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GOP congressman's campaign questions Parkland survivor's 'communist' heritage

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WASHINGTON (CIRCA) - The Facebook page for Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King's re-election published a post Sunday criticizing Parkland, Florida, shooting survivor Emma González for speaking at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., despite her "communist" Cuban heritage.

González took the stage at the rally for six minutes and 20 seconds, the amount of time it took the shooter to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day. Images of González weeping on stage as she stood in silent protest were widely shared over the weekend. In the photos, González is wearing an olive-green jacket with several sewn-on patches, including a Cuban flag to represent her Cuban heritage.

"This is how you look when you claim Cuban heritage yet don't speak Spanish and ignore the fact that your ancestors fled the island when the dictatorship turned Cuba into a prison camp, after removing all weapons from its citizens; hence their right to self defense," said the post, which included a photo of González at the podium.

The post received hundreds of comments, many criticizing King.

“Are you SERIOUSLY mocking a school shooting survivor for her ethnic identity?!” wrote Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. “When it was my community, where were you? When it was Sandy Hook? Columbine? Were you on the sideline mocking those communities too? Did you question someone identifying as a mother? Did you question whether people like me were crisis actors?"

"Shame on you Rep. King for bullying a teen age girl who been the victim of gun violence. You disgust me," wrote Dan Foreman.

"Only a liberal could see this meme as an attack on her ethnicity," King's campaign team wrote in a comment responding to one critic. "It's merely pointing out the irony of someone wearing a communist flag while calling for gun control. But sure, assume something that's not there."

A spokesman for King told The Washington Post that the Facebook page is operated by King's campaign, not the congressman himself.

Last week, Leslie Gibson, a GOP candidate running for Congress in Maine, dropped out of the race after he received widespread criticism for calling González a "skinhead lesbian."

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