The Facebook page from Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District Republican Party on Monday night featured a post with racist and derogatory language superimposed on a photo of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D.-Minn.
It was swiftly rebuked by DFL and GOP leaders.
Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Jennifer Carnahan issued a statement saying she had asked for the “immediate resignation” of the person responsible for the post.
In a phone interview a short time later, she would not identify the person who posted the anti-Ellison photo and words on Facebook but said that person “has been identified ... and they no longer represent our party. They resigned immediately.”
The post was up for several hours on Monday night. It has been taken down, but screen shots of it were posted on Twitter and other social media sites.
It featured an image of Ellison, dressed in camouflage hunting gear and posing with a wild turkey he apparently had shot. The post writer also derided U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., saying “Peterson has been sliding [sic] up to head Muslim [expletive] Keith Ellison. Heck, they’re now hunting buddies. Does that mean Muslim refugees coming to western Minnesota?”
Text above the photo cited writer David Horowitz describing Ellison as “anti-Semite, anti-white, racist and fascist,” and added, “And our current Rep. Collin Peterson take [sic] this lunatic Turkey Hunting.”
Carnahan said Monday night, “As chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota I absolutely would like to issue an apology to Congressman Ellison.”
She said, “The Facebook post is in no way reflective of the values of our party or the values of the Seventh Congressional District, and the swift manner in which it was handled and responded to demonstrates our zero tolerance policy for hate speech.”
Efforts to reach Ellison and Peterson were unsuccessful. Craig Bishop, chair of Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District GOP, echoed Carnahan’s statements.
“Just days after the newly elected GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan proclaimed that people are ‘going to have a really hard time calling us the party of racists and sexists,’ an official Minnesota Republican Party Facebook page featured a racist, hate-filled post about Congressman Keith Ellison,” Minnesota DFL Chair Ken Martin said in a statement Monday night.
“The ignorance and bigotry displayed in this post is staggering and disheartening. 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.”