Brian Conner of Winona, Minnesota, has spent 31 years at Benchmark Electronics.
It's a mid-sized maker of devices used in medical devices, the defense indutstry, and computing. According to his Linkedin page, Conner now works as a senior engineer with Benchmark.
With that background, you'd figure the guy knows a little more about how this internet thing works.
Conner's running for a seat on the Winona County Board, challenging incumbent Greg Olson for his position on the local body. Conner has never before run for elective office. He's learning now that he should delete any offensive things he's posted online. Learning a little too late.
On Friday, the Winona Daily News highlighted a racist Facebook meme Conner shared with his friends and followers a few months ago. The crudely designed graphic shows a picture of a baby orangutan, with the words "Obama's baby picture" pasted over the primate's face.
Conner sure did, back when he posted it a few months ago. He told the Daily News he'd "bowed to pressure" to remove the image from his Facebook feed, but still enjoys it, and says the racist depiction of America's first black president is "kind of humorous."
Conner's got a little history of using humor to soften the blow on his political views. Back in 2009, he wrote a letter to the Daily News arguing nurses and doctors should turn undocumented immigrants seeking emergency room treatment over to immigration officials. (Big heart on this guy, if you hadn't noticed.) Conner explained they already do the same thing when someone comes in with a knife or gunshot wound, which are clear indications of illegal activity.
But, hey, I can see a softer side to those illegal activities, also. "Sir, how were you shot?"
"Well officer, I was trying to obtain cash from a local store."
"And, the owner shot you during the robbery?"
"Well officer, there was definitely a breakdown during the negotiation of the deal."
Yep, we should no longer call them thieves and robbers, rather, self-taught negotiators and item-liberators.
In Conner's mind, shooting or stabbing someone is an equivalent crime to living in the country without immigration papers. He was complaining in that letter about the change to "undocumented immigrant" from "illegal immigrant," a term he favors for its blunt accuracy.
Turnabout's fair play, Brian. Saying Barack Obama's a monkey isn't a "joke." Definitely not a "humorous" one. It's called "racism."
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