An influential member of the Texas Republican Party is defending remarks in which he said he was a “white nationalist and very proud of it.”
Ray Myers, who was a Texas Delegate at the 2016 Republican National Convention, made the comments on Facebook on November 27, as the Texas Observer first reported. When Myers was contacted by the Observer to explain his remarks, he doubled down, saying he believes in “America First” — the same description Donald Trump used at his inauguration to describe his policy agenda.
“I am an American Patriot who believes in America 1st!” Myers said in a November 30 Facebook post describing the Observer interview. “You should put your homeland 1st!…I took the interview because I am sick and tired of people cowing down to the left. They want to control the narrative and vilify conservatives. Time to fight back.”
Myers added that he agreed with Trump that the media was “the enemy of the people.”
Myers’ Facebook page is full of comments praising nationalism, as well as references to how “globalists” are flooding countries with illegal immigrants to help them collapse, which is a common anti-Semitic conspiracy theory among the far-right. Myers also shared a photo that purported to show a Border Patrol agent who had been hit by a stone during the protests at the Southern U.S. border last week. “Meet these illegal criminals with lethal force,” Myers commented.
In fact, the photo in question has been circulating since 2013. After the protests last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said that no Border Patrol Agents had been seriously hurt and those that were hit by rocks were wearing protective gear.
According to the Observer, Myers helped write the Texas GOP’s 2018 platform, which included points like supporting “the reasonable use of profiling” to defeat “radical Islamic terrorist,” the abolishment of the refugee resettlement program, and a Constitutional ammendment defining U.S. citizenship “as those born to a citizen of the United States or through naturalization.”
Of course, this is hardly the first time that white nationalists have wormed their way into the Republican Party. In July, James Allsup, a member of the far-right group Identity Evropa, took a position as a precinct commitee officer in the Spokane County Republican Party, a move that other white nationalists heralded. In March, Arthur Jones, an avowed Neo-Nazi, won the GOP’s congressional primary.
When approached by the Observer for comment about Myers, the Texas GOP referred the outlet to its “non-discrimination” resolution, which disavows “racism and bigotry,” but did not specifically name-check Myers.