A 74-year-old Texas man with strong roots in the Republican Party in Texas proudly declared himself a "white nationalist" on Twitter last week.
Ray Myers is the founder of the Tea Party chapter in Kaufman County, Texas. He was part of Ted Cruz's "Texas Leadership Team" in the state during the presidential primaries, but supported and volunteered for then-candidate Donald Trump's run after Trump won the party's nomination at the Republican National Committee's Convention in June 2016, according to reporting from the Texas Observer.
Myers was also a member of the state Republican Party's 2018 platform committee, which itself included plenty of questionably bigoted statements about reforms to national policies.
Among the planks included in the party's platform, the GOP in Texas said it wanted "English only" ballots for voters to be printed out, supported the "reasonable use of profiling" to be used in the fight against terrorism, and a desire to change citizenship requirements in the U.S. Constitution to only allow those "born to a citizen of the United States or through naturalization" to become citizens, a move that would end birthright citizenship.
Although not blatantly promoting an agenda of white supremacy, late in November Myers voluntarily divulged he held such views. "Damn Right, I'm a WHITE NATIONALIST," Myers said in a Facebook post last week, "and very Proud of it."Myers tried to defend his views in an interview on Friday with the Observer, pointing out that other individuals who aren't white, "like black people and brown people, are proud of their race."
"Just like Black Lives Matter, white lives matter, too," Myers said. "We're all in the same melting pot. Now why can't we say, as Anglos, that we're proud?"
He added that he didn't see anything inherently racist with white nationalist viewpoints.
"[W]hite nationalist, all that means is America first. That's exactly what that means. That's where the president's at. That's where I'm at and that's where every solid patriotic American is. It doesn't have anything to do with race or anything else."That point of view, however, goes against what most define "white nationalist" to mean. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, "white nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of nonwhites." Per reporting from the Street, nationalists also typically try to promote a certain group's culture as supreme above all others within a country, causing it to be more race-driven than Myers makes it out to be in the defense of his beliefs.