Target: Jack Whitley, former Republican Party Chair of Minnesota’s Big Stone County
Goal: Thank Jack Whitley for resigning from his position in the Republican Party
A leader of a Minnesota county Republican Party chapter recently came under fire after incendiary comments he made about Muslims gained national attention. In response to widespread condemnation, he was forced to resign from his position. Applaud the former chairperson for taking the high road and removing himself from a position of power.
Jack Whitley, a chair of the Big Stone County Republican Party, recently posted a number of deeply offensive remarks about Muslims on his personal Facebook page. When confronted about his remarks by local and national media, Whitley did not apologize but instead doubled down, saying that American Muslims who would not convert to Christianity should leave the country and that his comments should be seen as a call to arms against the enemy. Thankfully, the passionate advocacy of people around the country who would not stand for such extremism, including those here at ForceChange, seems to have made an impact–Whitley was pressured to resign by other members of his party, and now no longer is a chairperson in Big Stone County.
In this political climate of the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News, it is all too easy to get discouraged against such a cacophony of ignorance and hate. Examples like Jack Whitley here serve to remind us that all is not lost, and that sense can still outdo bigotry. Sign the petition below to express your gratitude to Whitley for doing the right thing and leaving his leadership behind.
Dear Mr. Whitley,
I am writing you today about your recent decision to resign from your chairmanship in the Republican Party. I applaud your willingness to remove yourself from a position of power when faced with the desires of the public and of your party in the wake of your comments about Muslims here in the United States and around the world.
Muslims throughout this country have unfortunately been the target of bigotry and hate by many other Americans, a phenomenon that has resulted in Islamophobically-motivated hate crimes skyrocketing since September 11, 2001. Unwittingly or not, the comments you made served to foster these attitudes and perpetuate a culture of xenophobia and violence against Muslim Americans. Your resignation sends a powerful message that such bigotry cannot and should not be tolerated in political leadership, or indeed in anyone of any social strata.
I would encourage you to seize this opportunity and make further amends by publicly apologizing for your comments and taking up the offer of local Muslims in your area to meet and learn more about them and about their religion. Ending anti-Muslim bigotry and stereotyping is an ongoing process and one that every American should feel compelled to help with. While your resignation won’t fix it all, it is definitely a step in the right direction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: TownDown via Wikimedia Commons