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June 4, 2020

5/20/2020 12:41:00 PM
Lucas defends Facebook posts
Jim Lucas

I did it. I own it. I accept 100 percent responsibility. Not my family. Not my friends. Not the Indiana Republican Party or anyone else.

It was me.

What I did was make a meme on social media. I have been vocally against our government's response to the COVID issue and I recently made several memes mocking its running up crushing debt on our grandchildren's yet-to-be-earned wealth to deal with the consequences of its own actions in response to a virus that is showing to have over a 99 percent survival rate.

This meme showed children celebrating because they would getting "free money."

The Romans called this bread and circuses.

I used a stock photo from a public meme generator site that has been used literally thousands of times in the past 9 years to show celebration and is very widely recognized all over the world. It showed a cute, cocky little boy dancing and celebrating and it fit the idea what I wanted to convey perfectly; the caption read "We gon' get free money!"

I used this dialect because this is exactly how I would say it in a mocking, celebratory way. People that know me know this.
The problem is that the little boy was black.

The bigger problem is that I didn't see a little black kid. I saw a cute, cocky little boy dancing happily in a meme that had been used thousands of other times and was available as a stock photo on a public site.

After posting that picture, I was labeled by the media and some individuals as a racist. Ironically, if it were a cute, cocky little white boy in that picture, none of this uproar would have happened.

To me, passing judgment and intentionally looking at skin color is the very definition of racism. This is not the first time false accusations and media attacks against me has happened.

I believe in capital punishment for murderers, child molesters and rapists. Last August, I posted a picture of a courthouse gallows that was from Tucson AZ and is now an Arizona state park. Hanging from gallows was the sanctioned form of capital punishment used by our government for hundreds of years and 3 states still allow it. I had previously posted this exact same picture dozens of times for social media stories of murderers, child molesters and rapists, with no social uproar.

But then on one story, I used this exact same picture on one individual who was a violent serial rapist and the police had DNA and fingerprint evidence, along with his confession.

He confessed to multiple, violent rapes.

The problem is that the man was black.

The bigger problem is that I didn't see a black man, I saw a violent serial rapist.

It was labeled as racism.

Never mind that I have repeatedly and publicly denounced racism as vile and despicable.

None of that matters in today's toxic atmosphere of "gotcha" politics and character assassination at any cost. All that matters is opportunity.

Opportunity to take political advantage of anything that someone says or does and twist it into a relentless and devastating personal attack, based on hyped up emotion and regardless of the facts, simply to destroy someone that thinks different than you do.

I believe in truth, facts, reason and logic and I don't care what color your skin is, what gender you are, what your finances are, what religion you may or may not practice or what you sexual preference is, we are all equal and share the same equal rights and protections afforded by our Constitutions.

Hindsight being 20/20, the celebrating meme was a stupid mistake on my part. I'm human, I made a mistake and I own it. My personality is an open book and I am outspoken, but I have learned an extremely valuable lesson.

It really is that simple.

The bigger picture shown by this display of events is that in today's 24/7 media world, people must now intentionally look at skin color to avoid this level of unrelenting public attacks. This is a very sad reality of society, but I hope we all can learn from this and move forward.

Rep. Jim Lucas serves Indiana's 69th District in the state Legislature, which includes Jennings County.

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