The Kentucky Republican Party denounced one of its own after it discovered GOP state House of Representatives candidate Dan Johnson has a long history of posting inflammatory memes and images on Facebook.
"Allah sucks," reads one of the memes Johnson posted in December 2015, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. "Mohammed sucks. Islam sucks. Any of you Hadji's have an issue with me saying this, PM me and I'll gladly give you my address. You can come visit me, where I promise I will KILL YOU in my front yard!!"
Johnson, the bishop of Heart of Fire Church in Louisville, Kentucky, also posted images depicting President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as monkeys, though he has since removed them.
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"It wasn't meant to be racist," Johnson told WDRB when asked about the images. "I can tell you that. My history's good there. I can see how people would be offended in that. I wasn't trying to offend anybody, but, I think Facebook's entertaining."
Johnson went on to say that there "has been no president that hasn't had that scrutiny" and that "it would be racist not to do the same" for Obama.
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"I love America," Johnson told WDRB. "I love people. I believe red, yellow, black and white, all are precious in God's sight. I'm not a racist..."
"...My thing for Islam, if you want to be in America, be an American," he continued. "The thing about all religions in America, they don't oppose America or want to destroy America, or some way or another get us to take on another law, like Sharia law. I hate that."
Johnson, who is running against Democratic State Rep. Linda Belcher, has also posted calls to secede from the Union and images of Confederate flags, the Lexington Herald Leader reports.
Kentucky GOP chairman Mac Brown disavowed the posts in a written statement on Sept. 29:
Dan Johnson's comments and social media posts are outrageous and have no place in today’s political discourse. They represent the rankest sort of prejudice present in our society and do not in any way, shape or form represent the views of the Republican Party of Kentucky or the many fine candidates representing us on the ballot this November. I want to apologize to the members of Kentucky's African-American community and assure them that this man's opinions do not reflect those of this party.