- The Illinois Republican County Chairman’s Association shared a photo on Facebook depicting Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib as “The Jihad Squad.”
- The meme, which looks like a movie-style poster, shows Pressley smiling triumphantly with a pistol, Omar pursing her lips with a shotgun, Tlaib screaming in frustration, and Ocasio-Cortez grinning widely while wearing a red evening gown that, on the bottom, morphs into a ball of flames.
- The group’s president, Mark Shaw, said in a statement over the weekend that the meme has been removed, and top state Republican leaders condemned the image.
- The meme follows a wave of racist rhetoric ignited against the “Squad” by president Donald Trump.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
A meme shared on the Illinois Republican County Chairman’s Association’s Facebook page depicted Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib as “The Jihad Squad” – the latest attack against the progressive freshman congresswomen, who are known as “The Squad.”
In the movie-style poster, Pressley is seen smiling triumphantly with a a pistol, Omar has pursed lips and a shotgun, Tlaib appears to be screaming in frustration, while Ocasio-Cortez grins widely while wearing a red evening gown that, on the bottom, morphs into a ball of flames.
“Political jihad is their game,” the caption reads. “If you don’t agree with their socialist ideology, you’re racist.”
This is on the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association’s Facebook site: pic.twitter.com/0qzKsiRzzq
— Rick Pearson (@rap30) July 21, 2019
“A couple of days ago, an image which was not authorised by me was posted on the Facebook page of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association (“RCCA”),” Shaw wrote. “I condemn this unauthorised posting and it has been deleted. I am sorry if anyone who saw the image was offended by the contents.”
Instead of fully apologizing to the progressive lawmakers, he added in the statement that “this unauthorised posting is an unfortunate distraction from the serious debate surrounding the policies advocated by these four socialist members of the United States House of Representatives of which I strongly disagree. Republican opposition to their proposed “Green New Deal”, elimination of all private health insurance, open borders and anti-Semitic posturing has nothing to do with these Representative’s races or religion.”
Other state Republican leaders were more forceful in their condemnation of the image. “The recent social media post coming from the IRCCA does not reflect my values or the Illinois Republican Party’s values,” Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said in a statement. “Bigoted rhetoric greatly distracts from legitimate and important policy debates and further divides our nation. My intense disagreement with the socialist policies and anti-semitic language of these four congresswomen has absolutely nothing to do with their race or religion. I urge everyone who also opposes them to keep the rhetoric focused on policy and political ideology.”
“As the Chairman of the largest Republican County organisation in the State of Illinois, I am appalled by most recent post on the Facebook page of the Illinois Republican County Chairman’s Association and their use of hateful rhetoric, and I am calling on them to immediately remove this post,” added Sean M. Morrison, chairman of the Cook County Republican Party, in a statement. “There are civil ways to express political differences that do not involve going to racist extremes. The Illinois Republican County Chairman’s Association’s post only serves to further the hateful divide within our country, when we should instead strive for an intelligent, civil and thoughtful discussion of the philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats.”
The meme follows a wave of racist rhetoric ignited against “The Squad” by president Donald Trump. Last week, he tweeted that the congresswoman should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” even though three out of the four women were born in the US, and all of them are US citizens and elected representatives.
The controversial tweet has galvanised Trump’s base, evident by his supporters who chanted “Send her back,” referring to Omar, during a Trump rally in North Carolina last Wednesday. On Sunday, the president continued his racist rhetoric, tweeting that “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologise to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!”
In response to Trump’s initial tweet, the Democrat-led House voted last Tuesday to condemn the president’s “racist comments” against the Democratic lawmakers.
- Read more:
- In a morning tweetstorm, Trump accused The Washington Post of using ‘phony sources’ and says he doesn’t believe the ‘Squad’ is ‘capable of loving our Country’
- House Democrats want extra security for Ilhan Omar after the ‘send her back’ chants
- Trump is using blatant racism and xenophobia to get his base excited ahead of 2020
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.