The chairman of the Republican Party of Cabarrus County recently shared a vintage photograph of a young woman, whom he and others deemed unattractive, alleging it was a picture of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford from the 1980s.
The implication from the post, many inferred, was that Chairman Lanny Lancaster was trying to suggest Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 35 years ago, was too unattractive to have been a victim.
Sharing a Facebook post from a different user, it’s hard to see how Lancaster, commenting on the image himself, wasn’t trying to make that point. “This is the alleged sexual assault victim. Wow,” he wrote in his post, according to reporting from Law and Crime.
Beyond the implication that the woman in the picture was subjectively too unattractive to assault, Lancaster’s post was criticized for another reason: the picture is a popular meme online, and not an actual image of Ford.
Many were quick to denounce Lancaster’s post. Frank McNeill, a Democratic candidate for Congress in North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District (where Cabarrus County is located), chastised the comments, and urged his Republican opponent to do the same in a Twitter post he made on Wednesday.
“It’s a shame this type of hatred and misogyny has trickled down to our 8th District,” McNeill wrote. “I hope [Republican Rep. Richard Hudson] will denounce this behavior by his county’s GOP chair immediately.”
The leader of the Cabarrus County GOP in NC shared this photo to mock Christine Ford.
‘This is the alleged sexual assault victim. Wow’
— Andy Specht (@AndySpecht) October 3, 2018
While speaking directly to the Raleigh News & Observer, which reported on Wednesday his sharing of the image, Lancaster tried to defend himself by suggesting he didn’t mean what some individuals inferred from his posting.
“I didn’t say anything. I just said this is her picture. Basically, the media is distorting the facts on this lady. Everything she’s said is made up. She has no evidence whatsoever. I support that theory.”
But Lancaster also made comments to the News & Observer that seemed to corroborate others’ ideas that not only did he believe this meme (which has been shared online for more than a decade) was Ford, but that his posting was supposed to set the record straight about Ford being attractive in the 1980s.
“The media wants you to think she was a beautiful young lady who was on her way home from the tennis courts…I just wanted you to see the real person,” Lancaster said. “I wanted people to see that this is really her.”
To reiterate, the image that Lancaster shared was not Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.