Shame on Tim Welker!
By: Mahmoud El-Yousseph
(TSGT USAF Ret.)
If this is not ugly racism in its rawest form, then someone please tell me what racism is! This lawmaker referred to the black victims of Katrina as lazy people awaiting government help. Mr. Welker confound me even more by his e-mail to his constituents in which he stated, "Be aware of Islam in America." He claimed that Muslims cannot be patriotic and loyal American citizens. He added that their loyalty is to "mullahs" who call for the destruction of Israel and America. What kind of trash talk is that?
Had he made similar remarks about Jewish Americans being more loyal to Israel than to America, he would have been nationally condemned, forced to resign or censured in the House for his remarks. America's Muslims should not be fair game!
Insulting African-Americans and demeaning Muslims is not what one expects of a public official. Such comments are dangerous and reinforce negative images among the people of Loveland as well as Colorado. One gets the impression that Mr. Welker is using prejudice and racial division to advance his political career.
I wish to challenge Mr. Welker's false assumptions. First of all, there are over 10,000 Muslims serving currently in our Armed Forces. Muslim soldiers took part in every war and major conflict since the founding of our nation. More can be learned about Muslims' and Arabs' contributions in the defense of America by visiting the website of the Patriotic Arab-Americans in the Military www.apaam.org
I am an American and also a Muslim who wore the uniform with pride and served for 20 years with honor in our armed forces. Just before I retired my oldest son also enlisted in the military. In 2004, he served 10 months in Iraq. The last thing he said before he left home, " If I die, I want to be buried at Arlington!" I was stunned and speechless. Thank God he made it back alive and not in a body bag. My point is, he did not learn about patriotism and loyalty at school, he learned it at home. It was a slap in the face to read such an insult coming from a lawmaker.
Patriotism and loyalty is not just about waving Old Glory, it is about loving your country and respecting other citizens regardless of their views and religious preferences. Above all is to answer the call of duty when your country calls upon you. As Muslim-Americans, my son and I did. That begs the question: where is Welker's DD-214 Form?
Welker's e-mails draw flak - again
GOP lawmaker sends essays on illegals, Muslims
Lynn Bartels And April M. Washington, Rocky Mountain News
More racially charged e-mails forwarded by a Loveland lawmaker to colleagues and constituents surfaced this week.
One essay sent by Republican Rep. Jim Welker discussed illegal immigrants who give birth in the U.S.
"These are illiterate Third World mothers who, like birds to a feeder, know a good deal when they see or hear about it," it said.
Welker did not write the essay.
In another instance two years ago, Welker forwarded an essay, "Beware of Islam in America," which said devout Muslims could not be patriotic Americans, the Loveland Daily Reporter- Herald reported Friday.
Welker has been under fire since March 10 when the Rocky Mountain News reported he forwarded an essay written by a black minister describing many black Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans as "immoral" and "welfare pampered."
Democratic and Republican lawmakers were outraged.
Welker apologized that day on the House floor, saying the essay was racially offensive and he should have included a disclaimer that said he didn't agree with everything in it.
But the furor continues.
A number of Republicans say they have deleted far more missives than they ever read from Welker, a prolific forwarder of essays he says he finds thought provoking, but which critics say are racist and homophobic.
Among those on Welker's list is former state Rep. Bill Kaufman, R-Loveland, who once held Welker's seat.
"Some of these e-mails are terrible," Kaufman said, adding he often deletes them before reading them.
Kaufman said he has fielded a number of calls from Larimer County Republicans who think Welker should resign.
Welker did not return phone calls Friday, but earlier in the week he said no one has asked him to step down.
Sen. Jennifer Veiga, D-Denver, said a year ago Welker circulated at least two e-mails that included disparaging remarks about gays and lesbians. Although "everyone was talking about it," she said, no one publicly took him to task.
"It's very sad we have someone like him serving in the legislature," she said. "I find his comments to be very homophobic and bigoted. He's an embarrassment to the legislature."
Veiga criticized the Republican Party for failing to hold Welker accountable.
Last October, Welker forwarded an essay by Frosty Woolridge about illegal immigration. In that e-mail, Welker did say he didn't agree with the author on everything but noted Woolridge "offers some very startling information!"
"We cannot celebrate or tolerate growing numbers of Charles Mansons from other cultures like Muslim terrorists among us," Woolridge wrote.
Former state Sen. Norma Anderson, R-Lakewood, said Welker is giving the party a black eye. She said she can't imagine Welker's district shares his beliefs.
But Welker told the Loveland paper he had received more than 40 supportive e-mails, and sent several to the newspaper.
Acting State Treasurer Mark Hillman said he used to get Welker's e-mails until he got a new spam filter. When he did get them, Hillman said he never read them because, "Who has time?"
"I don't find much free speech - from the far left or the far right - offensive," Hillman said.
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