APR 2, 2013, 6:00 PM
No place in GOP for divisive voices like Agema
BY DAWUD WALID
Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema is up to his old hijinks of making divisive comments – further tainting Michigan’s GOP.
Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for and against gay marriage, Agema posted an article on Facebook , which refers to homosexuality as a part of a “filthy lifestyle.” In wake of this latest fiasco he still has self-identified Republicans who continue to cheer him.
It’s mind-boggling that Agema was even voted in as National Committeeman by state Republicans last year given his record for making fringe statements – and supporting divisive legislation while serving as a state rep.
This is the same guy who stated that Dearborn is infested with “sleeper cells” and introduced a frivolous anti-Muslim bill into the state legislature. He even pals around with – and has sponsored talks for – charlatan ex-terrorist Kamal Saleem (aka Khodor Shami), who gets paid to tell you how less than two percent of the population is going to secretly take over America. He’s also, in birther-esque fashion, suggested that President Obama may be a secret Muslim.
Agema supported Arizona-type immigration enforcement legislation that would have opened the door to racial profiling in Michigan by local law enforcement. Of course, he did not care that this alienated the state’s Arab and Latino communities as well as civil libertarians of other ethnic groups. He further endorsed making changes to the 14th Amendment – which grants birthright citizenship to all born in America – to wanting to make Michigan an “English-only” state.
I’m glad to see some within the Michigan GOP speaking up against Agema’s divisive rhetoric. The problem, however, is that there is still too much tolerance for such intolerance among Michigan Republicans – from many precinct captains to the governor’s office.
I have no problem when officials and elected representatives from any party voice their concerns from a policy perspective about any issue be it immigration reform or gay marriage. I hold strong positions for and against these and other issues. The issue becomes when discussion of public policy issues drifts away from civil discourse into the realm of name calling to zaniness.
Unfortunately for the GOP, they continue to be associated with the latter due to boorish talk from the likes of fringes like Agema. Part of the solution to this problem is that Agema types must be purged from any semblance of representing the party’s leadership or voice.