INDIANAPOLIS — Senate Democrats on Tuesday condemned a meme State Representative Jim Lucas posted on Facebook as “degrading and racist.”
The meme featured an image of black children dancing with text that read, “We gon’ get free money!”
In response to meme posted on Lucas’ Facebook page, Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and Assistant Democratic Leader Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) led an unequivocal condemnation of his actions on behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
“Rep. Lucas deliberately chose racist imagery designed to instigate and agitate,” Sen. Breaux said. “As a black woman in Indiana, I am all too aware of the continued fight against racism in our state and in our nation. Still, I had hoped that at least elected leaders representing Hoosiers of all backgrounds would join me in the fight to be part of the solution – not to fuel hate. If Rep. Lucas truly wants to critique the government’s response to the pandemic, he has many options for doing so that are not demeaning, racist and insulting. It is unacceptable to push the tired and racist stereotype that black residents are scamming the system, especially at a time that all Hoosiers from all communities are helping each other to survive this unprecedented health crisis. This division is simply unnecessary”
“Rep. Jim Lucas’s shocking and racist post is unacceptable and reflects poorly on the entire General Assembly,” Sen. Lanane said. “Our hardworking friends and neighbors are losing their jobs through no fault of their own, and instead of offering reassurance and steady leadership, Rep. Lucas instead mocks these vulnerable Hoosiers. As an Indiana elected official, the representative should be fighting for Hoosiers’ ability to make ends meet and keep their families safe.
“On top of all of this, these are only the latest in a series of Lucas’s inexcusable acts of bigotry and insensitivity to women. Senate Democrats support the call by the Indiana Black Leadership Caucus for swift action by Republican leadership to condemn such reprehensible acts and prove such insensitivity does not come without consequences.”
Lucas responded to the backlash with a statement of his own:
“I used a picture of a cute, cocky kid that was happy and dancing, and one that had been used countless times previously, to convey my mockery of government giving us ‘free’ money. I did not look at the color of his skin and had I not used this publicly available photo specifically because of his skin color would be, to me, the very definition of racism.”
The GOP also released a statement regarding the ordeal, which simply read, “Anyone who’s followed Jim Lucas for any amount of time knows that he speaks only for himself. His views are his alone.”
Lucas has a history of posting controversial content on social media.