Harris County GOP chairman-elect steps down amid fallout of problematic MLK social media post

The chairman-elect of the Harris County Republican Party Keith Nielsen is resigning Saturday after facing backlash for a controversial social media post.

“I regret that I must step aside as Chairman-elect of the Harris County Republican Party and will not be taking office on Aug. 3rd,” Nielsen wrote on Facebook.

On Thursday in a now-removed post, the Harris County GOP Chair Facebook page posted a famous quote from Martin Luther King Jr. The words “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” were placed next to the image of a banana.

“For hundreds of years, African Americans have been called monkeys, baboons, and so that symbolizes a derogatory term for African Americans,” said James Douglas, the president of the NAACP Houston.

Nielsen has not yet started in his position as the Harris County’s party chair.

In another post on Thursday afternoon, Nielson wrote in part: "It is unfortunate that the sentiment of the quote and my admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been overshadowed by people’s misinterpretation of an image.”

Earlier that same day, Nielsen told KPRC 2 that he has an app that “posts stuff," and he thought that day “everything is going bananas.”