Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) left many Twitter observers incredulous on Thursday when he seemed to glorify lynchings during a House Judiciary Committee hearing about the drastic spike in discrimination and violence against Asian Americans in the past year.
In a twist that surely few saw coming, he managed to get country singer Toby Keith trending on Twitter as well.
It happened when Roy, whose own remarks during the hearing were largely off topic, claimed that the hearing was venturing “away from the rule of law and taking out bad guys.”
Roy then suggested lynchings were the way to go.
“There’s old sayings in Texas about ‘Find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree,’” he said. “You know, we take justice very seriously. And we ought to do that. Round up the bad guys. That’s what we believe.”
However, many Twitter users noted that Roy’s supposed old Texas saying isn’t that old, or even from Texas. It’s actually a lyric from the song “Beer For My Horses,” which Keith ― who was born in Oklahoma ― released in 2002. Willie Nelson guest-stars on the track.
Keith hasn’t commented on Roy’s paraphrasing of his song lyric, but he did promote the tune on St. Paddy’s Day, hours before the hearing.
You can hear the original song below.