A northwest Texas school board member has resigned after posting numerous comments on Facebook referencing the Ku Klux Klan in the wake of the Ferguson riots and protests.
Chris Harris, formerly on the board for the Hooks Independent School District, apologized for his posts — which included an image of a KKK member with the caption "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." Harris has since taken down his Facebook account, Raw Story reported.
But Harris said they were jokes and taken out of context and were fueled by a racism allegation against him.
"My comments and my statements were an emotional and extreme response to an emotional and extreme allegation," he wrote, according to KTAL-TV. "I was being accused of being someone who I am far from being; a racist." It's unclear what Harris meant by that explanation; TheBlaze reached out to him on Friday to learn more but Harris didn't immediately respond.
Harris' comments came in the wake of violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, last week over a grand jury's decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting black 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Harris' words were not original posts but comments on another Facebook user's post Monday, according to Raw Story: "I say the hell with the national guard let's bring the KKK in they will settle s**t down," he wrote in one comment.
Harris added another KKK reference, implying that the group would "come in and mop...up," along with an image labeled "Black Panther Hunting Club":
Harris also let loose with a expletive-filled reply to another commenter regarding the Ferguson protesters:
"You might not think its (sic) funny but by god IG is the freaking truth last night all those thugs tearing up s**t that wasn't their (sic) did nothing but show how damn dumb they were just because they didn't like the out come (sic) which was done by the law that gives them the right to teat (sic) up and loot other people's property bulls**t and I could tell that y'all racist jackass president was pissed to surprise his dumbass didn't do an executive order to convict officer Wilson and Eric. (sic) Holder will probably spend so more of my tax money to investigate why the 'mean white guy got away with killing the poor nice black kid' my ass deal with and deal why my freedom of speech."
And along with his KKK-"I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" image, Harris posted other memes apparently as part of the comment thread:
Later Harris issued an apology on Facebook, saying that his words were taken out of context and that he isn't a racist. "I grew up in a black community and I have always been proud to be from there," he wrote on Facebook, adding that the "last thing I would want to do is hurt those relationships."
Another apology from Harris was published by KTAL with a slight twist, noting a racism accusation fueled his comments:
I am deeply sorry for misrepresenting my views, my town, this district, and my patriotism. My comments and my statements were an emotional and extreme response to an emotional and extreme allegation. I was being accused of being someone who I am far from being; a racist.
I love all of God's creation, no matter the race or color; and that is the truth.
However, as a man and a leader of the community, I fully own my mistake and am fully prepared to face the consequences of my irresponsible actions. I seek reconciliation and unity....
Harris then announced he would resign; Hooks ISD Superintendent Ronnie Thompson on Thursday issued a statement regarding his resignation, which read in part: "The Board is conferring with legal counsel regarding what actions, if any, may be taken by the Board. The statements made by Mr. Harris are not reflective of the Board or the district. Mr. Harris is not an employee of the school district; he is a publicly elected official whose term expires in May 2015. Mr. Harris has submitted his resignation as of December 3, 2014."