For the past 13 years we have been blessed with what could be considered the perfect meme: Success Kid.
It's joyful in part for its simplicity – the image of a determined-looking toddler, sitting on a beach holding a fistful of sand has come to perfectly encapsulate that feeling of triumph we can all relate to. Someone tweets about cooking the perfect dinner? Reply Success Kid. Your friend texts you about a great day smashing the patriarchy? Reply Success Kid. Wake up being President Obama in 2013 and want people to care about immigration reform? Reply Success Kid.
But Success Kid and all he has given us doesn't exist in a vacuum. He is, in fact, a real person – Sammy Griner. And his mother does NOT want racists profiting from a picture of him eating sand when he was a baby.
Laney Griner tweeted yesterday that white nationalist and Republican representative for Iowa Steve King was using the image on a campaign ad asking people to "fund our memes".
Cringe, yes, but made pretty disturbing when you consider the fact that King is the guy who said he thought "white supremacy" shouldn't have negative connotations. Would anyone want their kid's face on there? We think (hope) not.
Giner was having none of it. Not only did she send King a cease-and-desist, but she publicly called him out on Twitter, making it perfectly clear that she does not give her permission for King to use the image.
Anything that makes life harder for someone with such reprehensible views is fair game in our book. We reply: Success Kid.