Prairie Politics

Insider dispatches from our writers on politics in Wichita, Topeka and Washington.

Prairie Politics

Kansas lawmaker posts online meme insulting Mexicans, Hillary Clinton

January 25, 2016 12:46 PM

UPDATED January 26, 2016 01:05 PM

A Wichita lawmaker says he shared a racially tinged Internet meme on his Facebook page by accident this past weekend.

Rep. Les Osterman, R-Wichita, said he hit the wrong button when he posted a “MEXICAN WORD OF THE DAY” meme on his page Saturday. The post depicted a man in a sombrero and Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton, paired with text that said “MEXICAN WORD OF THE DAY: BISHOP” and continued “CAN SOMEONE PLEASE SHUT THIS BISHOP?!”

Osterman said he hadn’t realized he had shared the image and deleted the post after receiving a phone call.

“That was a pure, honest mistake. I accidentally hit the wrong button,” Osterman said. “I’ve got to live with something I accidentally did. I regret it. Didn’t do it deliberately and everybody that knows my Facebook, has watched my Facebook page, knows that.”

Never miss a local story.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.

The lawmaker’s page is mostly filled with messages about Native American culture and U.S. military veterans.

The same weekend that he shared the “MEXICAN WORD” meme, Osterman, who has Rosebud Sioux heritage, posted multiple memes decrying historical treatment of Native Americans and poking fun at anti-immigrant furor with the message: “I HATE TO TELL YOU THIS BUT YOU’RE ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS.”

Another lawmaker, Rep. John Bradford, R-Lansing, shared a “MEXICAN WORD” meme that featured a derogatory message about President Obama earlier this month. He apologized after Latino leaders called the post racist.