The Nebraska Republican Party is calling for a Republican state senator to change his party affiliation over a statement accusing the party of enabling white supremacy in America.
The party released a statement on Monday evening, one day after Republican State Senator John McCollister accused his own party of being complicit in racism and white supremacy after a shooting in El Paso, Texas appeared to be linked to a violent white nationalist ideology.
The Nebraska GOP statement attempts to paint McCollister as a member who was long at odds with their beliefs, accusing him of “consistently advocating for higher taxes, restrictions on Americans’ Second Amendment rights, and the pro-abortion lobby.”
“His latest false statement about Republicans should come as no surprise to anyone who is paying attention, and we’re happy he has finally shed all pretense of being a conservative,” Nebraska Republican Party Executive Director Ryan Hamilton said.
— NEGOP (@NEGOP) August 5, 2019
McCollister made his views known in an extended Sunday evening Twitter thread that has since gone viral.
“The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country,” he wrote. “As a lifelong Republican, it pains me to say this, but it’s the truth.”
McCollister was careful to make clear he did not believe all Republicans are racists or white supremacists, but he was sharply critical of his party’s inaction in response to President Donald Trump “[stoking] racist fears in his base.”
The state senator accused his Republican colleagues of ignoring the president’s behavior out of fear for electoral consequences from speaking out and urged them to join him in condemning the rhetoric:
“We have Republican senators and representatives who look the other way and say nothing for fear that it will negatively affect their elections. No more. When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing.”
“The time is now for us Republicans to be honest with what is happening inside our party. We are better than this, and I implore my Republican colleagues to stand up and do the right thing.”
“We all like to cite Abraham Lincoln’s Republican lineage when it is politically expedient but NOW is the time to ACT like Lincoln and take a stand,” he concluded.