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GOP Politician Backtracks After Supporting White Nationalist She Felt Was ‘Label Lynched’

A GOP chairwoman in Spokane, Wash. is back peddling amid backlash over her support of a known white nationalist.

Republican Party chairwoman Cecily Wright resigned Thursday amid backlash for inviting GOP elected officer and alt-right personality James Allsup, 22, to speak at a meeting for local tea party organization Northwest Grassroots, local station KHQ reported.

Video from the July 11 meeting shows Wright introduce Allsup, who she argued was a victim of so-called “label-lynching” by liberal groups.

White Nationalist Rally

James Allsup, 22, has ties to alt-right group Identity Evropa and even attended last yea’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.” (Image courtesy of The Hill)

” … Northwest Grassroots is a group, independent of the Republican Party that doesn’t shy away from controversial subjects,” Wright wrote in a Facebook post apologizing for Allsup’s appearance, which she called “a big mistake.” “Mr. Allsup reached out to my husband, John Charleston, head of NW Grassroots, to discuss what he feels is an untrue characterization of him as a white supremacist.”

Allsup’s affiliation with a group called Identity Evropa, which promotes a vision of a white etho-state in America, is well-known, according to the Spokesman-Review, however. Orgs like the Anti-Defamation League have classified the group as a white supremacist group.

Naturally, Allsups’ appearance at the Tea Party meeting sparked concerns from local district and civil rights groups across Spokane.

“As you can see from the video I did not praise him, I did speak about the need to do research before accepting what is said about people,” Wright wrote, defending herself “Allsup did speak but did NOT denounce the vile, racist views he is associated with as was expected.”

In a video of her presentation, Wright paints Allsup as a victim who’s been mischaracterized by the media.

“How many of you have heard the term ‘label lynching?’ Sorta crazy, isn’t it?” she says. “ … If I started saying something about you, that you were a white supremist (sic), and you could say because so-and-so and such-and-such happened, and other people pick it up, and then if the news media picks it up, you’re dead meat, and it’s pretty darn sad. And people’s lives are destroyed with these labels … because we don’t take the time to figure out, is it true or not?”

“What’s the purpose behind labeling a person a certain way or not?” she added.

According to Splinter News, Wright was well-aware of Allsup’s racist views and has even condemned them in the past. When questioned about her recent support for the alt-right figure, however, the chairwoman acted as if Allsup’s white nationalist affiliations were unbeknownst to her.

“I have not looked over them all,” she told the Spokane-Review. “I did not investigate James Allsup. I know how he is portrayed, and he is not someone that I affiliate with.”

Her online apology, in which she called Allsup’s invitation “a big mistake,” was a complete about-face from her previous comments. Wright maintained that she thought Allsup would denounce his racist views, but he never did.

“I remain, as does the Republican Party, committed to standing against white supremacy, racism, and bigotry in all forms,” she said in a statement. “That does not mean that we deny people the right to free speech but it is certainly a lesson to more thoroughly research individuals before giving them a platform to speak.”

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