Here is a lesson for all the tea party pages out there on Facebook. When expressing your political opinions on social media, you MIGHT want to refrain from posting these types of images:
Yes, that is exactly what The National Liberty Foundation shared on its Facebook page over the weekend. Yes the very same West Palm Beach tea party group whose mission is as follows: “The National Liberty Federation (NLF) at LibertyFederation.com is dedicated to promoting awareness regarding our inalienable rights. Through educational endeavors, public forums and other mass communications, we seek to ensure our citizenry, members of the media, punditry, and government, remain focused on the importance of free enterprise, limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, and American heritage, as a means for perpetuating a free society.”
Looks like people are watching and this time it was MSNBC that found out about the image, and as you can imagine, the outlet wrote about it:
The National Liberty Federation, formerly known as the South Florida Tea Party, changed its name last January as part of a rebranding effort in the aftermath of President Obama’s reelection. The group’s founder, Everett Dickinson, told the Palm Beach Post that the group “wanted to differentiate ourselves from certain organizations that have the name ‘tea party’ and we can’t control.”
The group helped Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio burnish his credentials among tea party activists in advance of his successful 2010 Senate bid.
The video game, Bioshock Infinite, takes place largely in a floating city called Columbia and depicts a racist, xenophobic society where people worship the American founding fathers as religious figures. The image posted to the National Liberty Federation’s Facebook page is of an in-game mural that depicts George Washington bathed in angelic light as he holds the Liberty Bell in one hand and the Ten Commandments in the other, as racist carictures of minorities gather at his feet. The banner at the bottom of the image says, “It is our holy duty to guard against the foreign hordes.” There’s no indication that the image was posted ironically or that the poster understood that the game does not endorse the sentiments portrayed in the mural.
After criticism broke, the group apparently took the image down or changed the privacy settings on its page.
Yes, the image is no longer there, and NLF had a few things to say about it on Facebook:
To all the publications and visitors to our site who wrote about our post of December 14th, regarding the “BioShock Infinite” Propaganda.
We have a zero tolerance policy on racism and have removed the post, as it has done its job. We are not the “Red Cross” and firmly believe that the Constitution and the future of America is at stake. The reality is our voice is rarely heard in the media let alone in DC. Thus we are and will remain unapologetically Constitutionalists.
We want to let you know you brought us the best site advertisement we’ve had all year… We were litterally [sic] flooded with new people not only laughing at us, which we expected, but also congratulating us on seeing things differently and having the guts to post it…
We invite all the media to visit us whenever you need a good story and hopefully all the hordes of people will follow you as well… It’s time they heard the other side of DC politics and if our plan works, we should be gaining many new readers now that they know we’re here.
One more thing MSNBC, we are the National Liberty Federation, not the National Liberation Foundation… Get it right next time!!!
The Team at NLF
Guess NLF saw no issue with the image in the first place. Out of context of the video game it was racist. Simple as that. And most of its “new fans” agreed:
“Here’s a quote from Mark Twain that seems apropos—Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.”
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
“Terrible page. Breeding grounds for racism and ignorant discussions.”
And then there is this:
“There will always be a lighthouse, a city, and folks who don’t understand the word “satire.”
As for the video game itself, here is a trailer:
And an explanation:
Set in 1912, players assume the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, sent to the flying city of Columbia on a rescue mission. His target? Elizabeth, imprisoned since childhood. During their daring escape, Booker and Elizabeth form a powerful bond — one that lets Booker augment his own abilities with her world-altering control over the environment. Together, they fight from high-speed Sky-Lines, in the streets and houses of Columbia, on giant zeppelins, and in the clouds, all while learning to harness an expanding arsenal of weapons and abilities, and immersing players in a story that is not only steeped in profound thrills and surprises, but also invests its characters with what Game Informer called “An amazing experience from beginning to end.”
The image with George Washington in the video game is supposed to be “ironic,” you know, that the game’s creators are exposing our national ignorance. But you decide for yourself, since one critic of the NLF post actually raised some very strong points on Twitter with the game’s creator. Read for yourself:
— Ken Levine (@IGLevine) December 15, 2013
— Heidy (◡‿◡✿) (@HeidyHordeSnoo) December 15, 2013
— Jeff (@Jeevesmeister) December 15, 2013
The rest of the thread continues here.
As for us, SOMEONE was commissioned to create that piece of art. And eventually the “irony” of such an image would get lost. How could it not?