Community members are outraged after Islamophobic comments were posted under a photo of a sixth-grade class on Facebook.
A local resident from St.Cloud in Minnesota shared screenshots of the post and responses, highlighting that they were made by her “own neighbours,” who need to “understand the gravity of their words”.
She said that people had to act and mobilise by contacting the commenters’ workplaces and share the post to protect children from “being subjected to racial predators”.
The initial post by Gary Kopietz of the photo which contained the racist comments has now been removed.
The resident posted two screenshots of comments, some of which called the students “illegal.”
One comment read: “It’s time for real American patriots to walk up to Washington and start dragging out every illegal free rider support out of office…by the f****** neck!”
Another person posted: “They’re multiplying everywhere and we don’t know when they will attack us again. It only took a few men and 4 Planes to kill 3000 American’s!! When are we going to pack up all these Illegal’s and send them back where they came from?”
Others posted comments mocking the students’ hijab: “Women! Rip those hijabs off! You’re now living in a FREE country! Liberate yourselves from Islamic bondage!” a woman commented. “I don’t see not one girl without that thing on her head.”
Local community members called out the Islamophobic and racist statements on Facebook by posting their own comments.
Someone posted: “Why do they keep saying illegals?? Do they think every non-white person in America is an illegal?” whilst another community members wrote, “Apparently, you’re only legal if you’re a white, straight, Christian.”
It is unknown whether Mr Kopietz, the person behind the initial post, is affiliated with the St. Cloud Area school district.