Last weekend’s hate rally in Portland, Oregon is proof that the Republican Party is actively recruiting white supremacists to join them.
Just a week after a white supremacist brutally murdered two fellow passengers on a Portland train who attempted to intervene to get him to stop berating two Muslim girls, racist groups in the Portland area held a “free speech” rally to defend their right to be hateful, violent assholes.
Roughly 100 white supremacists — many of them holding signs supportive of President Trump — were met by approximately 1,000 counter-protesters in downtown Portland this weekend, with the event culminating in multiple arrests and clashes between the two groups. Police also seized multiple weapons from both groups, including knives, bricks, and staves, according to ABC News.
However, the hate rally was productive for the Multnomah County Republican Party, which spoke directly to the group, asking for “young conservatives” to sign up and run for office on the Republican ticket. The Guardian reports that James Buchal, the chairman of the local Republican Party organization, shared a stage with an “alt-right” cult figure who became famous for bashing an anti-fascist protester over the head with a stick.
“We’re looking for young conservatives to step up and run for local offices. We need to get control of local school boards and every other local district. We need people on the streets talking to people, knocking on doors, making phone calls. The party is there, the party is open. Come and help us win America back,” Buchal said.
Following Buchal’s speech, Stuart Rhodes, from the right-wing Oath Keepers militia group, “publicly swore” Tusitala Toese into the Multnomah County Republican Party. Toese, who is also known as “tiny,” was caught on video assaulting an anti-fascist protester last month, claiming the act was in self-defense.
35-year-old Jeremy Christian, who is facing two aggravated murder charges as well as federal hate crimes charges, attended a similar free speech rally in Portland in April, where he was seen doing a Nazi salute and carrying a baseball bat.
As legal scholar and activist Keegan Stephan wrote in the Washington Post last week, white supremacist ideology is deeply ingrained into Oregon’s culture, as the state was originally founded by whites to escape blacks, and passed a law banishing African Americans from the state in the late 19th century. Oregon didn’t even ratify the right of black people to vote until 1959.
Tom Cahill is a senior editor for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook by clicking here.