Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller posted an article to Facebook Tuesday morning linking Illinois’ first “Barack Obama Day” to shootings in Chicago last weekend that left 12 dead and dozens more wounded.
“The downfall of a once great American city will be a major part of Barack Obama’s horrible legacy,” Miller wrote by way of introducing the article from “American Thinker,” a conservative online magazine. The post was liked 326 times and shared by 182 people within four hours.
The American Thinker article states that Chicago residents “commemorated the event in the way they know best: gang shootings,” later adding that there were “no comments from the holiday honoree himself, from his new mansion in Washington D.C.”
The Illinois Legislature designated Aug. 4 as a commemorative holiday to honor the former president. The law states that the holiday, which falls on Obama’s birthday, is meant to honor Obama’s legacy, including his work in the Illinois state Senate, the U.S. Senate and as president, stating he “dedicated his life to protecting the rights of Americans and building bridges across communities.”
The first-term agriculture commissioner has a history of sharing fake and misleading news and posting inflammatory statements to his social media accounts. In November 2016, a tweet referring to Hillary Clinton with a vulgarity was posted to Miller’s Twitter account. His campaign denied that Miller himself sent that tweet, instead claiming it was posted inadvertently by a campaign staffer.
Todd Smith, Miller’s campaign spokesman, told the American-Statesman that there is a “direct link” between Obama’s policies and the “crime and unrest that is occurring in his hometown.”
“President Obama’s policies, his encouragement of anti-police rhetoric and behavior, support of sanctuary cities and his general disregard for the rule of law as it applies to illegal immigration … and the fact that anti-Second Amendment policies … have turned Chicago into a hellhole,” Smith said. “This wave of crime, unrest, started during Barack Obama’s administration.”
In January, Chicago Tribune reporters analyzed homicides that have occurred in the city over the past 60 years. Data from the report shows the homicide rate in Chicago during most of Obama’s presidency was lower than it was in the 1990s and early 2000s.