Mary Lemanski, the former Democratic Party of DuPage County social media director, apologized for her comments on Twitter that caused backlash across the social media platform and cost Lemanski her job Monday.
Lemanski drew the attention of various media outlets and pundits after posting a series of tweets linking Kyle Rittenhouse to the driver of an SUV that sped through barricades and struck dancers, musicians and others during a Waukesha, Wisconsin, Christmas parade.
“It was probably just self-defense #Wisconsin #KyleRittenhouse,” Lemanski tweeted about the tragedy that left five dead and 40 injured.
Lemanski also tweeted she believes that karma “came around quick on the citizens of Wisconsin.”
“I realize how hateful and hurtful my comments were, and I am truly sorry for the division and suffering I have caused,” Lemanski said via email Tuesday. “As a person who is generally always working for peace and harmony, I am ashamed of my behavior, and I hope the people of Waukesha will find healing and peace in the wake of this horrible event.”
Along with her position as social media director, Lemanski said she was also the precinct comitteeperson of Downers Grove Precinct 002 before resigning. Lemanski used to own property in Wisconsin, she said, and loves the state, which is why she was “so upset” about the Rittenhouse verdict.
A Kenosha County jury Friday acquitted Rittenhouse of all charges against him, finding the teenage gunman acted in self-defense when he fatally shot two men and wounded a third during a protest in Kenosha last year.
Though apologizing, Lemanski also said she felt her comments were misinterpreted to mean she was talking about individuals rather than society in general.
“I was lashing out at a verdict and not thinking of the victims of the Waukesha incident at all. I believe in collective Karma and that as a society we are always trying to maintain a balance,” Lemanski said.
Lemanski’s tweets drew immediate and widespread criticism. Along with those angry with her opinions, many Twitter users also threatened Lemanski and made anti-Semitic comments toward her, although she said she is Gnostic Christian.