The Michigan Federation of College Democrats Supports Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s Right to Free Speech

Lansing, Michigan-- January 8, 2019-- Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), who the Michigan Federation of College Democrats proudly endorsed in August 2018, has received backlash for language she used in a speech at an event on January 3rd in Washington D.C. Many, including The Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom, US Senator Joe Manchin III (D-West Virginia) and President Donald J. Trump, have admonished Congresswoman Tlaib and suggested that she needs to apologize for her remarks. MFCD rejects these admonishments and supports Congresswoman Tlaib’s First Amendment right to express herself with any words she so chooses.

After the 2016 election, the political norms in our country changed dramatically.  President Trump has discarded almost all norms of former Commanders-in-Chief and has instead chosen a braggadocious, often profane style from campaign rallies to high profile negotiations with American and foreign officials alike. More egregious than the President’s rhetoric, the Trump Administration and their Republican enablers in Congress have sponsored anti-women, anti-LGBT+, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-worker. Congresswoman Tlaib should not be held to a different standard of speech than the President. If such language is truly unacceptable in today’s politics than where is the criticism of President Trump? He has repeatedly tarnished the sanctity of his office with his words both as a candidate and while in office. In truth, this wave of condemnation against Congresswoman Tlaib reeks of the sexist double-standard that should not be in place in a Congress with a historic number of women in office.

The Michigan Federation of College Democrats will always support the free expression of ideas irrespective of word choice. Congresswoman Tlaib will continue to have our support and we urge everyone to move beyond this non-issue and focus on solutions for the American people.