Metro-East News

Lewis and Clark chairman under fire for anti-muslim Facebook posts

Lewis and Clark Community College’s new board chairman is under fire after he wrote and shared rhetoric on Facebook that some see as anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant.

David Heyen, who stepped into his role as chairman in late April, made the controversial Facebook posts in the weeks leading up to his swearing in.

Concerned citizens brought up the posts after Heyen wrote on Facebook “Wondering why measles and smallpox are back? Perhaps millions of unvaccinated illegal alien kids in public schools.”

Another post Heyen shared from a group called “Sons of Liberty USA” read “Does it worry anybody that we have three devout Muslims in Congress who have unlimited access to our top secret government documents?”

His posts were published online after being sent to the Missouri Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The group has called on the new chairman to resign.

“Anyone who shares such anti-Muslim, racist and anti-immigrant views has no business serving in a leadership position for any educational institution.,” CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed said in a statement calling for Heyen’s resignation.

David Heyen is the new board chairman at Lewis & Clark Community College. Lewis & Clark Community College

In a statement, Heyen said he shared the posts to “generate conversation” and said social media was a new concept to him.

“This now being used as a distraction by a small faction of people who are not happy that I have asked tough questions as a trustee and sought to hold the administration accountable and provide more transparency in the spending of our tax dollars,” he wrote. “Some would seek to distract our board from asking tough questions and getting answers the taxpayers deserve. We refuse to be distracted.”

Lewis and Clark Community College officials are “looking into” the matter and in statement said his posts do not reflect the college’s principles.

“These comments and posts do not represent the culture of Lewis and Clark,” the statement read.

A student at the college, Martino Britt, told KMOV he was shocked to hear about the posts. Britt called them bigoted and shocking.

“I was in disbelief,” Britt told the station.

Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.
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