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ADL, political opponent issue statements on Higgins' post

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Posted at 1:48 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 22:10:32-04

Yesterday, we reported about a controversial Facebook post by U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins.

In his post, which contained photos of armed black men and protesters, Higgins says: "If this shows up, we'll consider the armed presence a real threat. We being, We the People, of Louisiana. One way ticket fellas. Have your affairs in order."

He went on to cite his experience with SWAT and said he would "drop 10 of you" where you stand.

Today, the Anti-Defamation League and one of his opponents are commenting on the post - which Facebook removed. A spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that the social media site pulled the post because it violated their policies on inciting violence.

We have forwarded the statements to Higgins' office and requested a response.

The ADL's South Central Regional Director Aaron Ahlquist issued the following statement:

“At a time of immense and seemingly insurmountable political divide, racial animus and increasing tensions, we would expect our national and community leaders to act in a responsible manner and actively dissuade supporters, or anyone for that matter, from committing violence or taking up arms to ‘defend’ against those they perceive to be enemies. It’s reprehensible that a sitting member of Congress would take to social media and openly advocate for violence. This behavior is dangerous and indefensible. Rep. Higgins should immediately apologize and commit himself to doing the actual work of addressing systemic racism and injustice by extinguishing the flames of racially motivated violence -- not pouring gasoline all over them.

We are better than this. Louisianans are better than this. Americans are better than this.”

And Rob Anderson, a Sulphur Democrat challenging Higgins in this fall's election, said he believes Higgins made the post because he was "relegated to the sidelines" when President Donald Trump visited Lake Charles, and needed to get some attention.

"No elected official in this nation in any office should be responsible for drumming up violence where there is no violence. To do so is literally to break the oath he took to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution. What is worse, that while Congressman Higgins is nothing more than a cartoon of a so-called "tough guy" those who listen to him and follow him are perhaps not so silly. What Congressman Higgins has done with his words inciting violence is to rally those who believe his words to arm themselves, and come into our district looking for war. This is absolutely the most reckless, negligent, and irresponsible thing a public official could do. If he had a shred of dignity, he would resign," Anderson said.

Anderson said he had reported the comment to "local, state, and federal law enforcement of the Congressman's threat and attempt to incite violence. We have also notified both House Democratic and Republican leadership in hopes that swift disciplinary action will deter other elected officials from following his vile example."