As protests against police racism and brutality continue to sweep across the country, the Texas Republican Party faces a growing scandal over racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories posted to social media by elected party officials at local and state levels. It’s time for Texas voters to clean house.
The Texas Tribune reported on Friday that at at least 12 GOP county chairs have published offensive social media posts related to the nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. The Tribune also reported on similar posts by Republican state Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. Together, the 13 make for a baker’s dozen of hate and bigotry. Among the posts from the GOP county chairs:
- Suggestions that Floyd’s death was staged. One post asks: “Why did the kneeling officer appear completely cool and calm, as if he was posing for the camera?”
- A quote about injustice from Martin Luther King Jr. includes the image of a banana, an echo of racist tropes comparing black people to monkeys.
- Suggestions that Jewish billionaire George Soros is the hidden hand behind the protests, a common anti-Semitic trope.
- Suggestions that opponents of President Trump are orchestrating the protests in an effort to start a race war.
Miller has posted multiple memes and comments echoing such trash. One post includes an image of Soros with this text: “Climate change didn’t work. Impeachment didn’t work. The virus didn’t work. Start the race war.” Miller included his own comment about Soros: “The man is pure evil!” Another post from Miller declares: “The so-called ‘protestors’ are, in fact, domestic terrorists who were organized and paid for by George Soros to further divide our country.”
On top of all this, Bexar County (San Antonio) GOP chairwoman, Cynthia Brehm, has declared that the COVID-19 pandemic is a Democratic hoax and actually urged people to put themselves at risk of infection:
“Why is this happening today? And I’ll tell you why: all of this has been promulgated by the Democrats to undo all the good President Trump has done for our country — and they are worried. So, take off your masks, exercise your constitutional rights. Stand up, speak up and vote Republican.”
And just two months ago, Texas Senator John Cornyn made racist (and false) claims blaming Chinese culture for the spread of the COVID-19.
This racism and unhinged conspiracy talk is repulsive and reflects how extremists have become so prominent in the political party that controls every statewide office in Texas. It’s time for voters to clean house. Remember this in November.