Tell Oregon’s GOP To Stop Recruiting White Supremacists

For a long time, the Republican Party has tried to find the delicate balance of subtly appealing to racist voters without directly associating with their bigotry by disavowing any actions or words that seriously cross the line. However, we seem to have reached a frightening point where politicians and hate groups are less afraid to have open alliances.

That became especially clear in Portland, Oregon this past weekend. James Buchal, the chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party, visited a local “alt-right” white supremacist rally and invited attendees to join the GOP. The Guardian obtained footage of the rally, which featured Buchal speaking to encourage “young conservatives to get active in the Multnomah County Republican Party.”

When contacted for comment by the Guardian, Buchal did not dispute the story. He explained to a reporter that he went to the protest specifically to boost membership in the Multnomah County Republican Party and the mission appeared to be successful. He said that soon after he “had a handful of calls from people, but [he did] not know whether or not they are rally participants, and [he] did not ask them.”

At the same time, Buchal argued that he wasn’t there in an “official capacity.” That may be a half-hearted attempt to keep some distance between rally and the Republican group, but when you’re the chair of a county political party showing up at an event to invite people to join your political party the distinction between official and unofficial seems insignificant.

For context, the rally’s other featured guests included Kyle Chapman, a man better known as “Alt-Knight” and “Based Stickman” who is facing felony charges after beating anti-Trump protesters with a stick in March, and “Tiny” a man who in May was caught on camera punching an anti-fascist protester.

Addressing the crowd, Buchal said, “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.”

Those last two sentences seem particularly dog-whistle considering the beliefs of the demonstrators. Suggesting that the party is open to their ideas and that there’s a need to win America back demonstrates that Buchal has no problem with incorporating that kind of ideology into the future of the Republican Party. That is alarming.

Following the recent murder of two men who defended a pair of Muslim teenagers from a bigot while riding on public transportation, Portland has suffered some growing pains. Buchal has couched some of his defense of the white supremacists as a need to protect free speech. In fact, I agree with Buchal that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was wrong to attempt to infringe on these hate groups’ right to assemble.

That said, there is a world of difference between supporting someone’s constitutionally protected rights and encouraging people with bigoted views to come take an active role in your political party.

Notably, Buchal’s recruitment of white supremacists isn’t the first time he’s expressed an interest in working with them. Days earlier, he publically floated the idea of having Republican officials protected by groups like the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers.

Both of those groups have been identified as extremist hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, but Buchal dismissed those labels as unfair. He argued that security of this sort may be necessary “because there are now belligerent, unstable people who are convinced that Republicans are like Nazis.”

If that’s the case, there’s nothing like inviting neo-Nazis to become Republicans to dispel that myth!

None of this should be acceptable to the Republican Party, which is why the Care2 community is petitioning Bill Currier, the chairman of the state Republican Party, to condemn Buchal’s actions and push him out of his county leadership role.

This moment is crucial for Oregon Republicans to loudly declare that their values are different from those of these fringe extremist groups. If they choose to ignore that one of their leaders is courting this kind of crowd, then there can be no doubt that Republicans are choosing a political future that includes racism and hate.

Take Action!

Sign this Care2 Petition asking the Oregon Republican Party to push Buchal out!

Photo Credit: Joe Frazier

57 comments

Carl R
Carl R10 days ago

Thanks!!!

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Philippa P
Philippa P14 days ago

Thanks.

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Chad A
Chad A14 days ago

"Please tell the democratic party to stop recruiting communists and socialists." News to me.

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heather g
heather g15 days ago

What other political party would want these oafs?

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Brent B
Brent B16 days ago

Please tell the democratic party to stop recruiting communists and socialists.

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Eric S
Eric S16 days ago

rolling stones tried this with the hells angels the outcome wasn't too good

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Vivianne Mosca-Clark

More separation actions. Be aware that there is a great move to keep all the people separate so they can be controlled better. Our differences is our strength. but if you sit back and watch, you will notice all the parts of our society that is being separated from each other. Our bodies our education, our nationality, and much more. We the people is just that...'the people' . Period. Not little groups of defiance.

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Roberto MARINI
Roberto MARINI16 days ago

thank you

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Jetana A
Jetana A16 days ago

Petition signed. Disgusting to recruit these bigots, and hopefully will signal the demise of the party.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O16 days ago

You would have to ask why any extreme thinking person is drawn to this party.

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