Sen. Krawiec says racist meme on FB page escaped her notice

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Sen. Joyce Krawiec speaks at a 2017 anti-abortion rally. (file photo)

For almost four weeks state Sen. Joyce Krawiec’s personal Facebook page displayed a racist meme depicting Barack Obama with racially caricatured protruding lips and the text, “Me, me, me… yes, me” — an apparent attempt to portray the former president as a childish narcissist.

If the meme itself is only mildly racist, the personalized text in the post is overtly so. A woman named Joan Fleming shared the post to Krawiec’s page, writing, “This is for Krissi…she’s always like this monkey!!”

Asked about the post, Krawiec said she had not realized it was on her page.

“I rarely read postings,” Krawiec said in an email to Triad City Beat. “I usually post and move on. I have thousands of friends and rarely see most of the postings.”

Her response tacitly acknowledged the offensiveness of the post without specifically dealing with its racially derogatory contents. “Of course, I don’t approve of any such postings and would never leave them on my page intentionally,” Krawiec said. “I have deleted the post.”

Krawiec has represented Senate District 31 since early 2014, when she was selected by the Republican Party to fill a vacancy with the retirement of Pete Brunstetter. Krawiec is currently running for reelection in the Republican-leaning district, which carves a doughnut out of the suburban and rural parts of Forsyth County, and encompasses the entirety of Davie County. Her Democratic opponent is John Motsinger Jr.

Until Oct. 6, Fleming’s personal Facebook page identified her as the manager of Krawiec’s campaign page on Facebook, although the lawmaker did not respond to requests to clarify her role. Fleming did not respond to a message from City Beat requesting comment.

Some of the posts on the Joyce Krawiec for NC Senate page, particularly in late August, project an alt-right viewpoint depicting a struggle between pro-Trump nationalism and a sinister globalist cabal.

One post made shortly after the toppling of Silent Sam, reads: “Asking what was wrong with honoring this soldier. These thugs aka communists planned this and will get away with this. So sad that this is happening: destroy our statues, destroyed our education, destroyed our history and now working on the flag. Stand up, America! Where’s the gov and attorney general.”

One commenter, apparently a family member of the state lawmaker, responded with disappointment: “Oh, Aunt Joyce, please tell me your social media manager wrote this and that you do not believe it.”

The post aligns with Krawiec’s position on Confederate monuments, in content if not tone.

“We cannot allow anarchy,” Krawiec told City Beat. “I am completely supportive of Silent Sam being repaired and replaced. I think the current law says those monuments will stay where they are. I believe in supporting the current law. I would definitely want our monuments to stay. He was there to honor fallen soldiers. Those were soldiers who, regardless of what you think about that war, gave their life for the state. I think it’s very disrespectful the say the monument was torn down.”

Another post shared on the campaign page weaves together the issues of Confederate monuments and professional football players kneeling to protest police brutality attributed to a person named Linda Lannoo Rose: “There’s a bigger picture most people aren’t understanding about this whole kneeling thing! The goal of the globalists is the dismantling of our American heritage, and thereby the destruction of our identity as a nation. Removing historical statues is the beginning. Removing the flag and the anthem is next. Ultimately, the goal is to remove the constitution [sic]. If we keep giving in and continue to accept the dismantling of our culture and the removal of our heritage, then we become what the globalists want… a 3rd world country prime for socialist control.”

The page also includes a link to Trump @ War, the new documentary by Steve Bannon.

Fleming’s personal Facebook page similarly promotes hyper-partisan Republican themes. On Oct. 6, she posted a meme attacking Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the liberal Democrat from Massachusetts, matched with a purported quote: “If women need to be raped by Muslims to prove our tolerance, so be it. Then thank goodness for Planned Parenthood.”

“Surely, she didn’t say this?” Fleming posted.

No, she did not.

Snopes found that the bizarre quote was first attributed to Warren on Facebook in January 2017. Snopes flagged the quote as “false” and a fabrication. “The poster commented in the original that ‘She really did say this!’” the entry reads. “However, neither he nor any other commenter managed to locate a source for the credulity-begging remarks. Predictably, we also found absolutely no trace of comments made by Senator Warren that matched (or even paraphrased) the words attributed to her above. No other sources latched on to what would be a highly newsworthy statement, and social network other than Facebook appear to be largely free of the same claim.”

Fleming had removed the post by Sunday.

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