For a candidate who just won Florida's Republican primary for governor, Ron DeSantis is having a rough week.
Fresh off of referring to his opponent Andrew Gillum, Florida's first black gubernatorial nominee, as "articulate" and warning Floridians not to "monkey this up" by electing him, DeSantis was discovered to be the administrator of a Facebook group called "Tea Party," whose 94,000 members regularly share racist, conspiratorial, and otherwise hateful memes and posts. DeSantis has since left the group, but not before Media Matters employee Natalie Martinez exposed him.
A writer for the Infowars-tied Central Florida Post (https://t.co/3ThaHn1hZm) has been spamming a racist, conspirac… https://t.co/ZFaMQIFNyY— NATALIE MARTINEZ (@NATALIE MARTINEZ)1535460576.0
Another admin/moderator for the racist, conspiracy Facebook group has also been promoting Ron DeSantis' campaign, a… https://t.co/kIlwFOuyLT— NATALIE MARTINEZ (@NATALIE MARTINEZ)1535460781.0
The gubernatorial nominee was not the only DeSantis family member in the group.
As an administrator of the group, Mr. DeSantis had the power to moderate posts and ban members who frequently posted content believed to be unsuitable, which makes some of the posts all the more shocking.
Some are racist.
Some are homophobic.
At least one spouted similar rhetoric as DeSantis's monkey comment.
And people on Twitter don't seem too surprised.
@natijomartinez No surprise. @realDonaldTrump— paul kirk (@paul kirk)1535493653.0
@natijomartinez This goes without saying since he’s stuck up King Cheeto’s ass. Of COURSE he’s a racist!!— AnonAMoose (@AnonAMoose)1535653151.0
@natijomartinez https://t.co/TPI7DDHY8V— AzGolfer (@AzGolfer)1535584137.0
Some were still outraged.
HOLY SHIT! Ron Desantis, the Florida Republican candidate for governor who made the racist “monkey” comment about… https://t.co/hLxJ8gcxPQ— jordan (@jordan)1535579796.0
For those still claiming DeSantis isn't a racist...DeSantis Moderates Hate-Filled Facebook Group That Attacks Afric… https://t.co/7ocd1WLSZQ— Tim Wise (@Tim Wise)1535640688.0
Ron DeSantis was an admin for a racist Tea Party Facebook group that included posts calling #BlackLivesMatter “ghet… https://t.co/0HBPCVahpv— Chrissy Stroop (@Chrissy Stroop)1535599155.0
But perhaps most shamefully, DeSantis wasn't the only Republican politician moderating the group.
Martinez found that a shocking five other congressional candidates moderating the group.
Including West Virginia Attorney General and Senate hopeful Patrick Morrisey, who was later no longer listed as an administrator of the group.
UPDATE: Patrick Morrisey, running to represent West Virginia in the Senate, is no longer listed as an admin.— NATALIE MARTINEZ (@NATALIE MARTINEZ)1535661140.0
Other candidates include Daniel Crenshaw, a candidate for the Texas House of Representatives; Danny Tarkanian, a candidate to represent Nevada in the House; Corey Stewart, a candidate for Virginia's senator; and Matt Rosendale, also running in the senate to represent Montana.
What's more, not all of the candidates are ashamed.
In extremely unsurprising news, neo-confederate candidate Corey Stewart seems to be good with his affiliation with… https://t.co/sZ3peWT2ve— NATALIE MARTINEZ (@NATALIE MARTINEZ)1535635485.0
The fact that politicians who are still conducting campaigns feel comfortable moderating a public Facebook group that bullies high school shooting survivors, refers to black people as monkeys, and paints all Muslims as terrorists, to many, illustrates the level at which the president's rhetoric and belligerence has emboldened bigotry.