In hate speech from GOP leader, a question of values

The new Republicans in the Minnesota House are vowing to set the agenda, MPR’s Tim Pugmire reported yesterday. It’s not at all surprising since the Republicans have swept into control of the Minnesota House, campaigning on primarily economic platforms.

But in his story yesterday, Pugmire raised a phrase not heard much during the campaign — “traditional values” and “rural values.”

Specifically, an incoming legislator said he wants to prevent private businesses from being forced to do business with homosexuals.

“People of faith need to be able to know that they can practice their faith in the way, in the tradition that their family has over many, many years, without being afraid of somehow violating the law,” said Josh Heintzeman of Nisswa.

“Rural values” and “traditional values” are fairly vague terms, which are often left to the rest of us — city slickers — to figure out what they define exactly. They often are intertwined with religion or “faith,” as Heintzeman said.

And that usually leads to the obvious question: whose religion and whose faith?

In Big Stone County, the chairman of the Republican Party is defining those values, at least for his neck of the woods.

Jack Whitley posted this yesterday on his Facebook page.

When he heard some criticism from Muslims, he didn’t back down late this morning, further clarifying the relationship between “terrorist” and “Muslim”.

“It’s very disturbing to see a Republican Party leader engage in outright bigotry and hate,” the Council for American-Islamic Relations said in a statement calling on Republicans to disavow Whitley’s values. “Without a clear rejection of these inaccurate and intolerant remarks, the party’s silence will appear to be agreement.”

“You have the right to follow any path of religion you choose, as long as it does not violate other people’s peace,” Whitley tells the Star Tribune. “Your association with those in your religion who have those terrorist activities, and your unwillingness to call them on the carpet for it? No, you no longer have the right to practice that religion if it infringes on the peace and the tranquility of this nation and the people around you. That nullifies your constitutional right to practice your freedom of religion.”

But that’s not at all the choice he gave Muslims in Minnesota. He said in his post that they need to “repent, except (sic) Jesus Christ, or leave the country.”

For the record, CAIR condemned ISIS long ago and did so again just this week.

“Just as we have denounced previous killings of innocent civilians by the ISIS terrorist group, we condemn the barbaric murder of Peter Kassig and once again repudiate the anti-Islamic ideology that produces such brutality. We also offer our sincere condolences to Mr. Kassig’s family and loved ones,” the CAIR statement on Sunday said.

Update 3:14 p.m. – Keith Downey, chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, issued this statement (h/t: Tim Pugmire) :

I condemn the outrageous comments posted on Mr. Whitley’s Facebook page. They could not be further from the Republican Party’s beliefs, nor more contrary to the efforts we have undertaken to include Muslim Americans, and every American, in our Party. We recently moved our office into the heart of Minneapolis, were proud to endorse our first Somali-American candidate for the state legislature, and have worked hard to welcome the fine Americans from these communities into our Party.”

““How such a violently bigoted person can hold a position of leadership in the Minnesota Republican Party is confounding and absolutely unacceptable,” DFL Chair Ken Martin said in a statement which called on Downey to demand Whitley quit his party position.

  • Jerry

    Republicans may not all be bigots, but they are who bigots vote for.

  • Dave

    Maybe they could call their platform “shovel-ready hatred.” How many jobs are created by bringing an agenda of hatred and intolerance to the capitol?

    p.s. lawyers don’t count.

    • DiamondDNice

      not even them. the legal job market really tanked in 2008. Plus they’ve spent 6 years opposing any bill that would help.

    • What agenda of hatred and intolerance would that be? You’re making this up out of whole cloth.

      • Landslug

        Nothing hateful about fragmentation grenades is there?

  • KTN

    The clown wrote “they either need to repent except Jesus Christ…”

    Why except Jesus Christ, shouldn’t Jesus be included.

    • Jen

      Jesus Christ should be included, but maybe not “Jesus Chist”. It’s very confusing.

    • Holly Baby Catkiss

      He meant to say accept, but we all know the far right’s grammar and spelling is almost non existent!

  • Tyler

    >at least for his neck of the woods

    I’m guessing that particular neck of the woods is somewhat red.

    • Kate Schutz

      Big Stone County typically votes for Democratic candidates.

  • Matthew Becker

    The worst part is that he has one of those combined Facebook pages.

    • Kassie

      Right!?!?!? His poor wife. Or maybe he now has plausible deniability and can say she wrote it.

      • Matthew Becker

        I’m going to bet that his wife is who deleted the page.

    • Racism? Maybe. Homophobia? Why not!?

      But if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it is a combined Facebook page.

  • Jim G

    Strong misguided words from a State Republican leader should be marginalized by other Republican leaders. They better do that or those “rural values” will be characterized as “country hick values”… unqualified to lead our diverse state. Wanting to set the agenda in St.Paul and being capable of doing it are two different things.

  • Michele

    The GOP caucus in the MN House has lost both Michele Bachmann and not Tom Emmer to Washington. I guess it was just time from them to reload on the crazy.

  • Robert Moffitt

    My ears picked up on Mr. Heintzeman’s comments, too. Imagine if a store in his district that refused service to Christians. Or hetro couples. Or Republicans.

    They use to say patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel. Now it seems to be religion….and Facebook.

  • a_tribe_called_chris

    Boo. What a hick.

  • David

    I used to pheasant hunt in the Ortonville area, but never again. If those people chose to elect a racist, christian terrorist to represent then, I have no desire to ever spend another dime in their community.

    • Grew Up There

      I grew up there as did my wife. Still have most of family in the area. Never heard of the guy. Knew his wife’s family and they certainly, not a one of them, act like this. The people of Big Stone County that I know are open-minded and tolerant and good.

    • Jim

      I agree. If Mr. Whitley is representative of the people in Big Stone County, why would I want to do business with them?
      If you live in Big Stone County and do not share Mr. Whitley’s bigoted beliefs, perhaps you should contact your Chamber of Commerce or party representatives to let them know how his opinions can backlash on the rest of the community.

      • Kate Schutz

        He in no way is representative of the people in Big Stone County. I live there. I don’t know this guy and have never heard people express this kind of bigotry, intolerance and lunacy. Every person I know has publicly condemned his comments. Many of them are boycotting the store where he works until he is fired, because we don’t want to do business with him either. Don’t lump us in with the likes of him. It is offensive.

    • Cosmos

      Mr. Whitley is the chairman of the Republican Party in Big Stone County. He is not a government official. Mr. Whitley was elected to his political post by a small number of political activists.
      I estimate there are a few hundred people at best actively involved in
      the Republican party at the county level. The first step was attending
      the Republican caucus on February 4, 2014. At the precinct caucus a few
      people were elected to attend the county convention, likely held on a
      Saturday 4-8 weeks later. This type of system makes it easier for people
      with extreme viewpoints to be party officers. I do not believe the
      hatred exhibited by Mr. Whitley is typical of most residents of Big
      Stone County.

  • a_tribe_called_chris

    Seriously,this is the trash that got elected. What are traditional values? Will they try to bring back slavery as well. Super offensive.

  • Chris

    It just seems strange that some guy out in Big Stone County is so worried about muslims. It’s almost like he’s been brainwashed by Fox news into thinking this is really a big problem for him. He would do well to turn off the TV and find some hobbies.

    I really do not hear anyone in Minneapolis say a word about having any problems with the way people in rural areas live their lives. Why is there such an inferiority complex and resentment in the red counties toward those of us who live in cities? As if cities are some new invention and the values of people who live in cities are not good enough.

  • Baba

    I would think that someone so knowledgable about Islam as Mr. Whitley would have read ‘Thomas Jefferson’s Qu’ran, How Islam Shaped the Founders’. Or maybe, sadly, he is just a xenophobe.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/29/thomas-jefferson-s-quran-how-islam-shaped-the-founders.html

  • jon

    If coming into this country (or being born here like many Muslims) and trying to dictate something is an act of terrorism I’d sure hate to be a member of the legislature where your entire job is around trying dictating things (things we call laws).

    Jack Whitley- Self proclaimed terrorists (and probably a waste of resources)

    • jon

      Oh, scrolling through his Facebook page further I found this tid-bit:
      “Gods grace does not sanctify you, nor does it protect you when you willfully enter satans territory and dabble in ungodliness. It is the truth of Gods word or rather obedience to Gods word, which will sanctify you. It is Gods grace which empowers you and gives you the opportunity to obey.”

      I’d love to hear which of Jesus’s teachings lead him to “FRAG ‘EM!”

      • boB from WA

        I’d like to know what kind of preacher/pastor has led him to that kind of belief. If he understood scripture, he’d know that it is God’s grace that sanctifies, and does protect when someone (either willfully or unwillfully) enters Satan’s territory. It is not obedience to God’s word per se, but rather believing that jesus died for all of us (aka God’s grace), and because of that grace we then are willing to be obedient. Finally I wonder if Mr Whitley himself understands that he too has “dabbled in ungodliness” (for no one is righteous, not even one). Does that mean he should be “fragged” as well? My advice: Mr Whitley do not judge unless ye be judged as well.

  • breadtree

    Beyond the hilarious jingoism, which I’m sure will get plenty of play, I thought I’d break down the tenuous grasp of the English language that the Chairman of the Republican Party in Big Stone Country clearly has.

    This is where I’m making my stand . -Unncessary space before the period, but OK.

    Muslims inTwin Cities Area are calling for me to apologize for a comment I made on facebook about them being. parasites and we need to frag them . 1) How about a space bewteen “in” and “Twin?” While you’re at it, how about a “the” in there as well? 3) Random period in the middle of the sentence. 4) Again with the unnecessary space before the period.

    I will not apologize and I will not compromise . – Another space before period, but otherwise correct.

    They either need to repent except Jesus Chist or leave the country . – I agree Jesus probably doesn’t need to repent, but I’m guessing he meant “accept.” A comma would go a long way in this sentence as well.

    Any Muslims or group of Muslims who do not stand against Jihad Muslim terrorist are consider part and parcel with the Muslim terrorist. – The good news is there seems to be only one Muslim terrorist in the world, but the bad news is that Mr. Whitley is really mad at him/her.

    I was just contacted by a reporter from the Minnespolis Star Tribune who will be writing a article on their blog site if you care to follow this story – Error free! Rejoice!

    Bravery is contagious , I am not a coward are you? – I’d have used a semi-colon, but a period would have worked in place of that comma.

    If Muslims think they can come to this country and dictate anything that makes them terrorist ! – “Terrorists” maybe? Or perhaps he’s using “terrorist” as an adjective?

    Lets see if your love for God and country,patriotism,extends any further than your finger tips on the keyboard. – Should be “let’s.” And I think he meant “God, patriotism, and country” without the last comma.

    If you want to consider this a call to arms,then so be it . – Noted

  • Jim G

    The Chairman’s ego has just imploded… forming a BLACK HOLE. I suggest the rest of the GOP leadership keep their distance or they risk crossing the event horizon and being sucked in too.

    • John Peschken

      I suggest they run like hell screaming their disavowal of this trash, rather than just keep their distance. This sort of foolishness tends to grow.

  • kevins

    I have some neighbors like Mr. Whitley…. often the first to help out in a blizzard, but also the first to use derogatory words to describe anyone not like themselves. And, they all have lots of guns.

    • John Peschken

      Maybe unfair to mix up gun ownership and bigots. It’s just not relevant. I have guns, but my views are as far as possible from this moron. I have mine to protect me from bigots. 🙂

  • John Peschken

    “traditional values” and “rural values.”

    As soon as I read this phrase I thought “Here we go Again”. I’m still hoping the nut-ball wing of the Republican Party is too small to have influence. They must know they won this time partly by keeping this sort of guy under wraps.

    • Jim G

      The population of Big Stone County is approximately 5,100 souls and falling… while the population of Muslims in Minnesota is over 160,000 souls and growing. Imagine if (self edited crazy idea)… nah that would be too confrontational.

      • Rebecca White

        I imagine many of us in Big Stone County would welcome the influx of new residents. And the departure of some old ones.

      • Nelson Kerr

        If it is like most counties in that neck of the woods, you would be made welcome by all but a few nut-bags.

  • John Peschken

    My religion prevents me from providing service to bigots.

  • Dylan K

    apparently his facebook account has been deactivated or deleted. i’m unable to locate it by searching and all the links in various news articles are dead.

  • Robert Moffitt

    “The Raw Story” has some other tidbits lifted from his social media ramblings before they were shut down. They show that this was not an isolated incident.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/11/witchcraft-obsessed-gop-county-chair-muslims-must-accept-jesus-or-leave-the-united-states/

  • jon

    Is this a situation where it is OK to make a comparison to Hilter on the internet?

    I’m just thinking if you replaced Muslim with Jew, terrorist with “untermenschen”, “mosque” with “temple” and “mecca” with “Israel”. Maybe translate the whole thing to German, and you’ve got a an excerpt from what could easily be Hitlers Facebook, or twitter feed.

    I guess this gentleman is just luck to live in a country where he can call for the genocide of a people and have that right protected under the first amendment.
    Though I suspect that most Americans (if polled) would oppose genocide,
    I’m pretty sure I read some where that most Americans oppose Hitler,
    So this seems like a pretty ballsy move for an elected official.

    • From a legal standpoint, there’s an argument to be made that his words constitute “fighting words,” in which case they’re not protected under the First Amendment.

  • Al

    Where were all you leftist nabobs when Ryan Winkler (D-Golden Valley) made his ”
    Uncle Tom” remark? Oh, we know, hiding under the rock called “hypocrisy”.

    • bbreferee

      Al – I hadn’t heard about Ryan Winkler’s remark. I don’t believe for one minute that the DFL is free from bigot morons. This might be a bit harsh, but George Carlin once said something to the affect of there’s a bigot on a corner of every street in America.

    • Ron Fresquez

      Al, I was an Executive on loan in North and South Carolina for 5 years back in the early 200’s. All my African American employees refereed to Clarence Thomas as an”Ol Uncle Tom.” They also refereed to his as a “Step N Fetchit.” As African Americans, they honestly believe he was and Uncle Tom.

  • Brent Olson

    I live in Big Stone County, my family has lived here since 1880 and I love the area beyond words of expression.

    However, if I felt that Mr. Whitley’s comments really represented the view of more than a small minority of the citizens of the area I would pack my bags. I hate writing comments and I hate controversy, but last week I was in a meeting with a lovely young woman, the same age as my daughters, who had a clever and ambitious plan to help her community. She just happened to be Muslim, wearing traditional dress. She doesn’t know me well, but she does know I live in Big Stone County and I simply could not stand the thought of her thinking that I would allow this comment to remain unchallenged.

    Sincerely, Brent Olson,
    Otrey Township,
    Big Stone County

    • Robert Moffitt

      Well said, sir.

    • E.Hart

      Brent,
      I completely agree. In my many visits to Big Stone County I have found an accepting and open-minded group of people. It is disturbing to think that one man’s distorted world-view is shaping how Big Stone County is viewed. It would be difficult to find a more welcoming place. For me, it’s heartbreaking to see Mr. Whitley’s comments at all, especially when he is surrounded by a community as great as Big Stone’s.

  • kay smith

    Jack could also use some English grammar lessons.

  • Tom Johnson

    If you asked him, he probably doesn’t think he is a bigot. The same could be true of those that voted for him in the election. Did they know he was a bigot before voting for him or do they secretly agree with him? That is the question.

    • Nobody voted for him. He’s the chair of the GOP in his county.

      • Tom Johnson

        Thanks for the correction. However, did the Republican party in Big Stone vote him into the position of chairman? My same question applies to whomever put him in a position of authority.

  • Ron Fresquez

    This outburst of Republican bigotry and hate is not at all surprising. Most Republicans are hard wired this way. Minnesota Republicans made most if not all of their gains in the election in outstate Minnesota, home of the old, white, angry, racist, homophobic, xenophobic uneducated voters. When I read Jack Whitley’s screed I see the ranting of an old, white angry, racist, homophobic, xenophobic uneducated white, scared male Republican voter. Welcome to the new Minnesota Republican Party, the Party of hate.

    • DJ Wambeke

      “Most Republicans are hard wired this way.” Nice generalization, that.

      • Ron Fresquez

        I stated MOST Republicans are hard wired that way not ALL Republicans are hard wired that way.

        • DJ Wambeke

          Still an awful generalization. Also, untrue.

          • Ron Fresquez

            Stop and think for a moment why Hispanics, Asians, African Americans, Women, college graduates, the working poor and young Americans all vote predominantly Democrat and not Republican, Could it be because Democrats aren’t constantly demonizing, marginalizing and denigrating these voting groups like the Republican Party does? Just wondering.

          • DJ Wambeke

            Do you personally know any Republicans?

  • Rebecca White

    To be absolutely clear: Mr. Whitley’s comments do not define values for our “neck of the woods.” They define his own values–values that may be shared by a few here in Big Stone County (unfortunately long magnified by the now-retired editor of the Ortonville newspaper), but they are not “rural values,” nor are they the values of the majority.

    The idea that Whitley was “elected” to serve in a leadership capacity for his Basic Party Operating Unit would be amusing if the platform it gave him wasn’t so abused. In a county as small as Big Stone, positions such as his are often filled by those whose primary virtue is a willingness to serve. So, yes, he was elected, but I’ve little doubt he ran unopposed. It is worth watching whether the county’s Republicans reject him–if indeed they are organized enough to do so. Who will be their new spokesperson?

    The urban-rural divide is a useful construct for divide-and-conquer politics, and that divide is only widened when reporting uses the same brush to tar and feather both the bigoted individual and the entire region in which he (or she) resides.

    • But that ignores the religious connotation of “rural values” as outlined in the story earlier this week. I don’t think we can gloss over that fact in criticizing divide-and-conquer politics

      There is a divide. An intentional divide. It might be gays vs. straights, or Christians vs. Muslims, but there is a divide and it is being mentioned as motivation to set state policy.

      So, no, I don’t think for a second that the portion of the state is as hateful as some of the individuals who have a platform because of the disinterest of others.

      On the other hand, if vagues phrases like “rural values” and “traditional values” are going to be tossed around, they’re going to be defined in the vacuum that’s created by the use of such silly terms.

      There is an intersection of religion and politics that is far sharper in some areas of the state than others. It’s worth continually assessing where that line is that one’s religion — including extremist interpretations of it — is to be imposed on those who don’t share it.

      • Rebecca White

        I do not know if the answer is to reject altogether the “rural” and “traditional” values terminology, or to work harder to counter definitions that include bigotry and hate.
        One concern is that many comments on this thread illustrate a lack of understanding about how position-filling works (or perhaps doesn’t) in a region with low population. In no way does that excuse Whitley’s comments, but it does help to explain how those with bigoted views come to hold such positions. While I am not affiliated with the BSC GOP, I would guess (and hope) that his radical, hateful stance was not known to those who elected him.

      • DJ Wambeke

        “On the other hand, if vagues phrases like “rural values” and “traditional values” are going to be tossed around, they’re going to be defined in the vacuum that’s created by the use of such silly terms.”
        This is a valid point. But there’s a certain sense in which all politics functions by appealing to not-precisely-defined terms, isn’t there? One strengthen’s one’s team when one gets people to join the cause, even if the new members don’t have the exact same view of the principles involved. I mean, look how potent the Occupy Wall Street movement was for awhile, as disparate as its members’ motivations were.

        I’m in a unique spot – I live a couple counties over from Big Stone but work part-time in St Paul. I’m socially conservative in many respects but with a distinctly urban aesthetic. So I get to straddle that rural/urban divide pretty closely. Mr. Whitley’s values are certainly not my own. But the general appeal to needing to safeguarding rural or traditional values does have a certain ring of truth to me. Especially when I encounter blatant geographic snobbery (like that on display in some of the comments to this post) or a misrepresentation of the actual principles invoked, as I think happened in this post. While I’m not affiliated with either, I don’t think Josh Heintzeman’s (and Rice Creek Hunting’s) actual views were correctly stated here.

        • Please go ahead and define “rural values.”

          For the record, I’d be at a complete loss to describe “urban values” and “suburban values.”

          Roads and bridges v. transit? I get that. But I don’t think that’s what’s being referred to in the phrase.

          “Traditional values”. I think we all know what that’s code for.

          • DJ Wambeke

            Replace “urban” with “Uptown” or “Macalester-Groveland” and append “values”. Are those terms a little easier to define? Agreed that such terms are nebulous, but there are definite discernible differences in outlook among people living in different geographic locales.

            For some, “rural values” might tap into resentment over regulation of all sorts imposed by policymakers who live in urban areas and thus removed from the local situation. Not just transit issues but things like business, environmental and land use regulation. There’s a sense (right or wrong) that such regulations have their priorities backwards: environment first, people second. There’s nothing intrinsically “rural” about this concern, just that the policies tend to get set in urban areas and rural folks have to abide.

            For others, it taps into moral issues: the sense that, as a society, our moral compass is eroding, not improving. Again, nothing intrinsically “rural” about this except that cultural trends tend to emerge among the movers & shakers in urban environs and radiate outward from there. The average person in Uptown has a very different way of calculating morality than someone in Luverne.

          • Dave

            I think you’re walking on thin ice.

            The problem comes when you attach a loaded word like “values.” You know, the way conservatives talk about “San Francisco values” or “family values.”

            I have values, you have values. People in Uptown have values, people in BuFu Egypt have values. What they’re really saying is, Our values are better than your values. It’s sowing division.

            Be kind to children. Call your grandmother. Root for the Packers. These are all values that you and I, and everyone in Uptown, and everyone in smalltown Minnesota, share. I would imagine that most people on earth share probably 95% or more of their values.

            “The average person in Uptown has a very different way of calculating morality than someone in Luverne.”

            Baloney.

          • DJ Wambeke

            The average person in Uptown has a very different way of calculating morality than someone in Luverne.
            “Baloney.”

            Then why did the residents of Uptown overwhelmingly reject the 2012 MN Same-sex marriage ban at a rate of about 4 to 1, whereas in Luverne (Rock county) it was more like 3 to 1 in favor? (stats aren’t exact; relying on memory here..)

            The be nice to your kids/grandma stuff is basic human empathy. Not what I’m talking about at all – perhaps I didn’t make myself clear. I’m talking about what sort of calculation one uses in determing whether or something is intrinsically right or wrong (or whether there is even such a thing as right/wrong at all).

  • Confounded by Them

    “How such a violently bigoted person can hold a position of leadership in
    the Minnesota Republican Party is confounding and absolutely
    unacceptable”. This tells you about the people who voted this person into a position of power as much as about the person himself. Shameful people who claim to love god. Shameful. They are all fearful little people who are trying to bully others into joining their warped belief system. God help us all if they think they represent christians or americans everywhere.

  • Markenheimer

    The denunciation by CAIR carries as much weight as Obama’s denunciation of the attacks on Isreal by Hamas and others. It is little more than obfuscating BS.

    • Keep going. Don’t stop there. I think you have a point you wish to make. Make it.

      Also, just so we’re clear: where are you from in Minnesota?

      • Markenheimer

        Why does my geographic location matter? Based on the content and tone of your posts following up on your article, I say you’re trying to incite a bumpkins vs betters antagonism. Not going to play that game.

        • Because you walked right up to the line and appear to agree with our friend in Big Stone County. If you believe the CAIR statement(s) are BS, that suggests you believe CAIR is in sympathy with ISIS (iSIL) and you must have a reason to believe that as fact.

          Are you from Minnesota?

          • Markenheimer

            Of course I have reasons. I believe the public CAIR, the one they let everyone see does not accurately represent their activities and sympathies. You choose to believe otherwise. That’s fine. I look at their leaders. I look at what they’ve done and said. I look at who they’ve associated with. I put weight on what the UAE thinks of them.

            Do you feel it’s helpful to divide Americans into subgroups based on where they live for political purposes?

          • I choose to believe what the evidence tells me to believe. I’m looking for what yours is.

            Do I think it’s helpful to divide Americans into subgroups based on where they live for political purposes?

            Well, I’m not the one who held a news conference to announce the incoming House members will be pursuing rural and traditional values as a matter of public policy.

            That’s why I’m asking for a definition of those values?

            Do you live in rural Minnesota? Maybe you can define them.

            Do I have a legitimate reason to demand an explanation from elected leaders? Sure,I do; I live here. How about you?

          • Markenheimer

            I’ve lived in many places. I’ve lived in states from one end of the country to nearly the other end. I’ve lived in rural areas, small towns and large cities. Where I live now is irrelevant. Although, I have lived in Minnesota for quite a while. It’s interesting that CAIR, representative for islam in America, calls for tolerance while Islam is not itself a religion known for practicing tolerance. As I said earlier. The UAE has designated them as a terrorist organization and both the FBI and DOJ have uncovered evidence pointing to that conclusion as well. Innocent until proven guilty? I’m not a court of law. I say they deserve more attention and I’m considering them under suspicion till they prove otherwise.

            I understand that it’s your job to question government leaders, It’s unfortunate that you cannot do so without prejudice. For you to say that I seem to agree with Whitley has little basis. You’re fishing and trying to stir something up with that. I don’t believe that all muslims are terrorists any more than I believe all MPR journalists are card carrying Alynskiite socialists.

        • JD

          Both of Bob’s requests seem more than reasonable to me. Answer the man.

  • This GOP “leader” heads up a very small county organization. The party has already condemned his statements.

  • Bongo

    If this is what the Minnesota Republicans stand for, you can kiss the party good bye. I’m a registered rep. from a Republican bastion (upstate NY where Cuomo lost all but 2 counties), but I’ll be kissing them goodbye as well. I’ve looked at the democrat party for possible assylum, but from their web sites find that there are just about as many haters there. Just hate different people for different reasons and their policies tend to enslave the poor. Just can’t do it. Probably will end up Libertarian, or maybe Italian.

  • Aliden

    I can only add myself to people from Big Stone County who disagree vehemently with this man. His views are so far from the views of the people I grew up with and the people I still love and admire in Big Stone County. These are, in the majority, good people – whether I agree with them or disagree with them, there is a basic goodness, which is what I consider a rural value. You can disagree with your neighbor but when times are tough, you help each other out.

  • Holly Baby Catkiss

    Lol. He should accept Native American beliefs or go back to Europe! Oh wait, Europe doesn’t want him!