Michigan Jewish Democrats Call on Sen. Shirkey to Condemn Nazi Rhetoric, Cease Legitimizing Extremist Protests
LANSING, Mich. — Noah Arbit, founder and chair of the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s “Michigan Patriot Rally” in Grand Rapids headlined by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake):
“For the past month, Michigan’s Jewish community has watched with disgust as our state’s Republican leaders have attacked our Governor in indecent terms and played footsie with armed extremists and purveyors of Nazi rhetoric.
"Just yesterday, Majority Leader Shirkey addressed a rally that included a woman dressed as Governor Whitmer with a Hitler mustache. As with his Republican colleagues, Senator Shirkey’s presence at these rallies only serves to further legitimize the indecent, hateful, and threatening speech displayed there.
"Time and again, we have called on Michigan’s elected leaders to denounce such hateful speech. Michiganders deserve leaders who conduct rigorous, respectful, and tolerant debate on matters of importance to our state. In a moment of crisis for Michigan, Mike Shirkey has failed these most basic tests of leadership, to the detriment of all of us.
"As befits the responsibility of his office, Majority Leader Shirkey must cease attending these rallies and condemn without reservation any and all usage of Holocaust imagery in describing state officials’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the offensive comparisons of Governor Whitmer to genocidal dictator Adolf Hitler.”
CONTACT: Noah Arbit, Chair