Wisconsin GOP candidate superimposed the image of dark-skinned ‘Cheddar Man’ over face of Prince Harry’s fiancee, leading to a public outcry on social media.
On Monday, GOP congressional contender Paul Nehlen was banned from Twitter after he faced significant outrage over a seemingly racist tweet that he posted on his account featuring Prince Harry and his fiancée, Meghan Markle.
Nehlen superimposed the head of “Cheddar Man” on the British princess' face in his controversial tweet. The 'Cheddar Man' is a 10,000-year-old skeleton that was discovered in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century. Previously, it was believed that the ancient skeleton belonged to a white-skinned individual until a recent DNA analysis which proved that he was dark-skinned with curly hair and blue eyes. It gave rise to the theory that Britishers might not always have been fair-skinned.
The image was captioned, “Honey, does this tie make my face look pale?”
Let's make something clear, the 1st Amendment applies to Congress passing laws and doesn't apply to a publically traded company enforcing terms of service.— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) February 11, 2018
Paul Nehlen deserved to be suspended from Twitter for posting this. pic.twitter.com/HkUbAsZScM
Nehlen has attracted criticism from all sides of the congress as well as the public for his anti-Semitic and racist tweets. He is currently contending against House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District GOP primary this August. A spokesman for Twitter told media house Madison365: “While we normally do not comment on individual accounts, I can confirm that we have permanently suspended this account for repeated violations of our terms of service.”
This racist POS is running for Congress (I won’t RT the original image of Markle he tweeted earlier). But we need to send the message that “candidates” like this have no place in our government and we’d be happy if they live the rest of there lives under the darkest rock. pic.twitter.com/XoDHCmbOK1— Jenn Taylor-Skinner (@JTaylorSkinner) February 11, 2018
Nehlen's incendiary tweets made him highly popular among white nationalists. However, the alt-right community and its leader Steve Bannon, who was also the former chairman of Breitbart News, withdrew their support after realizing his unpopular stance on a lot of sensitive issues. Bannon had backed Nehlen while he was contesting against Paul Ryan in the GOP 2016 primary, but Nehlen lost more than 70% of the vote to his competitor Ryan.
Nehlen had sarcastically justified his tweet on Markle saying that the “Cheddar Man” study conducted by various scientists proved that "whites never existed." His Twitter account was suspended shortly after. Nehlen's controversial post was denounced by many prominent personalities, including Meghan Markle's co-star on the hit TV show "Suits", Patrick J Adams.
Adams slammed Nehlen by calling him a “sad and sick man with no sense of shame or class.”
Oh @pnehlen - you’re a sad and sick man with no sense of shame or class. Get a life. And don’t go anywhere near MM - she’s got more power, strength, honor and compassion in her fingernail than you’ll ever know in this lifetime. Way above your weight class.— Patrick J Adams (@halfadams) February 10, 2018
Nehlen then responded to the outrage with a tweet saying that he was using the Cheddar Man "joke" to make a mockery of some articles that apparently use scientific basis to conclude that white people never existed in pre-historic times. “I made a joke of it,” he said. “It’s not a laughing matter, so I chose to laugh about it.”
Twitter has suspended the GOP contender's account for brief periods previously. However, his latest stunt has probably cost him his social media handle permanently. Although Twitter does not publicly reveal reasons for banning accounts, this time it was profoundly vocal about it. On Monday, Twitter told Newsweek that the GOP contender to Senator Ryan has been permanently banned from their platform “for repeated violations of our terms of service.”
Nehlen has consistently thrown anti-semitic remarks on his account. In a recent tweet, Nehlen posted names, telephone numbers and email addresses of his most prominent critics where he claimed that most of his offenders were Jewish by faith. Many of the users featured on his list complained of being harrassed due to his post and reported his account to Twitter. The compiled list came out after his account had been banned by Twitter for a week. In response to Nehlen's 'Jewish enemies' tweet, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel put out an editorial titled “We must stand up to the small-minded, anti-Semitic bigotry of Paul Nehlen", openly criticizing him for his beliefs.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also called Nehlen an “outrage artist” who provokes the public to raise his profile among white supremacists and lure finance for his propaganda. It said: “It’s time to take a stand against bigots who enter the public square. Paul Nehlen, a candidate for Congress, is a bigot. Paul Nehlen has a right under the First Amendment to say nearly any hateful thought that pops into his head. The rest of us have the right to stand up, speak out loudly against him, turn our backs in disgust at his message and show our support for our neighbors of goodwill, whatever their faith, nationality or color.”
Here is the editorial by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
I see you have me on this list. I'm not Jewish...I'm a practicing Roman Catholic. But I'm in some pretty good company on this list...so feel free to say I'm Jewish.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 30, 2018
Also my name in Hebrew means "straight" but I'm not, so if you're going to do a gay list please add me..I'm single https://t.co/52OvD37cV7
In December, HuffPost had asked Nehlen if he was a white nationalist. The GOP contender allegedly dodged the question twice and when pressed for the third time, Nehlen refused to respond.
If you have any views or stories that you would like to share with us, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org