Crockett Keller is a right-wing gun-nut in Texas who owns Keller’s Riverside Store. Keller is certified by the Department of Public Safety to teach people how to obtain and use a Concealed Handgun License. He paid for an “interesting” radio ad, which ran for six days, in which he specifically says he refuses to teach “socialist liberals” and “non-Christian Arab[s] or Mozlem[s].” In the ad, Crockett Keller says:
If you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame; I am Crockett Keller, thank you and God bless America.
He said later:
The fact is if you are a devout Muslim then you cannot be a true American. Why should I arm these people to kill me? That’s suicide.
KVUE-TV News notes:
It’s a stance Keller isn’t alone on. During this interview the instructor fielded nearly 40 calls congratulating him for the ad.
In fact, Keller’s anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry will no doubt be a boon for business, something that speaks volumes about how prevalent Islamophobia has become.
Keller and his supporters claim he has a right to discriminate against Muslims, but the Department of Public Safety, the same government agency that certified him to teach, says otherwise; they released the following statement:
The Texas Department of Public Safety certifies individuals to teach coursework and provide training required to be taken by individuals seeking to qualify for a Texas concealed handgun license. Certified instructors are required to comply with all applicable state and federal statutes. Conduct by an instructor that denied service to individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion would place that instructor’s certification by the Department at risk of suspension or revocation. The Department became aware of the statements in question yesterday and has begun an investigation into the matter. The Department will take appropriate administrative action based on the findings from the investigation.
Here’s a video of the ad, which would normally be amusing but we must take seriously the fact that many Americans feel the same way as him:
What’s not getting as much attention is the fact that this radio ad is shamelessly being promoted by radio host Michael Berry:
Berry gushed over this ad, calling it “the best gun commercial ever” and promised viewers “you’re gonna love it.” This is the same Michael Berry who said he hoped someone would blow up a mosque. Can you imagine, just for a second, a Muslim-American radio show host still on the air if he said he thought a synagogue should be blown up or if he promoted the same radio ad except it was “Jews” instead of “Muslims?” How fast do you think such a person’s career would be over?