A tea party activist who helped the Texas Republican Party draft its 2018 platform proudly declared himself a “WHITE NATIONALIST” last week.
“Damn Right, I’m a WHITE NATIONALIST and very Proud of it,” Ray Meyers wrote on Facebook last Tuesday, in response to someone else’s post that accused President Donald Trump of being a white nationalist.
The Texas Observer, which reported on the Facebook post Tuesday, noted Meyers’ connections in the Republican Party: He is the founder and chairman of the Kaufman County Tea Party, was on the Ted Cruz presidential campaign’s “Texas Leadership Team” and served as a delegate for Cruz at the Republican National Convention in 2016.
In a phone call Friday, Meyers told the Observer that identifying himself as a white nationalist “doesn’t have anything to do with race.”
“I am Anglo and I’m very proud of it, just like black people and brown people are proud of their race. I am a patriot. I am very proud of my country,” he said. “And white 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.”
Though there is a distinction between the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist,” white people who consider themselves “nationalists” aren’t the same as those who identify specifically as “white nationalists.”
Merrill Perlman wrote in the Columbia Journalism Review last year: “Adding an adjective to indicate what ‘their’ nation is can turn ‘nationalism’ into a polarizing term. A ‘white nationalist’ generally wants a nation of white people. Whether that means creating a separate nation of just white people or pushing those who are not white out of their current nation depends on which branch of ‘white nationalism’ is talking.”
And the Southern Poverty Law Center defines white nationalist groups as those that believe “white identity should be the organizing principle of the countries that make up Western civilization.”