Shocker: The House GOP Caucus Still Has a White Supremacy Problem
By Melissa Ryan
“Have I been leader for years?”
–GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, when asked why the caucus has only taken action against Rep. Steve King, a well known white supremacist, now.
I had to laugh when I read McCarthy’s quote. His attempt to suggest that Paul Ryan might have put up with these kinds of shenanigans but there was a new sheriff in town was comical. Mostly because it was almost guaranteed that another member of the House GOP caucus would get press for doing or saying something racist before the week’s end.
Readers, the GOP did not disappoint. Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Andy Harris (R-MD) were caught by reporters meeting with right-wing troll and Holocaust denier Chuck C. Johnson on Wednesday.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but is that Chuck C. Johnson walking with Reps. Phil Roe and Andy Harris?
Both waited for him to get through security. pic.twitter.com/ybfdK8Bwqy
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) January 16, 2019
Via The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer:
In statements, Poe and Harris confirmed they had met with Johnson to discuss genetic testing and DNA, but claimed they weren’t aware of Johnson’s controversial history. The meeting came on the same day the House held off on a vote to censure Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for comments defending white supremacists.
Harris said in a statement that he was “unaware of [Johnson’s] previous associations.”
“Of course I disavow and condemn white supremacy and anti-Semitism,” the statement reads.
Johnson used his meeting with the congressmen to push for “increasing the number of sequenced genomes for research,” according to a statement provided by a Roe staffer.
I’m not sure which is more disingenuous, Kevin McCarthy’s new sheriff in town routine or Reps. Poe and Harris pretending they didn’t know Chuck C. Johnson’s background and vile views on DNA and race. More than two years into the era of Trump and I’m still adjusting to the level of political theater that now comes from Washington DC on a daily basis. And that’s before we even consider the political theater that was Congress choosing not to censure Steve King but instead pass a resolution condemning white supremacy and white nationalism. How big of a joke was it? King actually voted for it! Meanwhile Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) was the only representative to vote against it for not going far enough.
King was removed from all of his committee assignments, the kind of punishment that would normally cause a Congressman to resign in shame, but as longtime readers know Steve King has no shame. This will seriously hamper King’s ability to represent his constituents. Given that he nearly lost his reelection in 2018 I expect him to retire before 2020 or face an equally strong challenger.
CARD has covered the GOP’s white supremacy pretty extensively. Leader McCarthy might want to shove it back under the rug, but given just how integrated white supremacists are with the Republican party and how much press coverage there’s been that’s pretty much impossible. The Republicans are the party of Trump but beyond that, they’re the party of Trump’s base. The obvious headaches that come along with that will stick to them for years to come.
© Photo courtesy of Flickr, patrick thibodeau
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Listen Up! Walls, Deadlocks & Yellow Vests
From Simon Murdoch
This week I’m plugging the HOPE not hate podcast, where our Senior Researcher Joe Mulhall, Journalist Safya and Campaigns Director Matthew McGregor weigh in on key recent events across both sides of the Atlantic.
Washington faces a deadlock. Trump does not care to end America’s record-breaking government shutdown, as he hopes to save face with his online MAGA base to secure funding for his $5.7 billion border wall – a pricey symbol of white nationalism. Nancy Pelosi still has cards to play as she throws a wrench in his plans by withdrawing his invite to the House to deliver his State of the Union address. And still, Trump smiles over the fast food on silver platters for the college football champions, the Clemson Tigers, due to cutbacks made at the White House.
Closer to home, the team look at the “yellow vest” demonstration that took place in London last weekend and the UK’s own deadlock: Brexit. The process remains halted, as the recent vote in Parliament on Theresa May’s deal ended in historic failure, though May and her government survived by the skin of their teeth. May is meeting with party leaders to determine a plan going forward, but we favor a new referendum to include the people in the process of deciding on a Brexit deal. The team also debates Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s inflammatory claim that failure to leave the EU would cause a surge for the far-right.
Catch the podcast here (and make sure to subscribe!)
- Pew Research is out with a new survey Facebook algorithms and personal data. “About half of Facebook users say they are not comfortable when they see how the platform categorizes them, and 27% maintain the site’s classifications do not accurately represent them.”
- Facebook announced another takedown of “inauthentic” pages linked to Russia, specifically Sputnik. Digital Forensics Research Lab (who partner with Facebook) is out with a case study detailing the network and what Facebook removed.
- Seth Stephens-Davidowitz collaborated on a new report for the Community Support Trust and Antisemitism Policy Trust in research that will be of interest outside of the UK too. The report Hidden Hate: what Google searches tell us about antisemitism todayanalyzes Google search data from the UK to see what this can tells us about antisemitic attitudes in Britain today.
- Did the Wall Street Journal fall for a prank directed at Laura Loomer? (Right Wing Watch)
- Fascist Forge: A New Forum for Hate (ADL)
- This filmmaker spent months interviewing neo-Nazis and jihadists. Here’s what she learned. (Vox)
- When YouTube red-pills the love of your life (Mel Magazine)
- Roku Drops InfoWars and Alex Jones After Social Media Pressure (The Daily Beast)
- YouTube says Tommy Robinson will no longer be able to make money from his videos (Buzzfeed)
- Here, here: the Swedish online love army who take on the trolls (The Guardian)
- The President’s pursuit of white power (The Atlantic)
- Europe’s far right seems determined to hijack Christianity in its bid for power (The Independent)
Want to continue the conversation? Reply directly to this email and drop me a line. I read everything that comes into the CARD inbox and respond to most. You can also hit us up on Twitter @melissaryan & @hopenothate.
Bye for now and see you next week!