Plymouth clerk facing probe for online post
The Plymouth city clerk is facing an internal probe and Metro Detroit advocacy groups are calling on officials to remove her over alleged social media comments some saw as discriminatory and anti-Muslim.
The controversy stems from remarks Linda Langmesser reportedly posted online in reference to a recent article in The Atlantic written by Rumana Ahmed, a Muslim woman who described leaving her National Security Council job within days after the start of the new presidential administration.
The Arab-American Civil Rights League said members learned that Langmesser had reacted to a piece shared on the Conservative Daily’s Facebook page this week titled “Muslim Woman Claims She Only Lasted Eight Days in Trump White House. Here’s What She’s Not Saying…” She allegedly wrote on the site: “Of course they don’t tell the whole truth, part of their culture. She is nothing but trouble and needs to be sent back so she can profess her love to the koran there where it is appreciated, not here!!”
That post appears to have been removed, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter reported Wednesday it was deleted.
But someone earlier texted a screenshot of the post to Plymouth officials, which prompted an internal investigation, City Manager Paul Sincock told The Detroit News.
“Once that is completed, that will determine a course of action,” he said Wednesday night, declining to elaborate.
Some activists want the clerk removed. “If Ms. Langmasser cannot present evidence that she did not post the anti-Muslim message on her social media account, she should immediately resign from her position,” CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid said on Wednesday. “No public servant should be representing the interests of the people and overseeing elections while at the same time holding clearly bigoted views.”
ACRL officials said in a statement: “As an employee responsible for conducting elections, FOIA requests, licensing, dissemination of information, ordinances, a Notary Public, record keeper, and chairperson of the elections commission, the clerk’s comments erode public trust in local government. While we stand for the protection of all citizens’ rights to free speech, such Islamophobic commenting by a city official towards the Muslim community is intolerable. The ACRL calls upon the City of Plymouth to take appropriate action to protect and defend the citizens they represent.”
Langmesser did not immediately respond to email and social media requests for comment Wednesday night. A messaging system for a phone number listed at her address was not active.
Sincock declined to comment on her status with the city but said the alleged remarks “do not reflect the values of our organization. … We spend a significant amount of time with our employees related to diversity issues, training on those types of things, which is why those comments were very shocking. We’re going to make sure we bring this to a conclusion that represents the values of the organization.”
The American-Muslim & Minority Advocacy League also advocated for action.
“The content of this post is outrageous, not to mention incendiary and dangerously irresponsible,” the group’s director, attorney Fatina Abdrabboh, said Wednesday. “Too often in our country’s history the messaging from city government of an ‘internal investigation’ is code for sweeping things under the rug, hoping things will blow over. If there was anyone else involved or responsible for this type of post, they should be removed or fired. We have and will continue to monitor this closely.”