The flowchart first asked if the person was white or not white. If they weren’t white, they were automatically not a racist. If they were, it then asked “do you like them?” If the answer was yes, they were also not a racist. However, if the answer is no, then “they are racist.” The flowchart also noted “if you think this flowchart isn’t funny, then this flowchart is racist.”
It was posted by the official Iowa GOP Facebook account at 8 p.m. EST on Friday night with the message “Because it’s Friday night and we don’t need serious political posts on Friday night we are sharing this. Happy Friday and LIKE and SHARE! Unless you think the chart is racist, then don’t.”
It was quickly removed from the Facebook page.
In a statement posted on the Iowa GOP Facebook page at 8:50 EST, party chair A.J. Spiker wrote “Earlier tonight, a contractor of the Iowa GOP made a post referencing a discussion on race that the GOP believes was in bad taste and inappropriate. We apologize to those whom were offended, have removed the post and are ensuring it does not happen again.”
Spiker then went on to announce that “the contractor has been terminated and moving forward the Iowa GOP has instituted a new policy regarding our social media postings that will require all posts to be viewed and then approved by no less than two individuals before they are submitted and posted.”
The contractor responsible for posting the flowchart, Shane Vander Hart, posted an apology on his personal blog. In his statement, Vander Hart wrote, “It was an attempt at humor which perhaps would have been ok for my personal page, but not for the Republican Party of Iowa. My intent was to make light of how the race card is played in American politics. It was an error in judgment, one I deeply regret, and take full responsibility for. I apologize to those whom I offended, as well as, to Iowa Republicans. This is not the message we need to send. It is distracting to our mission of electing Republicans. I also would like to publicly apologize to A.J. Spiker for the problems this has caused him.”
Democrats didn’t waste any time to jump on the Republican Party of Iowa for this social media fiasco. In a statement Friday night, Scott Brennan, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party said, “Iowans have had enough of the intolerance, hate and divisiveness shared tonight on the Republican Party of Iowa’s Facebook. This sort of rhetoric – joke or not – has no place in politics, period.”
The post comes as yet another off-message moment for the GOP, which is in the midst of a partywide “rebrand” after the 2012 election, following former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s comments about Democrats and women’s libidos on Thursday.