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Chisago County GOP apologizes for slavery image on Facebook page


The Chisago County Republican Party is apologizing for posting an image on its Facebook page depicting slavery, KSTP-TV reports.

The illustrated image posted Wednesday morning was accompanied by the phrase, "Pro-Choice. Against it? Don't buy one."

Former NAACP head Brett Buckner told KSTP that he found it "deplorable" that such imagery is still being used "in this day and age."

The Chisago GOP's Facebook page was shut down for a time Wednesday and the image was removed. The page now features an apology for the post:

"The Chisago County Republican Party is very sorry that something so clearly improper (either intended or in poor taste) ever made it to our page. Postings like this are not representative of our party. We are a party that believes in Freedom for all Americans regardless of race or religion. It is after all where the Republican Party came from in its origins, the anti-slavery movement."

The group says it is still reviewing how the image may have been posted on the page because it has a "large number of administrators."

While upset about the post, Buckner told KSTP that he was pleased with the way the Chisago GOP was handling the matter.

"Unfortunately, these things are still around in society, but many, including some of our friends in the GOP are stepping up and doing the right thing and denouncing it," Buckner said.

In a Skype interview with the Star Tribune Wednesday, state DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said, "I find it absolutely morally reprehensible that a political party would ever use a picture such as the one they did today to try to make a political point."

Martin said "slavery was such a painful part of our country's history and one that should never used in a political manner." He added, "It's hurtful, it's racist, it's bigoted and it never should have happened."

The Star Tribune contacted state GOP secretary Chris Fields, who said he found "absolutely nothing offensive" about the Facebook post.

Fields told the paper that as an African-American man, he finds slavery reprehensible. He also said he viewed the post as a reminder that the Republican Party started as an abolitionist party at a time when Democrats supported slavery, and that he was "not going to condemn that posting."

Martin said he found Fields' stance "interesting" because other top state GOP officials, as well as Democrats and Republicans from around the country, said the post was wrong.

"If you can't have the sensitivity to other communities -- other groups -- and understand from their perspective how this could be hurtful, then you probably shouldn't serve in elected positions within a political party," Martin told the Star Tribune.

State GOP Chair Keith Downey responded to Martin's tweet about the posting, and agreed with the DFL leader's assertions.

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