Sometimes, even we here at Pith are speechless.
Coffee County Commissioner Barry West posted the above photo on his Facebook page last Saturday, with the caption "HOW TO WINK AT A MUSLIM." We should've known his explanation would only make things worse, but even our cynical souls have not lost the capacity to be shocked.
West tells the the Tullahoma News he "thought it was humorous." Behold more of West's rationale, after the jump:
West was asked by The News if he is prejudiced toward Muslims.
“I’m prejudiced against anyone who’s trying to tear down this country, Muslims, Mexicans, anybody,” he said. “If you come into this country illegally or harm us or take away benefits, I’m against it.”
The posting remained on Facebook until Tuesday morning after West was contacted by The News.
West, who said he is a Vietnam veteran, added that he wasn’t trying to make a political statement, but he was “making a point.”
West has been taking a real beating on Twitter, from various groups like the American Center for Outreach and the American Muslim Advisory Council, who are calling for him to apologize, at least. Coffee County Mayor David Pennington tells the Tullahoma News that West will probably not be punished for the comment.
Those groups are also asking people to call West and/or Pennington to tell him what they think of it.
If you're so inclined:
West: 931-728-9402 or email@example.com.
Pennington: 931-723-5100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.