Donald Rouse Sr. responds to viral selfie at Trump rally

Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 2:31 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Donald Rouse, Sr. has released a statement after a photo began circulating on social media showing him at a Trump rally in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6.

Lamar White, Jr., a publisher for Bayou Brief, shared a now-deleted photo on Twitter.

The picture came from Steven Galtier’s Facebook page, which has now been removed.

The picture unleashed a backlash on social media. One person posted on Rouses’ Facebook page, “I’ve always been a loyal Rouses customer. Mr. Rouse should have known his political views might affect his business. Now, no amount of staged remorse can erase even his tacit role in the events that transpired yesterday.”

“I don’t really, I definitely don’t support going to Rouse’s anymore if the owner is doing this kind of thing,” said Ellie Duff.

Rouse also said in his statement, he, “condemns the actions of those who unlawfully entered and damaged our hallowed institutions and threatened our public servants.” Rouse goes on to say the violence does not represent the values of the United States or of Rouses.

Some say a boycott isn’t necessary.

“He could have been there for a number of different things,” said James Armstrong, “It wasn’t necessarily that he was going to be actually involved in it. I’m not for it. I’m definitely not for it.”

Others on social media felt the same, someone posted, “Who cares who supports who!!! Everyone is entitled to do what they want and support who they want in an election. Big deal.”

Meanwhile, Breaux Mart issued its own statement, after screenshots of politically charged posts surfaced from an account under the name Barry Breaux, one of Breaux Mart’s co-owner.

The statement says in part, “one person’s opinions do not collectively reflect the views of Breaux Mart employees or management.”

“Remember, people on social media are trying to get attention,” said Tulane University Professor Ashley Nelson. “They’re trying to get the likes, they’re trying to get the followers, they’re trying to be relevant.”

Nelson says the use of social media is all about traction but she doesn’t know if people will actually stop shopping at Breaux Mart and Rouses.

“In some cases, it does snowball and in other times it’s over,” Nelson said, “a 24-hour cycle, poof it’s gone, next topic.”

In a statement, Rouse said:

I attended the rally yesterday as a supporter of the president and to be in our nation’s capital at the close of his presidency. I left before the violence began and was shocked and saddened to see it unfold on TV. I condemn the actions of those who unlawfully entered and damaged our hallowed institutions and threatened our public servants. Violence and destruction do not represent our country’s values, or the values of Rouses.

Though I am no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of Rouses, that’s my family’s name on the building and my actions reflect on my family, Rouses and this community I love so dearly. I’m horrified by the violence and destruction we saw yesterday and the pain it has caused so many. Our country desperately needs to come together to heal, and I will do everything I can to be a part of that process.

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