An Open Letter To Rep. Di Santo

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Ms. Di Santo,

We have read your response to the abhorrent post you had at the top of your Facebook page for 12 days and find it to be equally abhorrent. Your statement is anything but an apology for your obvious disdain for people using their first amendment rights to express their views. It is also an obvious slap at the Black Lives Matter movement.

In your statement to the Rapid City Journal you say, “I am sorry if people took offense to it and perceived my message in any way insinuating support or condoning people being hit by cars.” Your statement places the blame on the person who, “took offense”, rather than squarely on your shoulders where it belongs. The picture in the post clearly shows people being hit by cars and there is very little room for misperception. You further clarified your intent when you typed your own caption, “I think this is a movement we can all support #alllivessplatter.” We are sure you are intuitive enough to see where we might “perceive” the slap at the Black Lives Matter without us spelling it out for you.

You went on to say that you, “Perceived it differently. I perceived it as encouraging people to stay out of the street.” We are not sure how you translate a visual threat of violence into encouraging people to stay out of the street. This is especially true considering that it has been just a little over a month since Heather Heyer was killed in this very same fashion in Charlottesville. A much more professional way to get that message across would be to simply say, people should not try to block traffic during protests as it can be dangerous.

Your post and your statement defending your post are not acceptable for an elected official. While it is fully within your first amendment rights to say or post whatever you like there will still be consequences for your choices.

Indivisible Rapid City

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