A Republican state lawmaker in Nebraska on Monday said members of his party enable white supremacy in the U.S. by staying silent when President Donald Trump “stokes racist fears in his base.”
State Sen. John McCollister said in a series of tweets that he doesn’t believe all Republicans are white supremacists or racists, but that his party is “complicit to obvious racist and immoral activity in our party.”
“We have a Republican president who continually stokes racist fears in his base,” McCollister wrote. “He calls certain countries ‘sh*tholes,’ tells women of color to ‘go back’ to where they came from and lies more than he tells the truth.”
“When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing,” he added.
McCollister’s tweets follow several recent mass shootings that left dozens dead and many others wounded.
Officials are investigating whether any of the suspected gunmen have ties to extremist organizations or ideologies. The man suspected of opening fire and killing 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday may have posted an anti-immigrant manifesto online minutes before, according to authorities.
Democrats say Trump’s racist rhetoric has emboldened white supremacists across the country. The president has espoused racist views long before assuming office in 2017, such as promoting the racist birther conspiracy theory that questioned whether President Barack Obama was American.
In recent weeks, Trump has targeted several lawmakers of color. He infamously called on four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to other countries. All four are Americans.
The president’s comment inspired the crowd at one of his subsequent rallies to chant “send her back” about one of the congresswomen: Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), who immigrated to the U.S. as a refugee after fleeing war-torn Somalia when she was a child.
Days later, Trump attacked Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and his majority-black congressional district, which includes much of Baltimore, calling it a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
“The time is now for us Republicans to be honest with what is happening inside our party,” McCollister wrote. “We are better than this and I implore my Republican colleagues to stand up and do the right thing.”
This article was updated after the El Paso death count rose on Monday.