As hundreds of thousands marched across the country to protest gun violence on Saturday, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) spent the weekend online, where he posted a slew of memes mocking the participants of March for Our Lives.
One image in particular has drawn the ire of critics who say King went too far by attacking Emma Gonzalez, the 18-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas student who has been at the center of the movement. Gonzalez delivered one of the most powerful moments of the rally in Washington, when she led a moment of silence to honor her classmates killed at the Parkland, Florida, shooting.
The moment left King unimpressed, and he instead attacked her for wearing a Cuban flag patch during her appearance at the rally.
King’s campaign has dismissed the criticism by responding directly on Facebook to say the meme is simply “pointing out the truth.”
“Only a liberal could see this meme as an attack on her ethnicity,” another response on King’s Facebook page read. “It’s merely pointing out the irony of someone wearing a communist flag while calling for gun control. But sure, assume something that’s not there.”
The meme is part of a larger effort on the right to discredit Gonzalez, who in the month after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has been one of the most vocal and prominent faces of the student movement demanding action on gun control. Earlier this month, a Republican candidate for the Maine State House was forced to drop out after calling Gonzalez as a “skinhead lesbian.” The backlash over the incendiary comments was fierce, but it hasn’t stopped others on the far right from sharing a fake image of Gonzalez appearing to rip up the Constitution.
Justy a sample of what NRA supporters are doing to teenagers who survived a massacre (real picture on the right). pic.twitter.com/czX7IHD8ur
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) March 25, 2018