charlottesville, his first comments drew a wide range of criticism, when he failed to condemn the white supremacists, Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan that were present at the protest.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides,” he said after the violence in Charlottesville.
The first part of the president’s words were exactly what he should have said. The last three words were what shows he too, like DiSanto, doesn’t understand that there is no place in this country for hate of another human being because of the color of their skin.
At this time in our country, people who spew racism because they think it is acceptable must be shown that it is not.
Some are saying it is unfair for DiSanto to lose her position at the realty firm. Some are saying this is just another example of the overreach of political correctness.
People with that opinion make it necessary to show that feigned ignorance is not an excuse.
Those who think it acceptable to use racial slurs or to support those who do, force the need to show them they are wrong.
For Rep. DiSanto, if she is that ignorant or as she claims naive to racist behavior, how can she tell right from wrong?
Is this the type of representation we want in our state government?
This is not a political opinion. It is not telling people to stay out of the street.
This was supporting the use of violence against Black Lives Matter, because they really don’t to the people who created and re-posted that meme.
It was plain and simple.
– Katie Zerr –

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