State Reps. Yonker, Gamrat have ugly ties to racism, homophobia

ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” story. It is an editorial by the editor.

Our two state legislators have alarmingly strong ties to former disgraced former lawmaker Dave Agema, who’s taking serious heat from within his own party for racist and homophobic comments.

Both Ken Yonker of the 72nd District and Cindy Gamrat of the 80th easily can be identified as strong supporters of Agema, Republican National Committeeman who has been urged by more than a few in the GOP to resign because he continues to embarrass the party.

Agema most recently posted on the Internet his approval of a “Very interesting article by a public defender. We are in a cultural battle. Very enlightening for anyone who is concerned about crime in America.”

The racist article, “Confessions of a Public Defender,” was published in the May 9, 2014, issue of American Renaissance magazine.

The author of the article said, “However, my experience has also taught me that blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well.”

This is not Agema’s first brush with delusional far-right rants. According to GOP-friendly MLive.com columnist Ken Braun (who worked for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy), “He (Agema) repeated the anti-gay rantings of a Ku Klux Klan leader just days before Easter 2014 and said an essay declaring ‘no Muslim had ever contributed anything positive to America’ was “eye opening.”

So Agema appears to be a racist, a xenophobe and a homophobe. I am disturbed Gamrat and Yonker have embraced him instead of distancing themselves.

Agema was guest speaker earlier this month for a Tea Party Pow Wow organized by Gamrat at Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant. Also part of the festivities were State Rep. Gary Glenn of Midland, an unabashed anti-gay politician who counts admirers of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke among his supporters. Another guest, disappointingly, was Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

When Agema made comments a couple of years ago about gays and lesbians being diseased and a scourge on our society, Yonker signed a petition supporting him to stay on in his politicial position.

According to a story on MLive.com, Yonker thanked Agema for “bringing forward the negative struggles the gay lifestyle brings.”

He also contended homosexuals are more at-risk of contracting STDs, more likely to suffer from mental illness, less apt to be monogamous and likelier to live shorter lives.

“I encourage all to learn more this struggle some live with, so we can understand and help them,” Yonker wrote on the petition before linking to a website that also includes information about “change therapies” for homosexuals.

It creeps me out that our two representatives in Lansing can be so bereft of rational thought. It’s like they’re both members of the Flat Earth Society and unwittingly subscribe to much of the philosophy of Adolph Hitler.

I’ve been told I’m paranoid to believe the Tea Party is quasi-racist, homophobic and horribly reminiscent of the early days of the Nazi movement in Germany 80 years ago. But I have studied history and majored in it during my college years.

I’m not stupid. I remember the past and I’m not interested in America being condemned to repeat it. It can happen here. Just substitute blacks and gays for Jews.

And I’m horribly disappointed in Yonker and Gamrat. They are at best running with a bad crowd or they’re taking us back to Germany in 1933, and we are willing accomplices.Pow Wow Tea

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