Donald Trump

Illinois Democratic Group's Post Compares Trump's Red Hats to KKK Hoods

Days after an Illinois GOP group caused an uproar by posting a racist image online, another social media post has sparked outrage - this time from a Chicago-area Democratic organization.

Kankakee County Democrats posted an image on Facebook of a person in what appeared to be a red Ku Klux Klan hood, with the phrase "Make America Hate Again" on the top, similar to those worn by President Donald Trump and his supporters, reading "Make America Great Again."

The text overlay on the photo reads, "What's the difference between a Klan hood and a MAGA hat? The Klan hood was made in America."

The post has since been deleted and an apology from the group's chair John Willard was posted to the page, reading in part, "The narrative of the meme addressed the issue of political campaigns buying products not made in the USA. Namely the MAGA hats. The meme insinuated that KKK hoods are more likely to be made in America than MAGA hats."

"The post did not stay up long as it was deemed to miss the mark of clearly communicating the intended message. One of our moderators took it down soon after it posted. I thank you for a wise decision," the message continued. "My intended message is: It would help working Americans greatly if the enormous sums of money being spent on campaign paraphernalia were manufactured in the USA."

"I do offer my sincere apology to the members of the Democratic Party and any others who may have been negatively affected by this clumsy misrepresentation of our intended message to purchase 'Union Made' and 'Made in the U.S.A' products," Willard continued.

The post drew criticism from Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who tweeted, "The recent post by the Kanakee Democratic County Chairman is wrong and lacks the civility our politics should demand."

The Kankakee County Democrats' post came days after the Illinois Republican County Chairman's Association posted a mock movie poster entitled "The Jihad Squad," featuring U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Ayanna Pressley (MA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Rashida Tlaib (MI) with the tagline "Political jihad is their game."

The inflammatory post, which has since been deleted, was made in reference to controversial comments Trump had previously made about the four women. The president tweeted days before that the four members of Congress should go back to the “crime infested places (they originally came from).”

During a Trump campaign rally a few days later, crowds chanted "send her back," about which Trump himself has since made conflicting statements regarding his stance on the chants.

Prominent Republicans disputed that the comments were racially motivated, though some members of the party, as well as several online commenters and numerous prominent Democratic groups have condemned the post.

“The post perpetuates the recent attacks by President Trump, promoting lies and racism to alienate immigrants, women, and people of color,” Cook County Democratic Chairwoman Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement. “This language of hatred and bigotry has no room in our society and has dangerous consequences.

“Today we stand in solidarity with Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib, who represent diversity in our nation.”

The image was deleted by the group on Sunday, and was replaced by a post apologizing for the incident.

“A couple of days ago, an image which was not authorized by me was posted on the Facebook page of the Illinois Republican County Chairman’s Association,” President Mark Shaw said. “I condemn this unauthorized posting and it has been deleted. I am sorry if anyone who saw the image was offended by the contents.”

Shaw said that that the group has a “multi-stage” approval process for social media posts, and that it is “re-evaluating” that process in the wake of the posting.

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