On October 4, The Capital Gazette reported that John Grasso issued an apology for a string of anti-Muslim posts that he had shared on his Facebook page in September. According to Grasso, these posts were taken out of context and therefore misunderstood:
“One nation under God, Not Allah. America is not a Muslim nation. America is not an Islamic nation. America is a Christian nation.”
—Posted by Grasso, September 14, 2018
“Let this sink in … The same state department that found it impossible to rescue 4 Americans in Benghazi now tells us they will rescue 200,000 muslims and give them our benefits and housing free of charge. Your government no longer has your best interest in mind.”
—Posted by Grasso, September 16, 2018
“Share if you think President Trump should ban Islam in American schools.”
—Posted by Grasso, September 26, 2018
Grasso has deleted these three posts, yet his Facebook timeline remains filled with earlier posts that demean and endanger Muslims. On August 18, for example, Grasso posted an image of the twin towers in flames with the caption, “I’ll never forget who did this no matter how much Facebook defends them.” That same month, Grasso posted “Why do we send Men to War in mid- east and then bring the enemy here feed and house them give them a gun to kill us with (picture of bags of money).” One month earlier, Grasso posted “If you haven’t figured it out, democrats have chosen…Muslims over America.”
Grasso’s posts also insult, and sometimes threaten, African Americans, women, liberals, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community. He comes down hard on Barack Obama. In one post, Grasso claims that Obama “had sex with older white men in exchange for cocaine.” In another, Grasso claims “Obama ran guns for Mexican drug lords and gave billions to terrorists states.” In still another post, Grasso states that Obama is “a worthless son of a bitch.”
Grasso is generally unsympathetic to African Americans. A September 8 post shows a picture of African-American NFL players kneeling, alongside the caption “I have never seen a NFL player protest domestic violence, child abuse, animal abuse, rape or murder.” The image has a confederate flag stamped over it, a traditional symbol of white supremacy and African-American suppression.
In another post, Grasso implies that African Americans become violent when a member of their community is killed by a cop, but don’t care “when a drug dealer kills a 7 year-old girl.” Grasso mocks the Black Lives Matter movement with a post claiming that 81% of whites who have been killed were by killed by blacks. According to a 2016 U.S. News & World Report “The vast majority of homicide victims are killed by people of their own race. People tend to kill who they know.”
Grasso is scornful of people who do not conform to traditional gender roles. In one post, Grasso ridicules a boy who presents as feminine in hair and makeup. The boy is seated in front of a smiling man. A comment left on Grasso’s post notes “his Dad looks like he approves?” “Dam shame,” is Grasso’s reply. Another post features a picture of a young woman toting a machine gun. The caption reads “Folks keep talkin’ about another civil war. One side has 8 trillion bullets. The other doesn’t know which bathroom to use.”
Grasso has no sympathy for immigrants. His posts often reference immigrant crime. One post proclaims “Don’t separate illegal alien families! Do the humane thing! Deport the entire family.” The Washington Post reports that immigrant communities in the United States commit crimes at significantly lower rates than native born Americans.
Many of Grasso’s posts have no basis in fact. For example, On August 22, Grasso posted that “Oakland police raided the office of Councilman George ‘Big Boy’ O’Dowd on suspicion of forgery, Monday. They found thousands of fake social security cards, driver’s licenses, and 2,600 voter-registration forms—in Spanish” The post originated with a group known as America’s Last Line of Defense. The group is satirical. On their website, they state “Everything on this website is fiction.”
On August 31 Grasso posted a copy of a campaign ad on his Facebook page, featuring an endorsement from Governor Hogan:
“John Grasso, Mark Bailey, Patty Ewing, and Tim Walters have independent voices and are exactly the type of leaders we need in Annapolis. They will deliver real, bi-partisan solutions to the problems most important to Marylanders. I am proud to endorse them.”
According to Grasso, “A side effect of my words being taken out of context is that I was informed that I do not have the support of Governor Hogan…. an earlier version of a palm card stated that I had Governor Hogan’s support. At the time, I thought this to be accurate.” The palm card, with Hogan’s unauthorized endorsement, remains on Grasso’s timeline.
The Capital Gazette reported that County Executive Steve Schuh’s “was calling for Grasso to apologize and meet with the Anne Arundel County Muslim Council. When asked if Schuh would retract his endorsement if Grasso didn’t comply, Schuh’s campaign manager said there are no plans to rescind the endorsement.”
Grasso’s timeline speaks for itself. Citizens of District 32 should examine Grasso’s Facebook page before they decide who should represent them in the Maryland State Senate. All citizens in the county should keep County Executive Schuh’s endorsement of Grasso in mind when voting as well.
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