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Editorial: Hate speech has no place in Minnesota politics

The political race in Minnesota's 7th District's congressional seat in 2018 will be interesting. Republicans are again targeting Rep. Collin Peterson, DFL-Detroit Lakes, a member of Congress since 1991, who has announced he is seeking reelection next year.

Any political race, especially in today's political world, can be expected to get a little heated.

However, there is no place for hatred, racism or bigoted rhetoric by anyone, Republican or Democrat or any other political party, in any political dialogue.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened Monday night when an unidentified board member for the 7th District Republican Party posted a hateful social media post on the organization's official Facebook page.

The GOP post called Minnesota DFL Rep. Keith Ellison a "raving, Louis Farrakhan supporting, anti-Semitic, anti-white, racist and fascist America."

Ellison represents Minnesota's 5th District, which includes Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs.

Elected in 2007, he was the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress.

The image included with the Facebook post included text stating: "Collin Peterson has been sliding up to Minnesota's Head Muslim Goat Humper, Keith Ellison.

Heck, they're now Hunting Buddies. Does that mean Muslim Refugees coming to Western Minnesota."

The hate speech post remained published on the district GOP's Facebook page for several hours. This is not the first time the 7th District GOP's Facebook page has posted snarky political comments in recent months.

However, Monday's hate speech was simply reprehensible and despicable by anyone, let alone any representative of a major political party in Minnesota.

Angry commenters quickly flooded the page with posts to decry the 7th District Republican Party for the hate speech.

The offending post was removed several hours later Monday evening.

This latest post came just days after Minnesota's new Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan proclaimed that people are "going to have a really hard time calling us the party of racists and sexists."

Carnahan should be commended for quickly denouncing the 7th District GOP post.

"The recent 7th Congressional District Republican Facebook post is repugnant hate speech and in no way reflects the Minnesota Republican Party, or the 7th Congressional District Republicans," Carnahan said.

Carnahan then called for the immediate resignation of the individual responsible for the action.

Later Monday evening, she tweeted the 7th Congressional Republican Party had received the immediate resignation of the individual responsible.

Unfortunately, the 7th District chair Craig Bush has declined to release the name of the person responsible for the post.

"I don't believe his name needs to be released," Bishop told Forum News Service columnist Mike McFeely. "His views do not represent the ideas of CD7 Republicans. I have asked and he has resigned from our board effective immediately."

Really.

A member of your board posts a hate speech social post on behalf of your political organization and you don't think his name needs to be released.

A question for Mr. Bishop: How does the public know that the individual really did resign? Dave Hughes of Karlstad, who has announced he is seeking the Republican nomination to oppose Peterson in 2018, condemned the 7th District GOP's Facebook post.

"For months, I have not liked the tone of the CD7 Facebook pages. ... It is not how we should be conducting business," he said. The other announced Republican candidate, Rep. Tim Miller of Prinsburg, has not publicly addressed the recent 7th District GOP's hate speech incident. There just is no place for hate speech in any political party in the 7th District or our state, period. It is simply not Minnesotan.

This editorial is the opinion of the West Central Tribune's Editorial Board.

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