Rep. Rarick says she was ‘ghosted’ by Minnesota Democrats on Israel letter

"It was just ghosting. Every single Democrat just completely ghosted my communication to them," Rarick said.

Rep. Marion Rarick/Minnesota House of Represenatives

Rep. Marion Rarick says she was “ghosted” by Minnesota DFL representatives and senators after she reached out requesting their support for a letter chastising the University of Minnesota for its failure to address a series of incidents on campus surrounding the ongoing war in Gaza.

Rarick, a Republican from Maple Lake, spoke with Alpha News last week to discuss the incidents, as well as her colleagues’ reaction to her letter. Rarick told Alpha News that she has a history of struggling with the University of Minnesota over its stance on Israel, beginning with a department of the College of Liberal Arts publishing “basically an excuse for what happened on Oct. 7, and justification for it, and it was a lot of their indigenous professors and a few others.” At that time, Rarick and 25 of her fellow state representatives “wrote a letter asking them to please take that posting down, that it was offensive to the Jewish community. They didn’t.”

Rarick stated that she was informed by multiple individuals about the radical perspective of prospective Holocaust and Genocide Studies director Dr. Raz Segal, who in October “wrote all about the Oct. 7 massacre and wrote justifications for it and in turn called what Israel did in response to it a genocide,” she said.

Rarick commented that consideration of Segal for the directorship had prompted Karen Painter, a music history professor and wife of the University of Minnesota Law School Professor Richard Painter, to resign from the board of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

In addition to ultimately pausing the hiring process for the new director, Rarick mentioned that one of the primary goals of the letter was to “include the Jewish community within their own university into decisions like this.” Of the Jewish professors at the university, Rarick observed that “their voices were not listened to and they just were kind of dismissed. And my hope is that the board and the administration at the University of Minnesota would actually seek out the Jewish community in making decisions that directly affect the Jewish community.”

Rarick also revealed that University of Minnesota Regent James Farnsworth told her that the recent vandalism to the university’s Hillel chapter included damage to the interior of the building as well as the windows. Rarick stated that Farnsworth did not go into further detail about the nature of the damage.

As to why only one Democrat, State Sen. Ron Latz, signed the letter Rarick drafted, Rarick observed, “he asked me the same question, he said ‘well how did you reach out to people?’ and I said ‘the exact same way I reached out to all the Republicans.’” Rarick described sending two emails to all state representatives and senators, and to each of their legislative assistants. The latter email “asked every single legislative assistant to personally reach out to their member and ask them if they wanted to sign on. Which isn’t done very often. We reserve that for things that are really important.”

“Not only did I not get anybody else to sign on,” Rarick observed, “I didn’t even get acknowledgement from any other Democrat saying that they got it, saying that they don’t want to sign on. It was just ghosting. Every single Democrat just completely ghosted my communication to them.”

As to why all but one DFL member of the legislature refused to even acknowledge the letter, Rarick stated that she was unsure, but noted “the two Democrats that I have spoken to personally in regard to the whole conflict between Hamas and Israel, and these are two Jewish members, characterize the conflict as kind of equal on both sides.”

Rarick also alleged that the letter played a role in the university’s decision to postpone its search for a Holocaust and Genocide Studies director, but Interim President Jeff Ettinger “said nothing about 69 members of the legislature writing a letter. He didn’t say it in the public meeting. He said it in a private lunch with the regents later and apparently he read the letter to them, but he said absolutely nothing publicly.”

Rarick also spoke to ways the public could contribute to addressing the recent incidents at the University of Minnesota. “They should also raise their voices up and let the University of Minnesota know that the University of Minnesota should absolutely support the Jewish community within it and outside it,” she concluded. “I think the Jewish people feel silenced and they’re terrified and I think they need support.”

Alpha News reached out to the House and Senate DFL caucuses for comment but did not receive a response.


Evan Poellinger

Evan Poellinger, the Alpha News Summer 2024 Journalism Fellow, is a native Minnesotan with a lifelong passion for history and politics. He previously worked as a journalism intern with the American Spectator and an investigative journalism fellow with the Media Research Center. He is a graduate of College of the Holy Cross with degrees in political science and history.