Minnesota GOP responds to hateful Facebook posts

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Minnesota’s Republican Party voted to strengthen its brand by appointing a new chair Saturday – South Korean American Jennifer Carnahan.

Just days into her term, Carnahan has taken a strong stance against “hate” perpetuated by members of the very party she represents.

“The post was hate-filled, it was repugnant, it was not appropriate and that's why I came out very strongly against it,” Carnahan said.

“We're not here to project any negativity towards any individual or any one particular group,” she added, addressing the islamophobia fueled by a member of the Minnesota Republican Party’s 7th Congressional District on Facebook.

“The person did submit their immediate resignation and it was accepted within the 7th congressional district in the State party,” Carnahan confirmed.

The since-deleted Facebook post refers to Representative Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) as a “Muslim goat humper,” and a “raving, Louis Farrakhan supporting, anti-Semite, anti-white, fascist American who’s been hunting with the District’s DFL Congressman Collin Peterson.”

“This shows the national political party and it shows republicans in the state that republicans in the 7th District are not ready to have the resources and infrastructure put in place to defeat Collin Peterson,” said Former Deputy Chair of the MN Republican Party, Michael Brodkorb.

Brodkorb, now a political analyst, says some 7th District party members have long proven to be problematic for the GOP’s reputation.

“They need training in both the use of social media and human decency,” Brodkorb shared.

Monday’s post followed a sexist meme shared on the same Facebook page last month featuring photos of Elizabeth Warren and Rachel Dolezal with the caption, “An Indian and an African walk into a bar… just jokin’ it’s just two liberal white women.” Another message that perpetuates the very stereotypes Carnahan was voted in to dissolve- a generalization that Republicans are sexists and racists.

“We've seen a dramatic rise in that incendiary rhetoric and it's unfortunate. It doesn't have a place in politics. It doesn't have a place in society,” said Brodkorb.

Carnahan, meanwhile, declined to share the identity of the person behind the hateful posts that date back to 2015.

“I feel it’s been dealt with and handled in an appropriate manner,” the newest party chair said.

Yet Brodkorb said the decision exemplifies how difficult it will be to police GOP volunteers and enforce a directive for the 7th Congressional district.

“This mindset needs to stop – this kind of belief that this kind of material can be posted on social media and not have some real-time ramifications,” nodded Brodkorb.

Rep. Ellison said he thanks both the Minnesota DFL and Minnesota Republican party for denouncing the hateful posts, not just for himself, but for all Minnesota families fearful someone may act on hateful ideas.

“I will press on, on behalf of the people of 5th District of Minnesota and the American people,” he wrote.