Texas state Republican leaders have at least a dozen of their county chairs sharing fake social media posts considered racist and conspiratorial.
Four who claimed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis was staged to “erode black support for president Donald Trump” were told by their party to step down. Two, so far, have refused.
On social media support claims, falsely, that liberal billionaire George Soros is offering to pay anarchists to “riot in the name of Georg3 Floyd.”
Another post asks a series of 21 “puzzling questions” about Floyd’s death. One asks “Can someone really not breathe when someone kneels on his neck and is the victim really able to speak for considerable periods of time if he can’t breathe?”
Cindy Weatherby, Reagan County’s GOP chair, who shared the 21 questions post, told The Texas Tribune that if “humans don’t question, there’s something wrong with us.” She claims the comments reflect her personal beliefs, not her role as the GOP chairwoman.
And a third shows a photo from the 1991 Los Angles riots showing a crashed truck and a person on the ground with blood pouring from his head with the caption: “This is why you don’t brake for protestors.”
“Disgusting,” says Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
“I have said it before and I will say it again now: the GOP must not tolerate racism. Of any kind. At any time,” George P. Bush, state land commissioner, wrote on Twitter late Thursday. “I urge them to do the honorable thing and step aside now.”
GOP county chairs are elected leaders of the Republican Party who help oversee local elections and head up county-level meetings and events. News circulating about the first five chairs’ posts sparked concern — both internal and external — about the Texas GOP.
“This is a disgusting level of ignorance that’s hard to hear from anyone, much less an elected official,” State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, said in an email to the Tribune. “I’m glad to see Republican state leaders finally start to push back against this nonsense and look forward to a day when we can actually debate fact-based policy instead of constantly refuting conspiracies.”
Charles Blain, the president of Urban Reform, a conservative public policy nonprofit based in Houston, used Twitter to call for reflection within the party: “I’ll say more on this later but the fact that in one day 4 Texas GOP chairs have come under condemnation for racist remarks — including MY county — should make it CLEAR AS DAY that we have a problem in this party and y’all need to talk to more black people.”
The original five chairs — Cynthia Brehm in Bexar County, Sue Piner from Comal County, Jim Kaelin of Nueces County and Lee Lester from Harrison County, as well as Harris County GOP chairperson-elect Keith Nielsen — faced backlash from Democrats and Republicans alike over their social media posts.
But many of the GOP officials who criticized Brehm’s social media posts as inexcusable did not return calls from the Tribune seeking comment about the more recently identified posts from the seven other chairs across the state. Nor did they comment about Facebook posts by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller that included calls to “start the race war.”–-The Texas Tribune
An honorable thing by Republicans who genuflect to the racist fantasy throne of wannabe dictator Donald Trump?
Don’t bet on it.