Five Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives have announced they are going to be traveling to the Czech Republic in order to meet with Tomio Okamura, the leader of a far-right extremist party on Thursday, January 25th.
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Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep. Paul Gozar (R-AZ) and Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) will be discussing “topics of bilateral and global importance, including European policy which concerns demographic changes, migration and immigration”.
When one takes a closer look, however, it’s clear that this is not an innocent multinational brainstorming session but actually is a literal racism conference.
Tomio Okamura has previously made headlines for demanding that activists walk pigs near mosques in order to insult and provoke Muslims, calling for the forcible deportation of Roma people to India and for writing appalling anti-Muslim screeds.
Each kebab we buy is funding for another burqa…Keep in mind the fundamental truth that they have no tolerance for us and they are here as guests. So I have no moral obligation to be tolerant and generous to them” wrote Okamura.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the secretary of the Movement of Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), Jaroslav Stanik, has previously expressed his desire to “gas all the Jews, homosexuals, and Roma” – which, as we all know, is how Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party committed genocide during the Holocaust.
On the American side, you have a who’s who of outspoken and unrepentant racists, Islamophobes, white supremacists, and all-around despicable folks – the Ku Klux Kaucus, if you will.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is their leader, carving out a niche for himself by adopting European-style right-wing white nationalism and praising notorious scumbags like Holland’s Geert Wilders. King has called for the electrification of border fences in order to kill migrants, who he compared to livestock, and for a litany of statements like “For every valedictorian immigrant, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
Tea Party lunatic Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is well-known for his outrageous statements about how the Egyptian political party known as the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating the United States with “terror babies” and for accusing President Obama of being a Muslim whose “administration will been [sic] complicit in helping people who wants [sic] to destroy our country.”
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has put himself in the white supremacy camp, accusing billionaire George Soros of being behind the Charlottesvile “Unite the Right” rally where Heather Heyer was murdered by neo-Nazis, for tweeting out links to hate groups and for rushing to support the racist Bundy militia in their absurd “rebellion” against the federal government.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, otherwise known as “Putin’s favorite congressman” for his unashamed lobbying for Russian interests in Congress, is known for associating with notorious Holocaust denier and conservative “journalist” Chuck C. Johnson.
Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) appears to have so far avoided to demonstrate his racism in any obvious way beyond his positions as an immigration hawk and emphasis on border security – a critical concern for Maryland – and support for Trump’s “travel bans” against visitors from Muslim-majority nations. But the company he keeps tells you all you need to know about how he really feels.
So it is extremely disturbing to know that five of the most disgraceful bigots to ever darken the halls of Congress are travelling to Europe for strategy sessions with white supremacist Islamophobes and anti-Semites.
With the mid-term elections coming in a few short months, the values of pluralism and tolerance our nation holds dear demands that we devote our efforts to running these intolerant racists out of office for good.
Show your support for their Democratic challengers and follow them on Twitter!
Allison Galbraith is running against Andy Harris
J.D. Sholten is running against Steve King
Harley Rouda is running against Dana Rorabacher
Ana Maria Perez is running against Paul Gosar