A Republican state lawmaker from Kansas has come under fierce criticism after he shared a meme on his Facebook page that mocked Mexicans and included a denigrating image of President Obama.
Rep. John Bradford posted an image that depicted a Mexican man in a sombrero with a message in what appears to be broken English celebrating the fact that Obama’s term ends next January. The meme was first posted by the Conservative Country community Facebook page.
Bradford issued a statement on Thursday apologizing for sharing the image, which was apparently removed after it began to draw media attention, according to the Wichita Eagle.
“I did not create the image, but I did share it, which was in bad taste,” Bradford said in a statement. “I regret that decision.”
Some Kansas political leaders called the posting racist, and it drew harsh criticism from Latino community leaders.
“What worries me is the fact that we have a representative in the Kansas Legislature who is willing to treat human beings that he perceives as different with such disregard,” Pedro Irigonegaray, a prominent lawyer and Cuban immigrant, told the Eagle. “And if he’s willing to do it to the Hispanic community, who’s next?”
Rep. John Alcala, a Democrat lawmaker, called the meme “rude, racist and disrespectful,” according to the Eagle.
“And the Republicans wonder why they can’t attract more of the Latino vote,” he said. “Well, here’s a pretty good example.”