Last night, State House Representative and candidate in the Republican primary for the 9th Congressional District, Matt Gurtler, issued a statement decrying “sleazy attacks” and the “fake news media”. These comments arrived two months after Gurtler talked to a meeting of American Patriots USA (APUSA) – a white nationalist front group founded by Klansmen and neo-Nazis – and two days after the story broke in the media.
In his comments to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Matt Gurtler doubled down by calling APUSA a “pro-gun, conservative group that supports President Trump”. At the March meeting, Gurtler portrayed the organization as a positive response to “socialism on the rise”.
The core members of APUSA are committed white supremacists. Founder Chester Doles is an unreformed neo-Nazi who continues to network within the racist scene and circulate its propaganda. Another key APUSA member, Michael Carothers AKA Michael Weaver, maintains the “White Information Network” site, where he asks readers to support terrorists such as “Olympic Park Bomber” Eric Rudolph.
Militant white nationalists have led a wave of terror in recent years, with outrages such as the Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh in 2018; the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque attacks last year; and August’s racist massacre in El Paso. While Gurtler mouths empty catchphrases such as, “Racism doesn’t have any place in our community”, his actions embolden the racist movement.
It is reprehensible for Matt Gurtler to hide behind his “Mexican-American” wife after supporting white supremacists. His wife’s ancestry is irrelevant to Gurtler’s political decision. Gurtler’s response is particularly obscene since APUSA founder Chester Doles has targeted and scapegoated Latino communities in north Georgia for twenty years.
Instead of admitting poor judgment, Gurtler howls for his critics to “Bring it.”
If you oppose antisemitism and white supremacy, speak out when they are normalized.