Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who looks and acts like a French cartoonist’s caricature of a Texan, is a member in good standing of the state GOP’s brain trust. He fights for the rights of cupcakes and deep fryers. He has a big hat.
Miller is a man of the people, and he likes to communicate with the people on Facebook, which is the site where your aunts and uncles share memes. For the most part, Miller uses it as a place to share fun facts and bawdy, if slightly incomprehensible, farm jokes:
On Sunday evening, late on the Lord’s day, he shared something different:
Yes, you may be thinking, the peace treaty with Japan was signed on August 15, not August 9. But look closer at the meme. That’s a mushroom cloud. Miller, one of Texas’ most prominent elected officials, is endorsing the view that much more serious retributive violence against the “Muslim world” is necessary before the bad men go away.
True, ISIS and al Qaeda have killed a lot more Muslims than non-Muslims over the years and will continue to do so, and violence perpetrated by non-Muslim countries against Muslims is a jihadi’s best recruiting tool. But let us give Miller the credit of assuming he’s thought this through.
He took the post down by mid-morning Monday, shortly after it began circulating on social media and was mentioned by the “Texas Standard,” a radio program based in Austin. If you want to read some of the ghastly comments on the original, you can do so here. It’s been shared more than 7,400 times.
Texas hasn’t really grappled with the hatred that many citizens feel for Muslims, and it says something about both Texas and the world in which Miller is living that such sentiments can be expressed so casually by an elected official. Some seven months ago, state Representative Molly White, R-Belton, left an Israeli flag to ward off Muslims visiting lawmakers at the Capitol and left instructions that her staffers should ask them to pledge allegiance to the United States. The same month, Miller told a crowd in Austin that he worried that his grandchildren would one day live in an America that was a “Muslim country.”
In July, citizens of the North Texas town of Farmersville gained international attention when they expressed outrage that an Islamic cemetery might be laid out near them. These kinds of stories make Texans look like dolts. Responsible elected officials could, hypothetically, play a role in erasing unwarranted fears and prejudices. Don’t hold your breath, though. Maybe Miller will go back to posting cow vagina jokes.