Sarah Palin weighs in on Ferguson. Was it funny or offensive?(Read article summary)
Sarah Palin posted an image on her Facebook page over the weekend that immediately went viral, with over 55,000 shares.
Dacia Idom, The News-Star/AP
Usually outspoken conservative commentator Sarah Palin was curiously silent on the controversial shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., the decision by a grand jury not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, and the subsequent Ferguson protests.
Over the holiday weekend, the Tea Party darling posted a meme on her Facebook page that immediately went viral, attracting more than 50,000 likes, more than 55,000 shares - and plenty of condemnation.
It's no surprise the post has attracted so much attention.
It showed an image of President Obama claiming he was having the word "looting" replaced with the words "undocumented shopping."
Conservatives loved the meme, which combined three of the things they love to hate: President Obama, executive action on immigration, and Ferguson protests, all rolled into one image.
For that, we applaud Palin, who managed to slam Ferguson protesters, undocumented workers, and Obama in one breath. (Though we'd be remiss if we didn't give credit to Mad World News, the rightwing conspiracy website where Palin picked up the image.)
"He's been undocumented shopping the American people since he took office," one commenter, John Smith, wrote.
And because Sarah Palin is Sarah Palin and everything she says or does stirs both intense adoration and passionate hatred, there was plenty of criticism, too.
"The plan to inject her name into mainstream media conversations by making a joke about race at an African American president's expense may have worked, as her name is now historically tied to the tragic events affecting communities across the nation after rioting broke out following a decision not to prosecute a Caucasian [white] police officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager following a confrontation and physical altercation between the two on that fateful night in Missouri," wrote one critic in her reaction to the post.
"[I]s her post simply a reflection of the Republican party's position on the state of civil rights with regard to political and legal bias against minority rights and people of color?" she asked.
Others couldn't help but wrinkle their brow in confusion.
"Get it? It’s funny because it’s true!" reports Wonkette. "Obama is so completely in favor of looting and lawlessness! If only he’d maybe say that looting is bad, but no, all he does is just make excuses for looters all the time, like when he told people to go out and burn down Ferguson last week, remember when he said that?"
Of course, Obama said nothing of the sort. What he did say after the decision was announced was this: "I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully. Let me repeat Michael’s father’s words: 'Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer.'' "Those were actually code words for 'Burn stores and loot them,'" quipped Wonkette.
As Chris Rock recently found out, there's a fine line between comedy and offense, and Palin cuts it close.