School board member posts, deletes photo of noose
HAMMOND- A school board member is in hot water after posting a photo of a noose on social media.
WWL-TV reports that Tangipahoa Parish school board member Mike Whitlow allegedly shared a picture of a noose on Facebook Monday with the message, “If we want to make America great again, we will have to make evil people fear punishment again.”
The photo was originally posted on a Facebook paged called "Weapons Vault" in October and shared again on the same page Monday.
Whitlow later said he deleted the post.
Tangipahoa Parish council member Louis Joseph said he was "extremely offended" by the post.
"We all know the history and meaning of the hangman’s noose,” Joseph wrote. “As a member of the school board, what message are you sending to the students, employees, and parents of our school system, let alone people that may be considering moving into our parish?”
UPDATE: Whitlow later released the following statement:
"I am deeply saddened by the misplaced reaction to a Facebook repost made yesterday, February 18, 2017. As a resident and public servant of Tangipahoa Parish, I value public safety and have been upset by recent violent attacks on innocent people in our great nation. Personally, I believe that, as a country, we would be better served by more stringent sentences of imprisonment for violent offenders. Yesterday, I came across an article on Facebook that advocated for such stiffer sentences for violent offenses and simply shared the article on my personal Facebook page. The article had no racial or discriminatory overtones whatsoever; however, after receiving comments on the article regarding an attached photograph, I immediately removed the link and apologized if the reposting offended anyone. For those that know me, I am confident that you will attest that I am a man of faith and inclusion. For those that do not know me, I encourage you to ask someone who does know me if you believe that the reposting causes you any concern. My record shows that I have a good heart and work tirelessly to help those in need. In closing, I again apologize if anyone took offense at the reposting and look forward to continuing my volunteer efforts to help those in my community."