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KSP faces backlash over image posted to Facebook

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 3:38 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A cover image on Facebook has created a flurry of comments for the Kentucky State Police.

The controversy is over this Facebook post with the slogan, “our color is gray, our gender is trooper”:

The controversy is over this Facebook post with the slogan, “our color is gray, our gender is...
The controversy is over this Facebook post with the slogan, “our color is gray, our gender is trooper”:(Kentucky State Police/Facebook)

Tuesday afternoon, Kentucky State Police made it their cover photo on Facebook and the post quickly generated thousands of comments and shares.

At least one fairness and gender equality group is speaking out against it.

“But, let me be clear, a uniform and a profession are not an identity,” said Chris Hartman with the Fairness Campaign. “To equate that with the color of someone’s skin or someone’s gender identity, is absolutely irresponsible.”

The image and saying is no longer the KSP Facebook cover photo but it was still on the page as of Wednesday afternoon, with thousands of comments and shares, mostly from people upset over it and calling it tone-deaf.

“The image with the words is disgusting. It’s discriminatory,” Hartman said.

Hartman was outraged by the message on the state police Facebook post, but he wasn’t alone. Thousands of people left comments, some in support such as one post that said “thank you for all you do...stay safe.”

But others were very critical, such as another that stated, ”What is this tone-deaf nonsense.”

State police issued a statement saying that over the past 25 years state police have used the phrase to demonstrate that the agency is committed to racial and gender inclusivity. But Hartman had harsh words for the phrase.

“I mean it’s quite clear that it’s racist, it’s transphobic,” Hartman said.

This latest controversy comes after a change in leadership after it was discovered that state police used a training video with quotes from Adolph Hitler and Robert E. Lee.

A state police spokesman also said that, before today, they were unaware of any concerns raised about the phrase and they look forward to discussing and learning more about the concerns raised.

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