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June 4, 2020

5/20/2020 12:40:00 PM
Indiana NAACP calls for governor to remove Lucas

Staff Report

A meme created and posted on Facebook by state Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, which ignited controversy and a call to Gov. Eric Holcomb for his removal from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

"When so many Hoosiers are fighting, literally, for their very lives, the time is now that divisive messages of hate, disrespect and disdain will not be tolerated by those who have taken an oath of office," wrote Barbara Bolling-Williams, president of the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP. "We are better than this. We call upon (Holcomb) to send forth that message."

According to news reports, the meme was posted Monday, May 11. In follow-up posts, Lucas claimed he only intended to criticize federal bailout efforts, claiming as he does in his column at left, the $3 trillion stimulus package distributed by the federal government was an overreach of authority. He also accused his critics, stating that those who perceived the meme to be racist are, themselves, racist.

Lucas, who has been criticized for other memes posted on social media over the past three years, later posted memes with the same statement, "We gon' get free money!" using a photo was of himself and another photo showing a group of white people, without teeth, smiling.

Lucas said people angered by the first meme "are just looking to be outraged."

In response, Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston sanctioned Lucas, removing him from two committees the interim study committee on elections and a committee on public policy. Huston also demoted Lucas from his position as vice chairman of the standing committee on government reduction, though Lucas remains a member of that committee.

"I spoke with him directly and expressed my strong disappointment, Huston told the IndyStar. "The post is unacceptable, and I don't condone it."

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