As a demonstration of how everything you say on social media is on the record, John Nygaard of Dell Rapids was booted from volunteering with Dell Rapids Fire-Rescue for comments he left on the Facebook page of a Kansas State University student.
Last week Paige Shoemaker—reported to have been a KSU sophomore but said to have joined a KSU sorority in 2013—posted to Snapchat a picture of herself and friend Sadie Meier in blackface and making gang hand gestures with the caption, “Feels good to finally be a n—-.” When the photo and caption started making the online rounds, Shoemaker defended the picture as a joke for friends and (channeling Donald Trump) said she is “the least racist and most accepting person you will ever meet.” Shoemaker quasi-pologized on Facebook, still insisting her own moral virtues and imploring people to “come to me and ask me about what happened and try to get to know me before they judge me off of the picture and everyone else’s opinions on the internet.”
John Nygaard stepped in with his own judgment of millions of people he hasn’t tried to get to know. Raw Story posts this screen cap from the thread below Shoemaker’s now deleted crapology (not-safe-for-kids language included):
“Think we should make slaves again,” writes Nygaard. He then exhorts readers to “Vote Trump!” and “F— these people.” The combination of those two phrases in one electronic breath concisely captures the deplorable white male rage and exclusivity that lies at the core of support for candidate Trump.
Dell Rapids told Nygaard to hang up his fire gear pretty quickly:
John is no longer a member of our volunteer organization. Dell Rapids fire would like to apologize on behalf of our former member for his insensitive and narrow minded comments on Facebook. This is something we take very seriously and this type of thinking will not be tolerated by our members [Dell Rapids Fire-Rescue, Facebook post, 2016.09.17].
Trump thrives because his angry supporters (think about it: have you met any Trumpeters who aren’t angry?) think he legitimizes their ugliest impulses. One rural fire department shows the courage that voters should show in six weeks, rejecting such careless racism and hatred in public service.