Sunday, May 28, 2023

Texas gubernatorial candidate won’t fire employee linked to white nationalists


The Republican nominee for Texas governor says he won’t fire a prominent white nationalist activist from his state, despite ample evidence that the employee had a past leadership role in a deeply racist and anti-Semitic group.

Don Huffins, a former Texas state senator and one of three Republicans running in the primary against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, told HuffPost on Tuesday that his campaign “won’t get into a cancellation culture,” cutting ties with Jake Lloyd Colglaser, who once said that the white race is dying out.

Friday social justice think tank The Political Research Association published a report detailing how Colglaser became a leading voice in the white nationalist “America First” or “groyper” movement. Prior to that, he was the host of the far-right conspiracy site InfoWars.

Last week, Colglazer, 24, was listed as the Huffines’ “Deputy Director of Public Affairs” on the website of the True Texas Project, a right-wing activist group closely linked to the Huffines campaign. (This description has since been removed.) Colglazier’s Twitter biography includes link to the Huffines campaign website. And on Friday, Ben Lorber, a PRA analyst, said a Huffines employee confirmed by phone that Colglazier was the campaign’s deputy director of communications.

Huffins told HuffPost that Colglazier was not his deputy communications director but did not dispute that he was working for the campaign and said he would remain on the staff.

“He worked on the ground for my campaign. I have 12 field offices throughout Texas and have over 70 people on my campaign payroll. If I had to go through the social media history of any young Texan, I would find something I disagree with,” he said. “My campaign will not engage in cancellation culture.”

But Colglazier’s extremism isn’t limited to a couple of bigoted tweets. He is closely associated with some of the most notorious racists in the country.

His position in the Huffins campaign is just the latest example of the Republican Party’s ever-increasing embrace of open white nationalism. There is evidence that Huffins himself has a bigoted worldview. claimed credit for harassing Abbott to move to the extreme right on a range of issues, including immigration and transgender rights.

Don huffins speaks at a rally for 2016 republican presidential candidate senator ted cruz in dallas in 2016.
Don Huffins speaks at a rally for 2016 Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz in Dallas in 2016.

Stuart F. House via Getty Images

While Colglazier was the host of InfoWars – far right Alex Jones site which, among other nefarious projects, began a campaign of conspiracy against the parents of the children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre – he repeatedly offered a platform to white nationalists.

Accordion for PRA, he gave sympathetic interviews Vincent James Fox, head of the white nationalist website Red Elephants; Faith Goldie, a Canadian far-right influencer who once recommended a book calling for the “destruction of the Jews” and who was fired from his job after appearing on a neo-Nazi podcast; and Nick Fuentes, founder of the “America First” or “gripper” movement.

After leaving InfoWars, Colglazier, known as Jake Lloyd, worked closely with Fuentes, Holocaust denier who visited deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and who spoke of the “necessity” of an ethnic state for whites only.

In December 2019, Colglazier was one of the three keynote speakers at the America First conference in Fuentes. The other speakers were Fuentes and Patrick Casey, a Charlottesville rally leader who led the now-defunct white nationalist group Identity Evropa and its offshoot, the American Identity Movement.

According to the PRA, Colglazier repeatedly referred to force in his speech, “gropers“, a nickname given to themselves by the members of America First, a reference to their online mascot, a cartoon toad that is a variation on Pepe the Frog, infamous alt-right symbol.

“Conservative Incorporated”. and the top political establishment of the United States will collapse at the hands of the gropers,” Colglaser said. “History will remember the grappers and the movement that followed them – flowed from America First, from AIM [American Identity Movement], from the big groyper network as a whole.”

Colglazier did not respond to a request for comment via Twitter DM. The cell phone number registered to his name was no longer in service.

Nick fuentes speaks to "gropers" in washington dc on november 14, 2020. To his right is jake colglaser.
Nick Fuentes speaks to the “groupers” in Washington, D.C. on November 14, 2020. To his right is Jake Colglaser.

Zach D. Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Live in January 2020, Colglazier laid out a plan for the Groypers to publicize their white nationalist views.

“We need to take leadership positions or be in close proximity to leadership positions,” he said. “We need to take positions of institutional power so that we can implement policies that can prevent or slow down demographic change so that we can continue to gain institutional power so that we can rebuild historic America.”

It’s a strategy called “entryism,” which the Institute for Human Rights Research and Education describes as the practice of “gaining a place in more traditional organizations through a low-profile appearance and expressed values ​​in order to achieve the movement’s goals.”

At the end of the livestream, Colglaser talked about how, on Twitter, after he mentioned his pride in being a Texan, followers often responded that it was “too bad it’s already a white minority.”

“It’s like, bro, can I tweet something about my epic state being epic without you trying to remind me and confuse me with the fact that my race is dying?” he whined.

And on November 14, 2020, two weeks after Donald Trump lost the presidential election, Colglazier performed alongside Fuentes and other grumpers at the Million MAGA march in Washington, D.C., an event now recognized as the precursor to the January 6 march. attack on the Capitol.

“I am so proud that the American people have rallied to support their leader and President Donald Trump!” Kolglasya said through a megaphone, judging by the video from the rally.

“Donald Trump was the start,” he added. “America was the beginning first and foremost, and it won’t stop there until we get our country back!”

Colglaser then led the crowd chanting “America First”.

Huffins didn’t acknowledge the controversy this week, except for his response to HuffPost. However, the short-sighted GOP candidate for governor, who is partly credited by political observers with pushing Abbott is building a wall on the Texas border – took the time to tweet.

“America First,” Huffins tweeted. “Texas First”.


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