A local Republican Party official in Alabama is blaming a copy-and-paste snafu for posting an image of the party’s elephant logo that incorporates hooded Ku Klux Klan members on an official Facebook page.
Shanon Terry, the chairman of the Lawrence County GOP, admitted he shared the image of the red, white, and blue elephant with three Klansman in between the pachyderm’s legs on Sunday.
However, Terry claimed it was an accident, and that he didn’t see the KKK imagery before swiping the Google image result for “GOP elephant.”
On Thursday, Terry said he won’t be stepping down from his post on the county’s school board over the controversy.
“I regret the mistake that was made, and it was just that – an unintended mistake,” Terry said in a statement on Thursday, according to News 19.
“The image posted by me on a political Facebook page was not done with any malicious or harmful intent. Once made aware of the negative portion of the picture I immediately replaced it and followed up with an apology/explanation the next day. My error was rushing to post a thank you note to the outgoing chairperson, in doing so I did not properly review a cut and paste image used in that post from an internet search for a ‘GOP elephant,’” Terry explained.
The chairman added that he doesn’t “support or agree with any hate group agenda.”
The image reportedly dates from a 2020 Mother Jones article on “hate, bigotry and racism hidden within Trump’s GOP.” Woody Harrington, the artist that designed the image, said on Instagram Wednesday that he was aware of the “Hate Elephant” being “given new life,” and that it was taken without his permission or credit.
The image was taken down from the Lawrence County Republican Party’s Facebook page soon after Terry posted it, and replaced with a more traditional elephant. Terry initially apologized the following day for being tricked by the optical illusion and said he takes “full responsibility for the error.”
The Lawrence County chapter of the NAACP was expected to weigh in on the incident Friday during a scheduled press conference.