After the Michigan Republican Party faced intense backlash for using Holocaust imagery on its social media to oppose what it says are Democrats’ restrictive gun proposals, the new chair of the state GOP party did not apologize – in fact, she doubled down on the party’s post.
“Government abuse of citizens has not only happened in world history, but American history,” Kristina Karamo, the first Black chair of the Michigan GOP wrote on Twitter defending the comparison. “We will not be silent as the Democratic Party, the party who fought to enslave Black Americans, and currently fights to murder unborn children, attempt to disarm us. Our 2nd Amendment was put in place to protect us from aspiring tyrants.”
This is not the first time Karamo espoused controversial and sometimes bizarre comments, which are almost too numerous to list in their entirety, according to a CNN KFile review of her comments, mostly made over the last few years.
Karamo has claimed in the past that Beyoncé was secretly recruiting Black Americans to Paganism through a new album; that “demonic possession is real” and transferred via “intimate relationships”; and that acceptance of gay and transgender Americans will lead to the acceptance of pedophilia.
She has said that the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement are “Marxist witches”; that the theory of evolution is “one of the biggest scams ran on us in human history”; and that doing drugs is “witchcraft.” She has compared abortion to Pagan child sacrifice.
In the past, Karamo has also compared the media to Nazi Germany, saying media rhetoric about Republicans will lead to them being rounded up, killed and put in concentration camps.
A proud anti-vaxxer, Karamo has also said she doesn’t believe in vaccines – saying she won’t vaccinate her children and has only taken one vaccine herself.
After losing every statewide office and full control of the state government for the first time in nearly 40 years, Michigan Republicans elected Karamo – who made these comments and many others within the last few years – as their new state party chairwoman and the first Black person to lead the state party.
Karamo, an election denier who believes the 2020 presidential race was stolen, has also refused to concede her own 2022 race for Michigan Secretary of State, which she lost by 14 percentage points – the most lopsided loss of any statewide candidate last year.
Before she entered politics, Karamo worked as a community college professor and earned a master’s degree in Christian apologetics.
Karamo did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
Here is what the leader of Michigan’s state Republican party has said on a variety of issues.
Karamo, who has served on the board of Michigan’s Right to Life organization and on the board of an anti-abortion pregnancy crisis center affiliate in Detroit, is staunchly opposed to abortion. She has called abortion “child sacrifice” and a “satanic practice,” as CNN’s KFile previously reported.
“Abortion is really nothing new. The child sacrifice is a very satanic practice, and that’s precisely what abortion is. And we need to see it as such,” Karamo said in an October 2020 episode of her podcast “It’s Solid Food.”
“When people in other cultures, when they engage in child sacrifice, they didn’t just sacrifice the child for the sake of bloodshed,” Karamo said later in the episode. “They sacrificed the child cuz they were hoping to get prosperity and that’s precisely why people have abortion now. ‘Because I’m not ready. I don’t wanna have a baby. I don’t feel like it. I don’t have time. I wanna make more money. I want my freedom.’ So you’re sacrificing that child hoping to get something out of their death, which is your freedom, your happiness, your prosperity.”
In another episode from July 2020, Karamo said that humans have sacrificed other humans, including their own children, for “thousands of years, just packaged differently.”
“[People] were sacrificing them to these deities, which were really demons,” she said.
In other media reviewed by CNN’s KFile, Karamo called abortion the “greatest crime in our nation’s history.”
On transgender and gay Americans
Karamo has repeatedly attacked the LGBTQ community, accusing them of indoctrinating people with “sexual perversion” and equating acceptance of transgender people with the normalization of pedophilia.
In a November 2020 episode of her podcast, she said that the LGBTQ movement would “indoctrinate [people] with sexual perversion,” and that “pedophilia is going to be normalized.”
Karamo has baselessly connected transgender acceptance to pedophilia on several occasions.
“This is why people say the whole transgenderism movement is going to lead to the normalization of pedophilia.” she said in an October 2020 podcast episode.
“Because if you’re going to say the children have the sexual autonomy to change their gender, then how can you logically say they lack the sexual autonomy to have sex with an adult. You can’t, those things go against one another, it’s incoherent. It doesn’t make sense,” she added.
In the same episode, Karamo dismissed transgender identity as “a mental problem” and “ridiculous.”
On ‘demonic possession,’ paganism and Beyoncé
A devout Christian, Karamo has framed most things outside of her worldview as a direct result of “Satanism,” condemning everything from yoga (which she called a “satanic ritual”) to popular musicians to Democrats as “evil.”
As the liberal watchdog Media Matters first reported, Karamo has baselessly accused music stars like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Cardi B, Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish of being tools of Satan. She claimed Beyoncé used an album to convert Black Americans to paganism; that Cardi B was a “tool of Lucifer because she peddles filth in the culture”; and that Grande and Eilish put children under a “satanic delusion.”
She has also said that the “sexual revolution” was a “well thought-out orchestrated plan by Satan.”
“And you can see his fingerprints all over it, all over it, regarding how well organized it is and how effective it has been in encouraging and pushing people to rebel against God, causing all types of societal harm and ultimately causing so many souls to be lost into hell,” said Karamo in a September 2020 podcast.
Karamo has also denounced the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it “nothing but Marxism and Satanism in blackface.”
In a September 2020 podcast, she claimed Black Lives Matter’s leaders were “Marxist witches” and said,”it’s rooted in Pagan religion, and you’re channeling spirits and you’re performing satanic rituals to get your movement done.”
Karamo also believes that demonic possession is real, claiming it can be transmitted through “intimate relationships.”
“If a person has demonic possession — I know it’s gonna sound really crazy to me saying that for some people, thinking like what?!” Karamo said in September 2020. “But having intimate relationships with people who are demonically possessed or oppressed — I strongly believe that a person opens themselves up to possession. Demonic possession is real.”
On comparing the media to Nazi Germany and the ‘persecution’ of conservatives
An election denier who was backed by former President Donald Trump during her secretary of state race in 2022, Karamo has made unsupported allegations about threats to conservatives.
In a podcast shortly after the 2020 election, Karamo criticized the mainstream media and claimed it had promoted imprisoning and killing Trump’s supporters, comparing the media to Nazi Germany.
“Major news outlets are peddling that me and you need to die, we need to be dead or put in camps. Because again, how else do you remove people from society? By either killing them or putting them in camps? That’s it, there’s no other way to remove people from society. So they’re either calling for us to die or be put in camps, all because we back President Trump,” she said.
“Like I just mentioned earlier about Hitler. He got to that point. He didn’t just wake up one day and say ‘Okay, everybody, we’re gonna round up all the Jews, put ‘em in concentration camps, kill ‘em.’” Karamo continued. “No, it’s just step by step by step by step it got to that point. And it started with what the people on MSNBC are doing.”
She predicted that if court disputes over the election did not end favorably for Trump, “lists” would be made to remove, imprison or kill Republicans.
“If things do not go the way I hope they do through the courts for President Trump, it’s gonna be hell,” Karamo said.
“They’re calling for lists to be made. Tell me one Republican that’s calling for everyday Democrats and liberals and leftists to be put in camps or killed, removed from society, denied jobs, lists made,” she added.
Karamo has also characterized herself as an “anti-vaxxer” and peddled false claims about vaccination.
In a July 2020 podcast episode, she said she didn’t believe in vaccination and would not vaccinate her children. In a December 2020 episode, she said she had only been vaccinated once, during her childhood.
“I’m an unvaccinated person. I have – my mom gave me one vaccine when I was a little,” Karamo said.
Karamo made nonsensical claims distinguishing inoculation from vaccination. According to the definitions laid out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is virtually no difference between the terms, which refer to steps of the same process and may be used interchangeably.
As defined by the CDC, vaccination refers to the act of introducing a vaccine to produce protection from a disease; immunization, which is synonymous with inoculation, is the process by which a person becomes protected against a disease through vaccination.
“The problem isn’t the concept of inoculation, which I completely support,” she said in the December 2020 episode.
Karamo also suggested companies producing vaccines could not be trusted, adding that “the issue is that these vaccines have a bunch of additives and ingredients in there and they do a bunch of combo shots and we don’t know what’s in these shots they’re giving us. It’s just like, ‘Take it, shut up. Don’t ask questions.’”
In addition, Karamo relayed a story about a woman who claimed a vaccine caused her son’s autism and said that autism was skyrocketing due to vaccine use. The idea that vaccines can cause autism has repeatedly been debunked by scientific studies.