While Minnesota Republican leaders and lawmakers condemned an offensive meme posted on the Minnesota 7th Congressional District Republican Party's Facebook page, Willmar's anti-refugee activist and failed 2014 and 2016 city council candidate Bob Enos shared his thoughts about the matter on this Facebook page on Wednesday.
Yesterday, Enos doubled down on his own incivility, making a crude joke on his Facebook page about the renaming of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. Enos commented on his own post that the historical Dakota name for the lake (Bde Maka Ska (“White Earth Lake”)) means something else entirely:
Read the article. The pronunciation and meaning of the proposed name change could be "bidet for white people."
Enos recently organized an April 15 pro-Trump rally in Willmar with St. Cloud anti-Muslim personality Ron Branstner (profiled here in This American Life) and Renville County Republican Terry Serbus, who was an energetic volunteer for 2104 state supreme court candidate Michelle MacDonald. One goal of the rally was to mobilize support for replacing MN07 Democratic Congressman Collin Peterson.
Enos on Ellison meme and Rep. Jim Nash:
Here's what prompted Enos' Facebook musings. In a Morning Hotdish e-newsletter earlier this week, Strib reporter Ricardo Lopez wrote:
New GOP Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan hasn’t been on the job more than two days but she sent a clear message Monday night after a racist Facebook post appeared on the page for Minnesota Seventh District Republicans. Aimed at U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the post was crude and called Ellison an “anti-Semite, anti-white, racist and fascist American.”
Carnahan issued a fast rebuke of the post and asked for the resignation of the individual behind it, though she did not name him or her publicly. DFL Chair Ken Martin criticized the GOP for the post.
Carnahan’s statement: “The recent 7th Congressional District Republican Facebook post is repugnant hate speech and in no way reflects the values of the Minnesota Republican Party, or the 7th Congressional District Republicans. I have asked for the immediate resignation of the individual responsible for this action. As Chair, I will not tolerate such activity from anyone associated with our party.”
The speed was unusual, but Carnahan’s swift response earned the praise of some supporters on Twitter, including state Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia, who wrote: “CD7 shows stupidity in great quantity. New MNGOP Chair does good job in rapidly condemning post and seeking resignation of idiots.” . . .
Enos shared the link, but was having little of the outrage against the post:
Bob Enos Frankly, calling Ellison anti-Semitic, anti-white, bigoted, and fascist may be a lot of things, but I don't see how any of that is racist. He's an elected politician, he makes a lot of bad calls, and he doesn't get a free pass. Even the "goat humper" comment isn't racist, if you think about it. It might be, were Ellison from a Middle Eastern country, or from Afghanistan, but he's not!
Enos reserved some of his scorn for Waconia state representative Jim Nash, a conservative Republican known for his strong policy positions on the Second Amendment.
Bob Enos Also, Rep. Jim Nash would do well from painting Republican in CD-7 with the same broad brush. He indeed sounds like an idiot - we have enough trouble with the Democrats slurring us, they don't need HIS help!
Bob Enos In other words, Nash should know better than to tarnish the image of all Republicans in CD-7 over the actions of one of his fellow idiots.
Lovely. At less he didn't call Nash a snowflake.
None of this is surprising. As Mike Mullen noted in Minnesota Republicans call Keith Ellison 'Muslim Goat Humper':
Only a couple weeks ago, conservative activists in the 7th CD held a "celebrate President Trump" rally, where more than one speaker -- including Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, a challenger for Peterson's seat -- said they were engaged in "war" with the other side. This offensive Facebook post credits conservative provocateur asshole (and recent Minnesota-visitor) David Horowitz for saying we are "in a war." . . .
That's the rally Enos organized. Such is the company Miller is keeping.
Enos Not Giving an Inch: Sad Dakota Language Pun
(Minneapolis, MN) -- The Minneapolis Park Board last night voted to change the name of Lake Calhoun. They have opted to to rename the waterway Bde Maka Ska (Buh-day mah-kah- Skuh) which translates from Dakota to mean “white bank lake.” Advocates for the name change lobbied against the lake being named after former vice president John Calhoun because they believe he was a supporter of slavery. The Park Board will now send a request to the Hennepin County Board. The panel in turn must hold a public hearing, vote to approve the change and then make a proposal to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
He then commented (screengrab above):
Bob Enos Read the article. The pronunciation and meaning of the proposed name change could be "bidet for white people."
One of his friends asked:
Michele Shelley Hedlund What does "bidet" mean?
Bob Enos It's sort of a toilet in reverse. The French use them in place of toilet paper, as it shoots water upward, over a porcelain receptacle that looks like a toilet.
Another Facebook friend later replied:
Lynn Woitalla So, they want to change the name of a well-known lake and call it a toilet for white people? And that's not discriminatory or insulting to anyone? So, only white's can use it??
Well, no, Lynn, "they" don't. It's solely Mr. Enos' notion that making a joke insulting Dakota people and their language is suitable for public discourse. One could argue rationally against reverting to the older name for the lake without making offensive pun, but Enos apparentlty can't stop at that. A good short review of the history and recovery of the language--and a moving short film--can be found at Dakota Iapi Teunhindapi: We Cherish the Dakota Language.
Understanding why Enos' "joke" is tasteless to the extreme isn't a conservative vs. progressive thing. Even the conservative Christian Minnesota Apostolic Prayer Network folks have taken up the historical sufferings of Dakota people, participating in a Dakota Honoring gathering in Mankato, Minnesota planned for the end of May.
Were Enos simply a private citizen, little of this would be a problem for Jennifer Carnahan and the Republican Party of Minnesota. The uncivil and racist speech would simply be yet another toxic old guy exercising his civil liberties to open his mouth and demonstrate just what an idiot (to borrow Jim Nash's term) like those individual Democrats leaving racist nastygrams for Carnahan that Mike McIntee reported in Racist Post Sparks Threats, Racial Slurs Aimed At MN GOP Chair.
Enos planned a pro-Trump event attended by party officials as well a both candidates seeking endorsement to run against Collin Peterson:
Representatives from the state and national Republican party thanked Willmar for their support.
"I want to take my hat off to you," said Janet Beihoffer, national committeewoman of Minnesota for the Republican National Committee.
Rick Rice, Minnesota Republican Party finance chair, said Trump is keeping his promises, adding District 7 is one of the GOP's main targets for the 2018 mid-term elections. . . .
Perhaps Carnahan's RPM will be a bit more discerning in the future, given Enos' own offensive, anti-native sentiments and supported for the MN07 party social media keeper the new state party chair sent packing after the Ellison slur. Enos seems to be part of that extreme flank of MN07 Republicans we described in A feature not a bug: what's up with MN Seventh Congressional District GOP social media?.
Images: Screengrabs from Bob Enos' Facebook page.
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