Democratic candidate may pay for past Facebook sins

Tom Brock is running for a seat in VIrginia’s House of Delegates but, first he has to make it out of the Democratic primary.  This has become increasingly unlikely in past days thanks to the candidate’s own Facebook history.

In his campaign, Brock is using the slogan “Progressive Leadership You Can Believe In”. However, in reading through some of the things he wrote, it’s hard to see how the two things jibe.  These posts span they years between 2010 and 2016.  Also, to provide context, Brock is currently 48 years old. So, we’re not talking about a kid here.

So, what type of things did he post.  Here are some highlights.

In 2011, he posted this “joke”:

“Q: Why do kids prefer white teachers over black teachers? A: It is easier to bring an apple than a watermelon?”

In the same exchange, with his then 22-year-old son, they offered up this gem:

Why couldn’t Stevie Wonder read?  “cause he’s BL……ACK!!!!”

In another post, he referred to former first daughter, Jenna Bush Hager as a “slut” for kissing her boyfriend (now, her husband) on the White House roof.

Tom Brock says this situation was blown out of proportion.  According to him, he and his son were reminiscing on some jokes the son shared with him on a ski trip, when his son was 12.  Brock says the son learned the jokes at school.  Brock says he corrected his son about the jokes. He says that their Facebook conversation was his son asking him about the incident and Brock relaying the story.

The seat for which Brock is campaigning is critical in the Democrats efforts to take control of the state legislature.  As a result of these revelations, the party has called on Tom Brock to drop out.  The Dems are looking to avoid the messy campaign that these posts would inevitably create for Brock.  The party took the unusual step of endorsing one of his primary opponents.  In the wake of this, Brock’s campaign manager also quit.

Just a word of advice for job-seekers, at any level, clean up your social media histories.  Also, for some conversations, just use a telephone.

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An opinionated technologist, JP launched Death By Social Media when he saw just how easily and how often people's misunderstanding/abuse of social media created personal catastrophes. As a result, he wanted to provide a resource that would provide cautionary tales for those seeking to avoid similar fates.