Estherwood, Louisiana Assistant Chief of Police Wayne Welsh retired from his position following the backlash from a racially inappropriate meme he posted on Facebook.
On July 30, Welsh shared a meme that was originally posted by Mark Leblanc on June 11. The meme is a 50’s styled ad that shows a little girl face down in a bathtub while her mother is pressing on the back of the girl’s head. At the bottom of the meme, it reads, “WHEN YOUR DAUGHTERS FIRST CRUSH IS A LITTLE NEGRO BOY.”
On July 31, Erica Branch posted screenshots of the post and Welsh’s account. Branch’s post has since been shared over 5,000 times. Estherwood Police Chief Ernest Villejoin told KATC he did not even know anything about the post until he received a call from a woman in Houston.
Villejoin originally stated that he would bring the issue up at the next city council meeting to see if Welsh should receive punishment. Estherwood City Hall made a post to their Facebook page stating that they hold no authority over the police department. The post instructed those with concerns to contact Villejoin, followed by a number to call. The post appears to have been deleted from the Estherwood City Hall Facebook page.
On August 1, Villejoin told KATC that he spoke to Welsh that morning and expected him to turn in his resignation later that evening. Villejoin said that even though Welsh claimed it was a mistake, this kind of behavior would not be tolerated.
Welsh Had More Than One Questionable Post
Screenshots show that the post in question was not the only questionable post that Welsh had made to his Facebook. Another post he shared shows a group of women in burqas and refers to them as trash bags.
Another meme Welsh shared depicts President Donald Trump on the phone with former President Barack Obama. The meme reads, “I’M SORRY, BARACK BUT MY NEW TRANSGENDER APPLIES TO MICHELLE AS WELL,” which shows possible preconceived views towards transgenders.
A third meme Welsh shared shows a white male sitting in a lawn chair that reads, “STILL WAITING FOR MY WHITE PRIVILEGE CARD.” At the bottom of the meme it reads, “Somebody text me when it comes, I’ll be at work.”
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Some have argued that it the posts are just jokes, which is a valid argument, as dark comedy is growing in popularity around the world. However, in Welsh’s case, we are talking about an officer of the law making racial posts to his social media in a time where racial tension between citizens and police is at an all time high. How can the people trust that he will not go into a situation with a predetermined view towards minorities?
Surprisingly enough, the pro-police group and media outlet Blue Lives Matter did not even come to Welsh’s defense, and denounced his behavior in an article posted on August 2. In the article it reads, “The racist message was clear as day and it’s almost unbelievable that an officer thought it was OK to post it.”
The other problem lies in Welsh’s response to the backlash. After catching heat over the post, Welsh still seemed to show little remorse on his Facebook.
In one post Welsh writes, “I shared somebody else’s post and everybody mad at me again. So Facebook. Police mad at me.” Shortly after, Welsh made another post that read, “People always want to play the. Race card. They want you to think your the bad guy.”
“Well I Deleted the pic everybody got mad about and the commits so every body calm down. Now find the people who shared it first and get on them. Amen,” Welsh said in a third post.
In a fourth post, Welsh says, “Its not against the. Law if you share stuff on, Facebook. Its. Social media. Internet.” The grammatical errors alone are enough to ask yourself if this is someone you want patrolling your streets while armed with a gun.