Amid accounts that the Yellowstone County Republican Central Committee (!warning! aesthetically obnoxious webpage design) has been reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center for consideration as a hate group as long as Jennifer Olsen is the chairwoman, it occurred to me that Olsen may soon be looking for political work in other states. I briefly considered that the Ku Klux Klan was perhaps hiring but soon discovered this. That’s right…. the KKK is now under Christian leadership and is hoping to shed its racist reputation. Shucks. The KKK’s membership is down while other hate groups are enjoying tremendous growth. One has to wonder if the Klan members were simply absorbed into the Tea Party or even (gasp!) the GOP.
Olsen, the embattled Chairwoman of the Yellowstone County Republicans and co-founder of Montana Shrugged, TEA Party Patriots, managed to attract quite a lot of media attention after posting a racist photo shortly after she was honored in the Billings Gazette‘s “40 Under 40” segment recognizing Yellowstone County’s upstanding twenty and thirty-somethings. The photo, which depicted a watermelon trap designed to catch President Obama appears to have trapped none other than Olsen herself. Montanafesto posted a link to the Yellowstone County Republicans Facebook page and officers of the group almost immediately defended the racist post and projected allegations on to the author of the post. It appears that breaking the sacred “11th Commandment” is an offense more egregious than overt bigotry. Screenshots below.
Even a former Montana legislator (Rep. James Knox (R), HD 47) disagreed that the post was racist and alleged that I instead was the racist.
A Yellowstone County Republican Central Committeeman forwarded a board member of the YCRCC several links depicting the GOP in a negative light. His response was “It seems they are linking it more to TEA party and not GOP. ” Apparently that excuses the gaffe.
According to the editor of Billings Blog, in response to a question emailed by one of the Billings Outpost’s journalists, Jennifer’s response included the following (note, all grammatical errors hers).
“The blog posting this about me is all fabricated. This is not the first time they have made up stories about me as writer, nicole french, and I had a falling out a few years ago and since then she writes this nonsense.
“Liberals always try to take our focus away from real issues by doing things like this. It is absolutely not true.”
So there you have it. It is the fault of liberals. Problem is, montanafesto isn’t liberal.
For those of you who have missed some of the attention our resident racist has attracted, I’ve compiled just a taste of the negative exposure Montana is receiving as a result.
Montanafesto Daily Kos Montana Cowgirl 4 and 20 Blackbirds Billings Blog Montana Streetfighter The New Civil Rights Movement Patheos Hackwhackers Drasties and the list goes on and on.
Olsen is apparently hiding something as she also changed the privacy settings of the Yellowstone County Republicans from “open” to “secret”.
And since we are discussing bigotry, the following reading material was delivered to each Montana legislator this morning just in time for a House Judiciary Hearing on whether to repeal Montana’s archaic and unconstitutional law making homosexual sex a felony punishable by a decade in prison. Perhaps the hateful YCRCC is responsible, or perhaps not. I have a sneaking suspicion that the culprit is not a Democrat.
Before anyone comments (again) that a watermelon under a cardboard box intended to trap the President is not racist, I invite you to peruse this link. To disagree with a President’s policies is inherently American but to poke fun at his color using well-known racist stereotypes makes us all look bad. Montana Republicans deserve an apology from Jennifer Olsen. I won’t hold my breath. I would like to think that perhaps this happened because Ms. Olsen is naive about social media, but the following screenshot taken from the Yellowstone Republican Women’s Facebook page suggests otherwise, Olsen claims to be the organization’s “media guru”.
I wasn’t prepared to be called a lazy pothead, drug dealer, shameless liar, a failure of a person, unapologetically divisive, or (drum roll please) a Democrat for exposing a political figure as a bigot. I’m offended.
If you too are offended and embarrassed by the racism displayed by this group through its chairperson and other officers, contact Jennifer Olsen at 406-672-1170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Facebook account has reportedly been deactivated but the url is http://facebook.com/noczars and her Twitter account is @oilpatchkid. Tell your legislators, the Montana GOP, the YCRCC, The Billings Gazette, The Dickinson Press and the world that Montana is intolerant of bigotry.