Making the rounds today on social media is a screen cap of an “All Lives Splatter” meme posted by House Republican whip Rep. Lynne DiSanto (R-35/Rapid City) on September 7:
The SDGOP spin blog dismisses complaints about Rep. DiSanto’s apparent endorsement of this message as faux outrage. As usual, the SDGOP spin blog misses the context: the image DiSanto offers for chuckles depicts exactly what James Alex Fields Jr. appears to have done on August 12 to Americans protesting racism on a Charlottesville, Virginia, street.
A racist kook kills and injures fellow citizens with his car, and Rep. Lynne DiSanto jokes that “we can all support” that movement. One may reasonably contend that DiSanto’s statement was inappropriate. DiSanto seems to think so: she has removed the post instead of standing by it. Her majority leader Rep. Lee Qualm (R-21/Platte) also thinks the post was inappropriate:
“Obviously I think she wishes she had not put it out there, but she was quick to pull it down and it seems like one of those things you do without putting much though into it.”
Qualm said the move was an error in judgment. He said the party does not condone hitting protesters [Dana Ferguson, “S.D. GOP Whip Shares Meme Endorsing Vehicular Assault on Protesters,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2017.09.19].
Faintly, Faintly Related: Back during Session, Rep. DiSanto held out against Senate Bill 176, Governor Dennis Daugaard’s watered-down effort to quash public protest. Rep. DiSanto ultimately rolled over for the Governor on the final vote on the conference committee version of the bill.
Update 21:25 CDT: Lynne DiSanto (listed there under her hyphenated Hix-DiSanto nom de sales) had a profile page on the Keller Williams website as one of their realtors… or at least Google Cache says she did on September 10:
Google Cache also shares DiSanto’s realtor Facebook page, which is also inaccessible tonight.
The removal DiSanto’s realtor web pages sparks me to revisit another comment Majority leader Qualm made to Ferguson:
DiSanto is set to again serve as majority whip during the 2018 legislative session unless she opts to step down from the elected position, said Republican House Majority Leader Lee Qualm [Ferguson, reprinted now in USA Today, 2017.09.19 20:17 EDT].
That the Majority Leader even mentions the possibility that his whip might opt to step down suggests Qualm may already be thinking of joining Keller Williams in distancing his organization from DiSanto’s thoughtless online comment.
Update 21:28 CDT: DiSanto gives Seth Tupper the classic “I’m sorry if you were offended” non-apology:
“I am sorry if people took offense to it and perceived my message in any way insinuating support or condoning people being hit by cars,” DiSanto said. “I perceived it differently. I perceived it as encouraging people to stay out of the street” [Seth Tupper, “Rep. DiSanto Slammed for Facebook Post About Protesters,” Rapid City Journal, 2017.09.19].
Yet even Rep. DiSanto acknowledges the context that makes her statement inappropriate:
DiSanto said she failed to consider examples of violence against protesters when she shared her Facebook post.
“That was a lack of judgment on my part to not take that into consideration, the highly charged political environment that we’re in,” she said [Tupper, 2017.09.19].
Think before you post—that shouldn’t be a hard rule to follow… especially for an individual elected to vote on the laws that govern our fair state.
Update 2017.09.20 05:11 CDT: Before bedtime, last night Keller Williams Realty Black Hills announced on Facebook that “Due to recent events, Lynne Disanto is no longer associated” with their company.