Get ready to pick your jaw up off the floor: Georgia Air Force officials are falling all over themselves to apologize for a recently planned MLK Day event being advertised as, of all things, a “fun shoot,” hosted right there at the local Air Force base’s skeet club.
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) January 14, 2016
Advertising the “fun shoot,” skeet shooting event on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Jan. 18, the inappropriate, shocking fliers were circulated across social media late in the day Thursday before outrage quickly grew and the fliers were taken down.
Georgia Air Force officials are calling the fiasco an “honest mistake,” but seriously – what could they have possibly been thinking? Can you imagine the U.S. military sponsoring a “fun shoot” event in honor of JFK? It’s not as if Dr. King was a big gun aficionado. We’re not talking about Robert Williams, here, or the Black Panthers for that matter.
True to bureaucratic style, Air Force officials offered a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution pawning off the responsibility of the flyer, stating that it was put together by a third-party marketing team – one that is certain to undergo “remedial training” as a result of the blatant, insensitive foul-up.
The statement read in part:
‘We realized the inappropriateness of the advertisement several days ago and immediately began removing the flyer. There was no malice of forethought in the flyer’s creation and it was never the base’s intention to portray Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in a negative light,’
Be that as it may, something just doesn’t add up. That flier was accepted, approved as okay, and circulated by the Air Force, but then the Air Force claims they realized themselves its inappropriateness “several days ago.” However, oddly, the flyer only started coming down after the public outcry, yet the Air Force is attempting to say they started taking it down on their own.
Why was it ever approved and circulated in the first place? It doesn’t take much critical thought and depth to see instantly how inappropriate and offensive such a flier certainly is, and would be, to many people, especially in Georgia – once King’s base of operations. Clearly, the folks at the Air Force base there in Georgia could use some cultural sensitivity training, as well – or at the very least, learn a bit of tact.
While the flyers have been pulled, it is unclear whether the event is still scheduled or has been cancelled.
There are countless ways to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, but a shooting event revolving around guns to commemorate one of America’s greatest leaders – a leader in peace, justice and civil rights who brought the practice of nonviolent dissent to the country, only to be assassinated at the end of a gun – is not only insane and extremely insensitive, it’s downright incompetent.
Featured image via Twitter screen capture.