Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) is asking that Alabama Auditor Jim Zeigler apologize for a photo he posted Wednesday night comparing the women of House Democrats wearing white to President Donald Trump’s speech to a joint session on Congress to the members of the Ku Klux Klan, AL.com reported Thursday.
The meme, captured in a screenshot by WSFA, features a group photo of the congresswomen alongside a photo of members of the Klan saying that “Nancy Pelosi and the Klannettes” are appearing”without hoods.” Zeigler posted the meme with the caption “Sometimes humor can make a serious point.”
Yesterday State auditor Jim Zeigler posted this on Facebook. He has since taken it down pic.twitter.com/WBsAtgS7qA
— Alabama Politics (@AlabamaPolitics) March 2, 2017
Sewell, who appears in the photo, told AL.com that the comparison was “insulting” and pointed out that the reason the women were wearing white was to honor the suffragist movement. She called on Zeigler to apologize.
“I wore white to President Trump’s Joint Session address in solidarity with my other female colleagues to honor those American women who sacrificed so that all women could have an equal voice in our democracy,” she told AL.com.
“It is highly insulting and completely disrespectful for Alabama’s State Auditor Zeigler to equate the celebration of woman’s rights into a vile statement of racial hatred like the KKK,” she continued. “He should apologize for behavior so offensive and unbecoming of any elected official. His voters should hold him accountable for such shameful disregard of women.”
But, Ziegler said that their actions were up for criticism. He cited the conservative organization The Federalist Papers for sparking the comparison, according to AL.com
“I have the same First Amendment right to criticize them that they have to protest,” he told AL.com
“The pictures were eerily similar,” he said.
But, ultimately, Zeigler deleted the post from his Facebook because he told AL.com that it was “distracting” from his message.
“I deleted the post to keep from distracting from two serious issues I am now working on — a legal challenge to Gov. Bentley’s illegal delay of the special election for the U.S. Senate seat and the push to resume the impeachment investigation of Gov. (Robert) Bentley,” he told AL.com
Zeigler came under fire in 2015 for speaking to a neo-Confederate group about his efforts to return portraits of segregationist former Govs. George and Lurleen Wallace to the Alabama state Capitol rotunda