White House Denounces Michigan Chants, Tlaib and Whitmer Silent

 April 10, 2024

A troubling chant rose above the crowd in Dearborn, Michigan, sparking national dismay.

The White House and local leaders have denounced the anti-American and anti-Israel chants at a Michigan rally, while Representative Rashida Tlaib and Governor Gretchen Whitmer have not issued statements.

The International Al-Quds Day rally, traditionally a day of protest against Zionism and Israel's control of Jerusalem, took an alarming turn when participants were heard shouting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."

The White House quickly addressed the issue when Fox News questioned Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. She confirmed that President Biden condemned the chants from the rally, emphasizing the importance of peaceful protest and the administration's stance against violent rhetoric.

Reactions from the White House and Dearborn Officials

During the rally, which took place in front of the Henry Ford Centennial Library, local activist Takek Bazzi led the crowd in chants he claimed were in honor of Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, the former Supreme Leader of Iran.

Karine Jean-Pierre, speaking on behalf of the White House, stated:

Peaceful protests are something that the president has also been very clear that, it's important to give folks space to peacefully protest. But any type of violent rhetoric, we are going to denounce.

This sentiment was mirrored by local leaders in Dearborn. Mayor Abdullah Hammoud expressed his disapproval, emphasizing that the chants did not represent the Dearborn community, which he described as "proud Americans."

The Middle East Media Research Institute captured the event on video, disseminating the footage widely and prompting a swift response from various officials and the public. While the city of Dearborn is known for its large Arab-American population and has been a site of peaceful protests and vigils, the aggressive nature of the chants at this particular rally has caused considerable concern and controversy.

Dr. Mahmoud Al-Hadidi, chairman of the Michigan Muslim Community Council, was also vocal in his criticism of the rally's chants, labeling them as hateful and unrepresentative of Muslims in the United States. Al-Hadidi went further to suggest that such expressions should be investigated as hate speech, highlighting the potential dangers they pose.

The Silence of Local Politicians Raises Questions

Amidst the vocal criticisms, the silence of some has resonated just as loudly. Fox News reported reaching out to Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for comments on the incident but received no immediate response. This lack of public commentary from the Representative and Governor, both of whom have significant influence in Michigan, has been noticed by constituents and political commentators alike.

Their silence is particularly noticeable given the context of other local events, such as the interfaith prayer vigil for Aaron Bushnell that took place outside the same library earlier in March. That event, which included a young girl holding a Palestinian flag, was marked by calls for unity and peace – a stark contrast to the divisive rhetoric of the International Al-Quds Day rally.


During the International Al-Quds Day rally in Dearborn, Michigan, participants were heard chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel," leading to a swift reaction from the White House and disapproval from local leaders. However, notable political figures from Michigan, such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, have not commented on the incident.

This situation has sparked a debate about the limits of free speech and the duty of public officials to speak out against hate speech. The circulation of the event's video online has raised concerns about its effect on the Dearborn community, which is known for its commitment to diversity and harmony. As the incident gains attention, people are eager to see how Michigan's political leaders will respond.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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