The U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) wants its followers to be safe this MLK weekend, so it issued the following tip on its Twitter page:
And then it posted a similar message on Facebook:
MARSOC is a unit within Marine Corps' U.S. Special Operations Command. On Twitter and Facebook, the unit tweets photos and shares safety advice with its followers, most of whom are Marines. The posts were meant to encourage personnel to "look out for each other especially before a long holiday weekend," according to a statement from the unit.
The posts and tweets were deleted once users complained about the distasteful reference, according to Buzzfeed, and MARSOC has since issued an apology for the thoughtless social media messaging. In an explanation to Think Progress:
“When we were alerted to the potential that this military post could be viewed as insensitive or offensive when combined with the historical facts concerning Martin Luther King Jr., we immediately took it down and apologize for any untended disrespect or misperceptions. Commanders and Marines everywhere are being encouraged this weekend to reflect on Dr. King’s work and the principles he upheld. Martin Luther King day empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers and moves everyone closer to realizing Dr. King’s visions—we are proud to remember Dr. King’s life, sacrifices and accomplishments.”
Glad MARSOC realized that it could probably effectively encourage safety among Marines without invoking the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on the occasion during which we commemorate his life and sacrifices.