Ky. Lawmaker Apologizes for Thanksgiving Tweet

Nov 22, 2013

Credit Twitter

A Northern Kentucky lawmaker stepped in a Thanksgiving Twitter controversy over a joke about gun control. A joke made by Dry Ridge Republican Brian Linder has sparked a broader conversation about American history.

It all started with a t weet.

Responding to a call from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for families across the nation to talk about gun control over their Thanksgiving dinner, Rep. Linder fired a tweet which read “Mayor Bloomberg wants families to talk gun control at Thanksgiving. If the Pilgrims had gun control, we wouldn’t have Thanksgiving. #irony.” Linder deleted the tweet within minutes after other users accused him of making light of the genocide of Native Americans by European pioneers. He says it was all a big misunderstanding.

“Well, yes, and I’ve taken that down,” Linder said. “I was referring to turkeys.”

But Louisville Rep. Reginald Meeks, who is part Cherokee, doesn't believe it. He says there’s no logical link between gun control and turkey hunting. He calls Linder’s remarks “beyond offensive,” and says the off-the-cuff joke reflects a larger misunderstanding of the uglier side in American history.

“There is so much in history that we would prefe, that the establishment would prefer not to address, and so it’s easier to perpetrate the fallacies of, you know, that would lead someone to say, to make the comments that this representative has made,” Meeks said.

Meeks hopes that his colleague’s digital misstep will serve as a lesson to elected officials who Tweet first and ask questions later, and will prompt people to explore our American past—however ugly it might be—in search of fact over comfortable fiction.