After the August 3 mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed by a white supremacist, the Republican Party has come under fire for their recent hateful rhetoric and for escalating racial tensions in the country. Some of that criticism is coming from their side of the aisle as Nebraska state legislator Rep. John McCollister pushed back against what he sees as his own party’s compliance in “enabling white supremacy.” He says he believes history will not judge his fellow Republicans kindly for their recent behavior.
McCollister tweeted, “The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country. As a lifelong Republican, it pains me to say this, but it’s the truth.”
The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country. As a lifelong Republican, it pains me to say this, but it’s the truth.— Senator McCollister (@SenMcCollister) August 5, 2019
I of course am not suggesting that all Republicans are white supremacists nor am I saying that the average Republican is even racist.
McCollister pointed out that he didn’t believe ALL Republicans were racists or white supremacists but “the Republican Party is COMPLICIT to obvious racist and immoral activity inside our party.”
In his bold statement of discontent, he said,
“We have a Republican president who continually stokes racist fears in his base. He calls certain countries ‘sh*tholes,’ tells women of color to “go back” to where they came from and lies more than he tells the truth.”-Rep. John McCollister
In the Twitter thread, he implored his Republican colleagues to cease looking the other way, saying, “When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing,” he said. “The time is now for us Republicans to be honest with what is happening inside our party. We are better than this and I implore my Republican colleagues to stand up and do the right thing.”
We have Republican senators and representatives who look the other way and say nothing for fear that it will negatively affect their elections.— Senator McCollister (@SenMcCollister) August 5, 2019
When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing.
The Nebraska Republican Party responded via a tweet headlined, “McCollister should tell the truth and change his registration.” In the release, party Executive Director Ryan Hamilton takes McCollister to task for his views, saying, “John McCollister has been telegraphing for years that he has little if nothing in common with the Republican voters in his district by consistently advocating for higher taxes, restrictions on Americans’ Second Amendment rights, and the pro-abortion lobby.” He added, “His latest false statement about Republicans should come as no surprise to anyone who is paying attention, and we’re happy he has finally shed all pretense of being a conservative.”
Trump addressed the nation and called on Americans to “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy” but conveniently did not acknowledging his own part in the racist rhetoric, including his “go back” tweets to American Congresswomen.
El Paso native and 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke said on live TV that he thinks Trump is a white nationalist, referring to Trump’s remarks about the 2017 Charlottesville white supremacy and new-Nazi march when he said some “very fine people” were there.
On CNN, O’Rourke went on to say that the President is “sending a very public signal to the rest of this country about what is permissible, and in fact, even what he encourages to happen… These are white men motivated by the kind of fear that this President traffics in.”
Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren has said similarly, “Donald Trump has created plenty of space for hate. He is a racist. He has made one racist remark after another. He has put in place racist policies. And we’ve seen the consequences of it.”