One Florida GOP official has a bright, new idea about all those African-Americans in Ferguson fighting for social justice: turn the whole place into 1963 Birmingham, Alabama! Leaders from two civil rights groups are calling for Duval, Florida, GOP Secretary Kim Crenier to resign after her “not-racist” suggestion that Ferguson police use fire hoses on protesters.
According to the Florida Times-Union, Crenier tweeted on Monday night that Ferguson protesters “need a shower anyway,” so fire hoses should be used to “kn0ck those thugs over.”:
“A suggestion for Ferguson- fire hoses. Grt big fire hoses, serious water pressure. Kn0ck those thugs over. They probly need a shower anyway.”
“Ferguson, MO – no true bill! May God bless and protect Officer Darren Wilson and his family,” she reportedly tweeted after the Ferguson grand jury’s failure to indict Darren Wilson was announced. She then complained that “reporters trying their best to spin and play the race card.” When President Obama addressed the nation, she referenced him as “President Race-Baiter.”
After a series of awful tweets, she finally settled on fire hoses as the solution. Her praise of Wilson was also tweeted out on the Duval GOP’s account:
“When you put it into context there is nothing sinister,” Crenier told Fox 30. She defends her remarks as nothing but a suggestion of how to treat unruly protesters. She says she was not speaking for the Republican Party, and will not resign from her post.
“I’m not paid, taxpayer funded or anything,” she told News 4 Jax. “I’m a volunteer. Enough is enough. Why is this news? I have apologized for the insensitivity of the fire hose comment.” She claims the tweet was part of an ongoing Twitter discussion, and that she proposed “fire hoses” as a “tongue-in-cheek” alternative to rubber bullets.
An online petition asking Crenier to step down is quickly gaining momentum, and the secretary’s horrible tweets have been condemned by the leaders of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition. Numerous citizens are calling for Crenier’s resignation or firing. Pastor R.L. Gundy of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said as crowd that gathered outside the GOP headquarters on Friday:
“That’s insensitive, it’s racist and we’re asking the executive committee for the Republican Party of the state of Florida or the national executive committee to relieve Mrs. Crenier of duty.”. We’ve asked (Duval County Republican Party Chairman Rick Hartley) to do that. If they don’t wanna do it, we think Mr. Hartley and Mrs. Crenier should be relieved of duty. This is just unacceptable.”
“We have a serious problem with anyone who works in or around an environment that not only once but two times have shown racism and insensitivity toward the community,” said Gundy. “Mr. Rick Hartley’s previous comments calling the mayor of Jacksonville a thug, it’s unacceptable, it’s bad for culture, bad for community.”
“To make a comment like ‘thugs’ you might as well call somebody a n*gger,” Gundy said.
Not everyone feels that the remarks were out of line. Commenters on various news sites that covered the story shared their thoughts on the issue: