Facebook removes congressman’s post over ‘incitement’
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana congressman’s Facebook post promising the use of force against armed protesters has been removed from the social media platform, prompting a response from the congressman that “America is being manipulated into a new era of government control.”
Republican Rep. Clay Higgins’ original post included a picture of Black demonstrators with long guns and said in part, “If this shows up, we’ll consider the armed presence a real threat. We being We, the people, of Louisiana.”
The post goes on to say,“We don’t care what color you are. We don’t care if you’re left or right. if you show up like this, if We recognize threat...you won’t walk away.”
The post goes on to say such protesters should “Have your affairs in order” and that “I’d drop any 10 of you where you stand.”
The Advocate in Baton Rouge said a Facebook spokesman confirmed late Tuesday that the post was removed for breaking the company’s “violence and incitement” policies. Although the post was removed from Higgins’ campaign page, images of it were reposted by others in a chain of comments.
Higgins is a former sheriff’s deputy who, before he entered politics, gained fame in south Louisiana for swaggering anti-crime videos in which he urged criminals of Louisiana’s Acadiana region to turn themselves in.
He has periodically stirred controversy with social media posts since his 2016 election to Congress. For instance, he drew widespread censure in 2017 for a post that followed a deadly terror attack in London.
“The free world ... all of Christendom ... is at war with Islamic horror,” Higgins wrote, going on to say of terrorists: “Hunt them, identify them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
He was unapologetic in defending that post.
The Advocate reported that he did not respond to a query about the latest post Tuesday. His office did not immediately respond to a query from The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Higgins did address the issue on his website and on Facebook: “No, I did not remove my post. America is being manipulated into a new era of government control. Your liberty is threatened from within. Welcome to the front lines, Ladies and Gentlemen. I suggest you get your mind right. I’ll advise when it’s time gear up, mount up, and roll out.”
One of the two pictures in the removed post appears to be from news coverage of armed Black men from a July protest over a Black woman’s police shooting death in Louisville, Kentucky.