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Emineth's posts 'flat-out racist,' Emineth unfit: ND college GOP leader

Gary Emineth. Photo by Tim Albrecht/Grand Forks Herald

GOP Senate candidate Gary Emineth's social media activity entered a second day of harsh scrutiny Friday, with a senior leader of North Dakota's college Republicans calling certain items "flat-out racist."

Emineth's fledgling campaign is still facing questions after CNN published a Thursday piece detailing a range of activity from between 2012 and 2016. Select items include an image Emineth shared on Twitter that called for no new mosques in the U.S. When he posted an article about French anti-Israel protests to Facebook, Emineth added the comment, "Bunch of Arabs...what do you expect?"

Jamal Omar is a junior studying microbiology and statistics at North Dakota State University, and later hopes to attend medical school and become an infectious disease specialist. He's also co-chairman of the North Dakota Federation of College Republicans. Though he says the state party has treated him with respect, he says Emineth is not fit for the U.S. Senate.

"It's not an easy job being an Arab Muslim in North Dakota. The way I feel is that someone who claims to represent me is disgusted by me, thinks I'm less than him," he said. "I know many Arab Jews, I know many Arab Christians. That Arab generalization is kind of abhorrent, to say the least. ...I don't believe Gary is fit to be a U.S. Senator.

"I'm not someone who's quick to run around being outraged," he said. "It's just something that hit close to home."

CNN reported on a variety of remarks and shared materials on Emineth's social media feeds, including a reference to President Barack Obama as a "POS"—a common initialism for "piece of s***." Emineth claimed that he only recently knew that "POS" carried the vulgar meaning and that he had meant "POTUS," an acronym for "President of the United States."

Omar called the defense an "insult (to) everyone's intelligence."

Omar also said it's likely the state Republican party "freaked out" at CNN's report, as it associated the GOP's brand with Emineth's past activity. Kelly Armstrong, the state GOP chairman, was unable to be immediately reached for comment Friday evening.

Emineth also could not be immediately reached for comment. On Thursday, he appeared to walk back some of his activity, noting that "if they want to build mosques, they should be able to build mosques." He also said critics of his "bunch of Arabs" comment were overreacting, and compared it favorably to making a similar, offhand remark on Germans or Norwegians.

Emineth declared his campaign Jan. 31.

Sam Easter

Sam Easter is a City Government reporter for the Grand Forks Herald. You can reach him with story tips, comments and ideas at 701-330-3441.

(701) 780-1108