WASHINGTON — Carl Higbie, who has been serving as chief of external affairs at the Corporation for National and Community Service, resigned Thursday after CNN revealed racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT remarks he has made.
Although not a household name, Higbie was already known to organizations such as the Japanese American Citizens League and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus for citing the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans as a precedent for creating a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.
During an interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News shortly after the November 2016 presidential election, Higbie — then co-chair and spokesperson for the Great America PAC for Donald Trump — said, “We’ve done it based on race, we’ve done it based on religion, we’ve done it based on region … We did it during World War II with Japanese.”
The JACL said at the time, “Higbie’s attempt to cite Japanese American incarceration as a precedent for this type of action is frightening and wrong. It’s a statement intended to lay a marker for a misguided belief that ignores the true lessons of Japanese American incarceration … JACL believes that some of these same conditions exist today, where Muslim Americans are being singled out and unfairly targeted, and where the voices of leadership that should be speaking out against unfair treatment are not.”
“I am horrified that people connected to the incoming administration are using my family’s experience as a precedent for what President-elect Donald Trump could do,” Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) said at the time. “These comments confirm many Americans’ worst fears about the Trump administration, and they reflect an alarming resurgence of racism and xenophobia in our political discourse.”
Higbie was appointed by Trump in August 2017 to CNCS, the federal agency that runs AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and other volunteer service programs.
His resignation followed a CNN report on comments he made starting in 2013 as host of “Sound of Freedom” on Internet talk radio and as a guest on other talk shows. Following are a few examples.
On African Americans: “We’re promoting birth control to a black woman because of the incredibly high rate of children born out of wedlock that are under-cared for or not cared for at all. The taxpayers are tired of supporting government checks going to these people who think that breeding is a form of employment.”
On Muslims: “Well, people are like, ‘Well, you can’t hate somebody just for being Muslim.’ It’s like, yeah, I can. Do you hate people who rape little boys? They say, ‘Oh, of course. They’re just terrible people.’ Well, yeah, most Muslims believe that to have sex with men is OK, which I don’t like it all. But second off, it’s the ideology of a child molester. The ideology of a Muslim is what I don’t like. They are screwed up in the head and it makes, pisses me off.”
On soldiers with PTSD: “I’d say 75 percent of people with PTSD don’t actually have it, and they’re either milking something for a little extra money in disability or they’re just, they honestly are just lying.”
On undocumented immigrants: “What’s so wrong with wanting to put up a fence and saying, ‘Hey, everybody with a gun, if you want to go shoot people coming across our border illegally, you can do it fo’ free’? And you can do it on your own, and you’ll be under the command of the, you know, National Guard unit or a Border Patrol. I think stick a fence six feet high with signs on it in both English and Spanish and it says, ‘If you cross this border, this is the American border, you cross it, we’re going to shoot you.’”
On Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: “Nothing gets me going like Ted Cruz, when he went off on the Feinstein Bitch about the Second Amendment and he put her in her place. That was just fantastic. I can’t stand that woman. She’s another one. Her and Pelosi. I’d love to just take both their heads and smack them together a couple of times.”
On gay people: “Rhode Island, land of more liberals, has just okayed gay marriage … You suck, Rhode Island. Why would you do that? Go ahead and twist the knife a little, little bit more. I mean, you are breaking the morals, the moral fiber of our country. You know, I don’t like gay people. I just don’t.”
On Barrack Obama: “The Muslim who was born in Kenya — don’t even get me started on that … Harvard, up in Boston, he put on his fricking application that he was born in Kenya.”
In a tweet on Friday morning, Higbie said, “I’m sorry. I’m not sorry that my words were published, I am sorry that I said them in 2013. Those words do not reflect who I am or what I stand for, I regret saying them. Last night I informed the WH that I was resigning so as not to distract from POTUS’ many success.”
CNCS had no comment other than to confirm Higbie’s resignation. The White House had no immediate comment.