An Alabama school board member tried every excuse in the book to defend a series of racist memes she shared on Facebook that have since landed her in hot water.
A Tuesday meeting of the Jefferson County School Board took a turn after Birmingham activist Carlos Chaverst confronted board member Donna Pike over a June 1 Facebook post echoing racist remarks made by disgraced comedienne Roseanne Barr. The meme featured a photo of former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett with the caption, “No! I’m not Black! I’m Valerie Varret (sic) and I’m a Muslim, born in Iran!,” AL.com reported.
“Ms. Donna Pike is a staunch racist on the school board,” Chaverst told the packed room before showing other racist memes posted by Pike, including a doctored image of Michelle Obama refusing to salute the flag.
“She’s a racist, and if you stand with her, guess that makes you one, too,” he continued. “Everybody in this room — you have an obligation to stand up for these children and do what’s right.”
Chaverst went on to warn that dozens of parents would be pulling their children out of Jefferson County Schools until Pike was gone.
Once the local activist was done with his impassioned plea, Pike tried explaining herself to fellow board members.
” … I shared it, and I’m not sorry I did, and I meant it because it shows hypocrisy in our country,” she said. “Some people can get away with it and some people can’t. It was not racist.”
Pike, first elected in 2016, admitted she was a supporter of Barr, whose show was recently canceled over racist remarks she made about Jarrett. While she doesn’t agree with what Barr said, Pike argued that if Barr got fired, then everyone should be fired.
It had nothing to do with color. It had nothing to do with race,” she continued. “I’ve seen all kinds of people say vile, ugly remarks on the media, on television and some of ’em get in trouble. Some of ’em don’t. I thought that was a way to show the hypocrisy that happens.”
She later admitted to sharing a meme of the former first lady allegedly not placing her hand on her heart at a Veteran’s Day event. The image was clearly photoshopped and proven false by fact-checking site Snopes in 2014.
“I have a disabled veteran that’s a daughter, and I have a son that’s a veteran,” Pike argued. “And for (Michelle Obama) not to salute the flag, if you’ll look at the picture, was offensive to me. Now will I apologize for that? Never. Never.”
“How dare her sit there and not salute our flag when she was the former First Lady,” she continued.
Her excuses didn’t stop there, however. Pike then blasted NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem, arguing that it was unpatriotic and disrespectful to the troops.
“It was shared because … I’ll tell you another thing: I won’t watch the NFL because I’m tired of people kneeling instead of people saluting our flag. Let me get that out there,” she said. “If that’s racist, then so be it.”
The offensive memes have since been deleted from Pike’s Facebook page, AL.com reported. She’s allegedly considering deleting her account altogether.