KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sometimes, jokes can be hurtful.
That’s what some people living in Eastern Kansas are saying, after one of their elected officials shared a racially-based joke on social media. Directors at one community agency aren’t laughing.
The share button on Facebook is at the center of the issue. On Tuesday, Kansas State Delegate John Bradford, who represents the Lansing area, reposted a meme on his Facebook page. Some people complain that Facebook image paints Latino people in a bad light.
“It’s sad and disappointing, especially coming from an elected official,” Irene Caudillo, president at El Centro in KCK, said.
Caudillo is upset because that meme shared by Bradford pokes fun at people of Mexican descent and their accents, while making an off-color joke about President Obama.
“We can all laugh and think things are funny. What was disappointing in the fact was the image really depicted some racial connotations,” Caudillo said.
El Centro is a non-profit agency in Kansas City, Kan., providing social services to families in need. Caudillo’s agency isn’t in Bradford’s region, but a large portion of her agency’s clients are Latino.
“It’s disappointing that he thought it was respectful enough to share. It really was not,” Caudillo said.
Bradford removed that image from his social media account, but not before Caudillo saw it.
“For us to be OK with that image, and wanting to share it, what are we blind to?” Caudillo said.
Bradford issued the following written statement:
“I did not create the image, but I did share it, which was in bad taste. I regret that decision.”
FOX 4 News spoke with Bradford outside his home in Leavenworth County on Thursday. He didn’t want to speak on camera, but he said he could understand why some people would be offended by the meme he shared. Bradford is the same Kansas lawmaker who, last April, sent an email back to a Kansas constituent, telling the voter he didn’t need her opinion, so he was sending her email back.