I go to the House and Senate GOP caucus websites fairly often to look for pieces to make fun of. It’s where I found Baumgartner’s piece the other day. But somehow I’d missed that they went with an offensive picture for another featured story. They had a press release about how they’re opposed to human trafficking. It’s an important issue, but they fubbed the execution.
Basically, despite the fact that most victims of human trafficking are women of color, they chose to illustrate it with a stock image of a white lady being grabbed by black hands (Spokesman-Review link).
This morning, the Senate Republican Caucus web site was down, and the photo was removed, although a spokesman for Committee Chairman Mike Padden said that was probably a coincidence. The hearing was more than a week ago, Eric Campbell said, and the site was rotating features to get more current things up.
We should note that this is a “stock photo”, one that has been used other places to illustrate sex trafficking or child pornography, primarily on web sites with ties to religious organizations. In some versions of the image, the hands over the mouth don’t seem to be quite as dark as in the above image.
It’s tough to figure out why the GOP has a problem attracting minority voters. And to be clear, I don’t think whoever put it up was acting out of malice: They probably just googled human trafficking, that came up, and they called it good. But they didn’t have any black folks in the office who’d see it before it came up to say, “google that a little harder.”