On Sunday, a rural faction of the Minnesota Republican Party tried to make a partisan slam. Instead it got slammed for what one DFLer labeled “hate speech.”
A day after Gov. Mark Dayton met with Jamar Clark’s family and renewed his call for a special session to discuss racial inequity, the Minnesota Seventh Congressional District Republican Party mocked the DFL on Facebook for supposedly creating a “#Negroproblem.”
“MN DFL now propose a ‘special session’ to deal with their self-created ‘#Negroproblem,’” the post began.
The language was borrowed from a blog post the party shared from the website Our Black News. Written by the blog’s founder Don Allen, a self-described “political activist from the right,” the post ripped the DFL for ignoring the Council on Black Minnesotans’ priorities during the 2015 legislative session.
Naturally, DFL Chairman Ken Martin — the party’s point man for throwing political grenades — didn’t hesitate to fire away at the GOP’s “racist messaging.”
“You don’t have to look far to find ignorant hate speech masquerading as acceptable party messaging,” Martin said in a statement. “However, this is not the first time the Minnesota Republican Party and their affiliates have posted racially insensitive material.”
Indeed it wasn’t the first racially incendiary post to come from the GOP’s western Minnesota district’s Twitter account.
Only 10% of imported Muslims can stay off of Welfare. Obamalims are Deadbeats until they get AK47 in their hands https://t.co/yTJWzwhBqS— MNCD7GOP (@MNCD7GOP) November 14, 2015
Martin went on to call on Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Ken Downey to apologize for the post.
“While our community is still struggling with the death of a young man and trying to find answers for his family, the Republican Party of Minnesota decided to chime in with racist and bigoted comments,” he said.
By Tuesday morning the social media post had been scrubbed from the party’s district accounts. Craig Bishop, the district's party chairman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, Downey quickly apologized and announced a “Twitter moratorium” for the GOP’s district handle and that its social media person has been “relieved of duties.”
CD7 GOP Twitter moratorium in place and manager being relieved of duties. My apologies to all for their posts.— Keith Downey (@KeithSDowney) November 24, 2015
The racially charged post came a day ahead of a shooting at the Minneapolis police department's Fourth Precinct station, where protesters have rallied for more than a week. Five protesters were shot Monday night by white men described by those on the scene as white supremacists who were disrupting the rally.