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jeff sieting

Kalkaska Village President Jeff Sieting.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Religious groups and the ACLU are asking Governor Rick Snyder to show "moral leadership" in the face of emboldened hate groups in Michigan. 

The eight groups say the flames of hatred are already ablaze in Michigan, and President Trump's defense of racists in Charlottesville makes it urgent for Michigan's top elected leader to do more. 

Snyder issued a statement Tuesday that hate speech and violence are not welcome in Michigan. 

Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Kalkaskans aren't enjoying the newfound national media attention they've attracted the last few weeks, thanks to village president Jeff Sieting's Islamophobic, racist and transphobic Facebook posts.

Sieting, for his part, has not backed down from his statements. Just the opposite: he's given media interviews defending posts like "Kill them all - every last one" about Muslims and "Arm yourself and thin the heard" in regards to Black Lives Matter.

On Monday night, residents packed a village meeting to share a range of opinions and frustrations, from concern for the town's reputation, to support of Sieting, to local business owners saying they've already suffered losses due to negative press about the town.

Kaye Lafond

Controversy and protest erupted in the small Northern Michigan village of Kalkaska last week, centering on anti-Muslim Facebook posts written and shared by village President Jeff Sieting.

Last Friday, about 100 protestors gathered to demand Sieting's resignation.

a banner that says redneck revolt and we stand with you in arabic
Courtesy of Timothy Grey

A group called Redneck Revolt was in Kalkaska last Friday protesting the posts on Village President Jeff Sieting’s Facebook page.

Redneck Revolt is an organization whose goal is “to provide community defense for areas around this country at this time that are experiencing any kind of racial-based, misogynist-based, LGBTQ-based aggression and hate actions,” said Timothy Grey with Redneck Revolt.

A very large leather-vested man with a bald head and full beard gets in the face of a much smaller man, also bald, wearing glasses and a red handkerchief around his neck.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

A northern Michigan town is divided over a local official's Islamophobic Facebook posts.

Jeff Sieting is the village president of Kalkaska.

He's come under fire for a series of Facebook posts that call for violence against Muslims and other minority groups.

About 100 protestors calling for Sieting’s removal gathered in downtown Kalkaska last night.