Critics outraged by Roseville school board member's 'racist' Facebook posts

Alfredo Francesconi shares controversial posts on personal Facebook page

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter , Paula Tutman - Reporter , Derick Hutchinson

ROSEVILLE, Mich. - Critics of the Roseville School Board are outraged over what they call racist Facebook posts targeting Muslims and African-Americans.

An elected official admits sharing the Facebook posts that are raising eyebrows and sparking anger in Roseville. The posts shared by School Board Vice President Alfredo Francesconi on his private Facebook page, suggest that all Muslims are terrorists and infer that all African-Americans don't vote.

Francesconi said he saw the posts and agreed with them, so he reposted them on his personal page.

Residents said just because he thinks things doesn't mean he should post them. Sarah Belemonte said believing ethnic and religious biases is bad enough, posts or no posts.

Before Monday night's board meeting, about a dozen protesters showed up demanding Francesconi be removed. He did have supporters, though. Three counter-protesters showed up and, while they weren't in support of his comments, they were in support of his right to say them

"What I am for is freedom of speech," Roseville resident Evelena Scott said. "At what point do feelings trump someone's opinions?"

The regularly scheduled board meeting was mum on the topic, except for four protesters who brought the issue up during public comment.

Local 4 asked Francesconi after the meeting whether he thinks he's fit to serve on the board after making the various comments on social media.

"I have nothing to say," Francesconi said. "It's all you're going to hear, OK?"

He left, leaving the rest  of his colleagues on the school board to answer rapid fire questions from the press and protestors. Board President Teresa Genest said they have repeatedly spoken with him privately about his inflammatory posts and told him they are inappropriate.

The board can't remove Francesconi. The only ones with that power are the voters, if they decide to mount a recall election. Superintendent John Kment said Francesconi isn't using district computers to post on social media, so there is nothing they can do.

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