Back in 1963, Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor turned firehoses on African-Americans who were protesting his virulent segregationist policies. Those tactics, along with the use of attack dogs on protestors, were considered so violent that they actually helped turn public opinion against segregation and lesser civil rights for African-Americans.
Well, apparently Duval County Republican Party secretary Kim Crenier hasn't read her history books. Activists are calling for her to resign after she suggested that police in Ferguson, Missouri, should use firehoses on protestors, and she doesn't seem to know what the big deal is.
Crenier's tweet was made on the night that it was announced that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for killing Michael Brown.
Crenier first took to the Twitter handle @JaxGOP and wrote, "Ferguson, MO. No true bill! May God bless and protect Officer Darren Wilson and his family. Facts are facts."
She then took to her personal account, @EarlGrey1, to make the following Tweet: "A suggestion for Ferguson- fire hoses. Grt big fire hoses, serious water pressure. Kn0ck those thugs over. They probly need a shower anyway."
That account has since been deleted.
Activists and leaders in Jacksonville have since called for Crenier to resign, but she claims what she wrote wasn't a big deal.
"I'm not an employee. I'm not a government employee," Crenier told News4Jax. "I'm not paid, taxpayer funded or anything. I'm a volunteer. Enough is enough. Why is this news? I have apologized for the insensitivity of the fire hose comment."
Crenier claims she was merely one of several white people sitting at home on their computers while watching the civil unrest in Ferguson who decided to take to Twitter to suggest ways that police could inflict violence on mostly peaceful protestors. Nothing sinister about that, she claims.
"What I was responding to was not reported, so it looks really bad," she continued, and added that her suggestion was more of a joke.
A Change.org petition asking for Crenier to step down has so far attracted 307 supporters.
A spokeswoman for the Republican Party of Florida tells First Coast News that the comment should not be taken as reflective of the party's beliefs.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.