This post has been updated.
A former executive director and general counsel for the South Carolina Republican Party is facing a firestorm after posting derogatory tweets about the late Trayvon Martin.
Todd Kincannon, who calls himself “The Honey Badger of American Politics” on his Twitter account, posted a series of incendiary tweets on Super Bowl Sunday, commenting on the blackout inside the New Orleans Superdome (Kincannon tweeted: “It hasn’t been this dark in the Superdome since all those poors occupied it after Hurricane Katrina,”) and even Beyonce Knowles’ halftime performance. But it was his tweets referencing the slain teen that drew the most outrage online.
Kincannon Tweeted that the Superbowl “sucks more d— than adult Trayvon Martin would have for drug money,” and despite angry responses from some on Twitter, he continued to tweet about Martin.
Kincannon drew some support, and he tweeted to someone called @DawnCatherine that the 17-year-old, who would have turned 18 on Tuesday, was a “dangerous thug who needed to be put down like a rabid dog.” UPDATE: @DawnCatherine had been tweeting in support of Trayvon Martin, battling Kincannon and others, but was misidentified as a “supporter” of Kincannon’s point of view on several blogs, including in an earlier version of this post. She later tweeted that Kincannon had posted a “misleading tweet” to make it appear she agreed with him.
Kincannon, in an interview on HuffPost Live Monday, defended his tweets stating they are “nothing more than satire” or “high-profile trolling.”
“The left has decided that Trayvon Martin was just this perfect little angel,” Kincannon said in a phone interview on the show. “He was a thug. He tweeted about drug use. This guy, he was a criminal, and the left has decided to make him some sort of martyr. That is what I don’t understand.”
“I think it is funny to make jokes that enlighten people on political problems,” Kincannon told HuffPost Live. He added that the point of satire “sometimes is to offend people [and] to teach a lesson.”
Kincannon later tweeted that his messages were simply “thought-provoking entertainment” and called out to the people who are reporting his tweets to authorities as a “danger” to free speech.
“I think it is time for a conversation in this country about why a conservative isn’t allowed to state an opinion that other people happen to disagree with, without having death threats and being threatened with all kinds of various ridiculous things,” he continued in the interview. “This is real problem we have. People talk about political discourse in this country — you might think what I said was tasteless, you’re welcome to. But should I get death threats as a result of it?”
Kincannon, who lists himself as “executive director, general counsel and parliamentarian” for the South Carolina Republican Party from 2004 to 2010, but who resigned the executive director position in 2010, after what a party source and a South Carolina political blog, FITSNews, said was just a few months, is currently an attorney at his private law firm, The Kincannon Firm.
Martin was killed last February in Sanford, Florida. George Zimmerman, 29, has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder in the case. A judge on Tuesday denied a defense request to postpone Zimmerman’s trial, which is scheduled to begin June 10th.
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