(Editor’s note: This article contains adult language.)
A social media post had some questioning former Grayson County Commissioner Johnny Waldrip over the weekend after he shared an image that seemed to endorse running down protesters.
Waldrip shared the meme from a page called “Libtards; ya gotta love ‘em” that was started in 1999. The meme was posted there on Sept. 4 and has been shared 25,278 times and has more than 2,000 comments.
The meme says, “All Lives Splatter” and “Nobody Cares About Your Protest. Keep Your Ass Out of the Road.” It depicts a car striking stick-figure people with one in the air over the hood, one at the rear of the car and a third in its path.
Waldrip said he doesn’t remember the post and that he was on pain medication recovering from heart surgery at the time he shared it.
“If I posted something inappropriate, I apologize,” Waldrip said via text message. “It should not have been posted.”
He later added that same comment to the post; the post remained on Waldrip’s page as of Monday evening.
Just last week, Grayson County Commissioners approved Waldrip, a former county commissioner and Texas Ranger, as a representative for Grayson County on the Texas Silver Haired Legislature. When asked about the post on Monday, Grayson County Judge Bill Magers deferred comment to the leadership of the Silver-Haired Legislature.
“We appointed based on their recommendation/election,” Magers said.
The post may violate the organization’s code of conduct statement, which says, in part, “I, as a Silver-Haired Legislator, dedicate myself to carrying out the mission of the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature, and do hereby obligate myself to the highest standards of dignified behavior, precluding any conduct which embarrasses, offends or abuses others, especially in committee hearings, business meetings, during TSHL annual sessions, and at public forums.”
It goes on to say that, among other things, members pledge to “observe professional standards both in form and content for all public communications, including email, never demeaning others.”
The organization describes itself as a nonpartisan group that advocates for the interests of older residents.
“The Texas Silver-Haired Legislature provides senior citizens an opportunity to become directly involved in the legislative process,” says the TSHL’s mission statement. “Here a forum for older citizens has been established to debate issues and establish priorities based on the result of these discussions.
“Advocacy training is provided, enabling delegates to offer informed assistance on such policy matters. Our advocacy training also gives support to older citizens and private sectors, boards, and commissions.
“Our vision is that the applied wisdom, energy, and experience of aging will improve the lives of Texans through education, knowledge, and involvement in legislation and governmental affairs.”
Attempts to reach Sherry Hubbard, a spokesperson for the Silver-Haired Legislature, were unsuccessful Monday.
The meme seemed to strike some as particularly offensive given that it was posted just a few weeks after the death of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman, and the injury of 19 others when police say James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, drove a car into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia in August. Fields faces charges of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and hit-and-run.
Sherman resident and former City Council member Amy Hoffman-Shehan was one of the people who commented on the post over the weekend. In that comment, she said, “Shameful.”
She said she found the post shocking.
“(I) thought it was in very poor taste,” Hoffman-Shehan said. “I hate to think anyone who holds public office or is a former law enforcement officer would trivialize hurting or killing people who are exercising their constitutional rights to protest.”