The backlash against the 22-year-old Turlock woman who used a racial slur to describe President Barack Obama and then hoped for his assassination continues as she was fired from her job, came under the scrutiny of the Secret Service and has gained the ire of social media.
Shortly after Obama’s reelection was announced Tuesday night, Denise Helms took to her Facebook account and posted, “And another 4 years of the n*****…maybe he will get assassinated this term…!!”
The caustic post was picked up by Fox 40 News in Sacramento and the news station interviewed Helms outside a Cold Stone Creamery in Turlock where she was employed.
In the interview an unapologetic Helms told the news station she was mystified by the reaction to her comment.
“The assassination part is harsh and I’m not saying that I would go and do that or anything like that by any means, but if it was to happen I don’t think I would care one bit,” Helms told Fox 40 News.
The interview ended up adding more fuel to the fire burning against Helms as Cold Stone Creamery received numerous complaints about her and the decision was made to terminate her employment.
Cold Stone Creamery left a statement on their Twitter account distancing themselves from Helms and her remarks. “This employee is no longer with the company. Her comments are outrageous, completely unacceptable and in no way reflect our views,” the company’s statement read.
Helms’ comments also caught the attention of the Secret Service. A spokesperson for the agency’s Sacramento office said the agency treats all threats whether real or perceived seriously and investigates them. A person convicted of threatening the president can face up to five years in prison and a fine.
Helms and her comments also have garnered plenty of indignation from social media users, including Twitter users who linked her remarks to the “Yes, You’re Racist” account and the Facebook page “Disgusted Americans against Denise Helms,” which as of Friday afternoon had 33 likes.
Turlock Mayor John Lazar released a statement regarding Helms' comments assuring the public that the majority of Turlockers are respectful of the election process and elected officials.
"A fundamental reason for the strength of our nation is the election process. While campaigns are often filled with emotional issues and strongly stated positions after the votes are counted we are all responsible to support the will of the people. This is certainly the value that the vast majority of the citizens of Turlock exhibit. We are grateful for those who are willing to serve in elected office and we support them in their critical elected roles at every level of government," Lazar said.