INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) is facing backlash after posting a photo of a gallows with nooses under a Facebook news article about a black man pleading guilty to three rapes.
During an interview with WXIN, Rep. Lucas claimed the post wasn’t about race. He said he’s stunned that the photo has led to allegations that he’s racist.
The lawmaker said the photo is from a historical marker at an Arizona state park and shows public executions, a punishment he said he wants to see for rapists and violent offenders.
“Race had nothing to do with it, absolutely nothing, it is the crime and I’m more stunned at this than anybody that race was made the issue and it’s really sad to see so many people jump on board and purposely make it about race, overlooking the fact that this man is a serial rapist,” said Rep. Lucas.
Rep. Lucas also said he has posted the same photo for white offenders.
However, the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus said the image of a noose is a symbol connected to lynching of African Americans and that Lucas’ post was abhorrent.
“In this age and time, when we have just racism spewing from the federal level, we don’t need this kind of conduct from our state leaders at a local level,” said State Representative Robin Shackleford, Chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus. “Moving forward, I think everyone needs to take a hard look at themselves and see how are you actually being racist, how are you being bias, actually look and see what your actions are, think about are you actually hurting our community or healing our community.”
Rep. Lucas said his intent had nothing to do with race and if people view the post that way, “there’s nothing I can do about that.”