When self-proclaimed “pro-European nationalist” James Allsup was elected to a Republican Party post in Whitman County, Washington, the immediate backlash from GOP leaders was swift.
After Allsup won the uncontested election for precinct committee officer, the Republican National Committee (RNC) condemned him and his “hateful, racist views” and said there was “no place for it in the Republican Party.” Spokane County GOP chair Cecily Wright went a step further. “I’d like to go punch the guy in the nose myself,” Wright jokingly told the Inlander on July 3.
But barely a week later, Wright introduced Allsup as a speaker at a monthly event for local conservatives on July 11. The evening’s topic of discussion was “label lynching,” which accused groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the media of unfairly hanging labels on conservatives.
“If I started saying something about you, that you were a white supremist (sic), and you could say because so-and-so and such-and-such happened, and other people pick it up, and then if the news media picks it up, you’re dead meat, and it’s pretty darn sad,” Wright said at the event, which was filmed by Northwest Grassroots, a small local political club that hosted the gathering. “People’s lives are destroyed with these labels that are being hung on them.”
Introducing Allsup, Wright continued, “I have a gentleman here this evening who has been label lynched.”
As noted by Right Wing Watch, which first broke the story, Allsup has close ties with Identity Evropa, a white supremacist group dedicated to preserving “white American identity” and white European culture, while standing against alleged rising tide of non-white immigration.
The group’s founder, Nathan Damigo, is a former Marine who was radicalized in prison after reading a book by former Ku Klux Klan leader and one-time congressional candidate David Duke. Allsup also marched with Identity Evropa during last year’s violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
— Yes, You're Racist (@YesYoureRacist) August 13, 2017
Allsup, who was previously president of the Washington State University College Republicans, also appeared on the white nationalist podcast Fash the Nation, where he talked about converting the College Republicans into an alt-right club, as the Daily Beast reported in June.
“If you are a college guy, or a college girl, and you are on a college campus, if you have three or four fashy goy (fascist, non-Jewish) friends, you can take over your school’s College Republicans group,” Allsup said. “[You can] move it to essentially being an alt-right club.”
At the “label lynching” event, Allsup claimed that Charlottesville had been “totally misrepresented” by the media and claimed that the media, including local papers, were labeling people to “scare” them. Toward the end of the event, Allsup is asked about the previous election controversy where the local GOP was made aware of his white nationalist ties, but Allsup dismissed it as “label lynching.”
Another attendee praised Allsup. “Action is what the Republican Party needs so strongly. How’d you like to have a couple of hundred people like James here in Spokane?” the attendee asked to loud applause.
“We’re going to make things happen,” Allsup responded. “We’re going to make stuff happen, and this is the start of it.”
The Spokane County Republican Party did not immediately respond to ThinkProgress’ request for comment.