KALKASKA, Mich. — The village president of Kalkaska, about 230 miles northwest of Detroit, who shared Facebook posts condemning Islam and called for the murder of “every last Muslim” in June 2017 has been replaced in a recall election.
On May 8, the town’s 2,000 residents ousted Jeff Sieting and elected Harley J. Wales in his place as village president.
Sieting has said he is not obligated to apologize over his Facebook posts, adding they are protected by the First Amendment and that the people trying to remove him from office are doing so because they oppose President Trump.
Area native Cindy Anderson found the posts and along with others filed a complaint to remove Sieting.
One post Sieting shared said “there is simply no place for [Muslims] in our world.”
In one November anti-Muslim Facebook post, Sieting called for the death of all Muslims.
In a February post, Sieting wrote, “If you want a pet Muslim to feel all warm and fuzzy about yourself, go get one and drag him into your home to stay. Please. That way we can thin out you bleeding heart wanna-be liberals.”
In August, a group called Kalkaska for Peace circulated a petition urging the Village Council to denounce Sieting’s hate speech.
The petition included a public letter to Governor Snyder which read, “We have taken a strong stance against the hate speech that Kalkaska Village President Jeff Sieting has posted or shared via social media and has refused to disavow. It is our belief that advocating genocide and violence can never be tolerated.”
The petition called for Snyder to take a position against Sieting’s online posts so that the Village Council will also take a position and enforce the village’s ethical standards of conduct ordinance.