Del. Senate candidate Witzke retweets support from group with ‘white nationalist’ ties
The GOP nominee would not address the supportive tweets by VDARE, whose website publishes writers its founder regards as “white nationalist.”
Delaware’s Republican candidate against U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, the Democratic incumbent, has in recent days retweeted two posts from VDARE, an anti-immigration website whose founder says it publishes pieces by white nationalists.
Lauren Witzke, who won Delaware’s GOP primary last week, is a staunch anti-immigration candidate.
On Sept. 17, two days after Witzke’s victory, VDARE.com posted an item about her candidacy, then tweeted another article about her victory, noting that the piece did not mention that “she ran on a 10-year immigration moratorium.”
Late Monday night, VDARE tweeted about Witzke again, this time about a tweet she sent that was critical of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday.
Witzke, who opposes abortion, tweeted Saturday that she “will not praise the woman who spearheaded the total destruction of Western Civilization. I refuse to cheer the career of a woman with the blood of millions of dead babies on her hands. David didn’t mourn the death of Goliath. I will not apologize for standing up for life.”
Ginsburg supported a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.
In its VDARE retweet of Witzke’s post, the group said it “doesn’t take a stand on abortion, but she’s right on Ginsburg and Western Civilization.”
Witzke retweeted both of VDARE’s tweets, leading Eric Hananoki, a reporter for Media Matters for America, to tweet that Witzke is “retweeting posts from the white nationalist site VDare about her campaign.”
U.S. Senate candidate Lauren Witzke, who is backed by the Delaware GOP, is retweeting posts from the white nationalist site VDare about her campaign. pic.twitter.com/m832XEgU85
— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) September 22, 2020
Media Matters is a nonprofit group whose website says it is dedicated to “comprehensively monitoring, analyzing and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”
Reached by phone Tuesday by WHYY News, Witzke would not discuss the tweets and told a reporter, “You can send me an email and I will answer.”
WHYY News asked her by email if she regretted her retweets.
Our email pointed out that the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified VDARE as a hate website that “regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites” and that the Anti-Defamation League has written that “VDARE posts, promotes and archives the work of racists, anti-immigrant figures and anti-Semites.”
Witzke’s written response did not discuss the tweets and retweets. Instead she wrote that she “did not accept” the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Anti-Defamation League as “legitimate arbiters of racism in America, but rather far-left groups that exist merely to defame many ordinary conservatives like me as extremists.”
Coons’ campaign did not immediately respond to a question about the VDARE tweets and Witzke’s retweets.
VDARE is named after Virginia Dare, who in 1587 was the first English child born in what became the United States. Its founder, Peter Brimelow, has written on the VDARE website that “we are certainly politically incorrect — but the merest glance would show that we are not ‘white nationalist.’’
Brimelow wrote that the website does publish “a few writers … whom I would regard as ‘white nationalist’ in the sense that they aim to defend the interests of American whites. They are not white supremacists. They do not advocate violence.”
One “core principle” of VDARE is that “the racial and cultural identity of America is legitimate and defensible,” its website says.
“Diversity per se is not strength, but a vulnerability. It is a luxury that we can only afford as long as we preserve our breadwinner, the American people,’’ the website says.
“VDARE.com recognizes that mass immigration both legal and illegal has driven America to the verge of bankruptcy’’ in areas such as employment, national security, crime, education and race relations.”
It is not the first time Witzke’s social media posts have come under scrutiny in recent days.
Hours after Ginsburg’s death, Witzke posted a meme to her campaign’s Facebook page depicting three Black babies dancing and referring to the justice as “Ruth Vader Ginsburg,” WDEL reported. Witzke removed the meme from the post, which state GOP leaders condemned the post as “offensive” and “tasteless,” after she told WDEL she received death threats from “a barrage of violent leftists.”
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