Rep. Lynne DiSanto (R — Box Elder ) is in the news and out of a position with Keller-Williams Realty where she worked as a realtor. Rep. Lynne DiSanto posted a now-deleted Facebook meme which read “All lives splatter, nobody cares about your protests. Keep your ass out of the road.” accompanied by a graphic image of a car running over street-blocking protesters with the impression of blood-splattering effects.
The meme for which Rep. DiSanto is being criticized for posting has also been circulated by other entities on Twitter:
— SFGate (@SFGate) September 12, 2017
In attempts to qualify her reasoning for posting the meme, Rep. DiSanto told the Rapid City Journal, “I am sorry if people took offense to it and perceived my message in any way insinuating support or condoning people being hit by cars. I perceived it differently. I perceived it as encouraging people to stay out of the street.”
Surely, a state lawmaker must consider and safeguard citizens’ rights to peacefully demonstrate. Moreover, even in the face of illegally protesting, no one wishes to see a vehicle-blocking pedestrian mowed down by a car. Albeit existential, arrest after warnings from police is the appropriate response for handling that form of rebellion.
Representative DiSanto’s Facebook page has been deactivated, and her Twitter account has been dormant since July 2017.
Responding to the meme DiSanto published on Facebook (which also labeled Keller-Williams where she was employed), the realty agency posted on its Facebook page, “Due to recent events, Lynne DiSanto is no longer associated with Keller Williams Realty Black Hills.” The outpouring of “Thank you” comments for Keller Williams disassociating from Rep. DiSanto is still mounting with support for the firm’s move.
“Even though she removed the image from her Facebook page, she still owes the people of South Dakota an apology.”
Following the footsteps of Keller Williams Realty, Working Against Violence Inc. (WAVI) dropped Rep. DiSanto from its September 27, 2017 event where she was to attend as a guest speaker. WAVI’s statement read: “We are aware of the posting by Representative Lynne DiSanto and are meeting as a staff tomorrow to discuss the situation and seek another speaker. WAVI doesn’t condone violence of any kind. Thank you for your comments and concerns.”
Rep. DiSanto’s Democratic colleagues weighed-in with a press release posted on the South Dakota Democratic party website: “The right to peaceably assemble is fundamental to our democracy – so fundamental, in fact, it is included in the First Amendment to our Constitution. Whether one supports the cause of protesters or not, sharing an image promoting running them over is offensive and beneath the dignity of the office Rep. DiSanto holds. Even though she removed the image from her Facebook page, she still owes the people of South Dakota an apology.”