What’s your problem, 7th District?

The state Republican Party has rightly and swiftly distanced itself from a racist Republican who somehow rose to some sort of a position of leadership in his or her congressional district.

We don’t know which because the party isn’t identifying the person who posted on Facebook the racist photo of Minneapolis congressman Keith Ellison.



All of this sounded familiar. Another 7th District party leader, Jack Whitley, then the chair of Big Stone County Republicans, posted this in November 2014 on Facebook.


Then he doubled down when the criticism started.


His employer, a Hardware Hank store, fired Whitley, and a few weeks later, he resigned his Republican post.

“The Facebook post is in no way reflective of the values of our party or the values of the Seventh Congressional District, and the swift manner in which it was handled and responded to demonstrates our zero tolerance policy for hate speech,” new GOP chair Jennifer Carnahan said about the current mystery person’s Facebook post.

The 7th District is a terrific part of Minnesota full of remarkable people who don’t deserve to be painted with the broad brush that invariably results from the opportunity the occasional racist extremist provides.

Particularly in a rural part of the state, finding people to volunteer for party leadership at the county or district level can be difficult. But the answer isn’t to take whomever is willing to do the job.

Nor is the answer to protect the identity of racists who pollute the party’s name. The party owes the racist no favors.