St. Paul, Minn. (May 1, 2017) — The Democratic-Farmer Labor (DFL) Party of Minnesota is expressing outrage over a racist social media post on an official social media page of the Republican Party of Minnesota.
The Minnesota 7th Congressional District’s Republican Party Facebook page reportedly posted Rep. Collin Peterson (DFL-7), who has been the seventh district representative since 1991. The post takes aim at Peterson for being close to U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5), the five-term congressman from Minneapolis who is a Muslim. The post, which used many vulgarities to describe Ellison, was apparently posted by someone with control of the site and was up for nearly two hours in the early morning of Monday, May 1.
The Executive Board of the Seventh Congressional District posted a comment on the same Facebook page saying it “deeply regrets” the post regarding Ellison. The individual responsible has had all posting privileges revoked and resigned immediately, the post said.
Recently elected Minnesota GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan posted a comment calling the post “repugnant hate speech” that in no way reflects the values of the Minnesota Republican Party, or the 7th Congressional District Republicans.
“I have asked for the immediate resignation of the individual responsible for this action,” Carnahan said. “As Chair, I will not tolerate such activity from anyone associated with our party.”
Ken Martin, chair of the Minnesota DFL Party, said the comments come just days after Carnahan proclaimed that people are “going to have a really hard time calling us the party of racists and sexists.” Carnahan’s comments pertained to a heated discussion during an April debate on the floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives, when House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) took exception to “white male” Republican colleagues excusing themselves to a lounge room while DFL members who were women and women of color debated GOP health legislation. Rep. Bob Dettmer (R-Forest Lake) took exception to the remarks.
Martinson said the post referring to Ellison and Muslims as “Goat Humpers” showed that the issues with the party run deeper than the comments on the House floor.
“The ignorance and bigotry displayed in this post is staggering and disheartening,” Martin said. “Americans across the country have witnessed a disturbing increase in this type of threatening behavior and fear mongering since the election of Donald Trump, and now it seems the Minnesota Republican Party is embracing it all too much.”
Martin said Ellison is a champion of inclusiveness in for Minnesota and across the country. He said Ellison works tirelessly every day to make Minnesota a welcoming place for all, regardless of ethnicity or religion.
“This disgusting, racist and hateful sentiment has no place in Minnesota,” Martin said.