Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior and anti-gun violence advocate Emma Gonzalez is the subject of a bizarre meme posted on Facebook over the weekend by Rep. Steve King.
The Washington Post reports that the Iowa Republican shared the meme on Sunday; it references the Cuban flag patch sewn onto the jacket Gonzalez wore during her speech at Saturday’s March For Our Lives.
Here’s the meme:
It was met with considerable criticism in the comments, but King’s team has defended (naturally) its decision to go after a teenager, both on Facebook and in an email to the Post.
“And the meme in question obviously isn’t an attack on her ‘heritage’ in any way,” a spokesperson wrote in an email to the Post. “It merely points out the irony of someone pushing gun control while wearing the flag of a country that was oppressed by a communist, anti-gun regime. Pretty simple, really.”
King is one of several grown-ass adults working in government who have singled out Gonzalez with rightwing memes and other conspiracy-minded bullshit.
Earlier this month, a Republican candidate dropped out of a race for the 57th District in the state’s House of Representatives after calling her a “skinhead lesbian.” Over the weekend, a photoshopped meme showing Gonzalez ripping the Constitution in half started making the rounds.
Gonzalez first became one of the most recognizable figures from the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas when her rally speech directed towards the NRA went viral; on Saturday’s March For Our Lives, she spoke with strategic silence. As a high school senior, Gonzalez is already doing more to mobilize people than government officials, and they’re shitting their pants over it.