Tarrant County's White Supremacy Problem
How extremist ideologies in Tarrant County threaten democracy and diversity.
In October 2023, the Texas Tribune exposed several high-profile GOP operatives who had a seven-hour meeting with self-avowed white supremacist Nick Fuentes in the Defend Texas Liberty PAC’s Fort Worth office. As the weeks progressed, more of this story exploded, exposing the ties between Defend Texas Liberty PAC, True Texas Project, Texas for Strong Borders, and West Texas billionaires for their long ties with white supremacists. Aside from the West Texas billionaires, all these organizations are based in Tarrant County.
Texans for Strong Borders.
Texans for Strong Borders frequently uses white supremacist rhetoric publicly and was an instrumental part of getting SB4, the unconstitutional and racist “show me your papers” bill, passed through the Texas Legislature.
Texans for Strong Borders partners with the Texas GOP and Chairman Matt Rinaldi. In fact, on top of Texans for Strong Borders being present and even chauffeuring Nick Fuentes the day of the seven-hour meeting, Rinaldi was also spotted in attendance.
Nick Fuentes also follows Texans for Strong Borders’ executive director on Instagram, further pointing to the closeness of his ties with the group.
If you aren’t familiar with Nick Fuentes, here is just a small taste of his rhetoric:
Like the Defend Texas Liberty PAC, Texans for Strong Borders is also based in Fort Worth.
True Texas Project.
In 2022, the Tarrant County-based group True Texas Project was added to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s national list of extremist groups. Most people on the left in North Texas have encountered this group in the past. The leaders of True Texas Project, Julie, and Fred McCarty, have long been vocal about their white supremacist ideology.
The True Texas Project is based out of Bedford.
The clustering of these groups in Tarrant County isn’t a mere coincidence. It’s a calculated convergence.
Tarrant County was a Conservative stronghold for a long time, but there has been a political and demographic shift in the last decade, making it more diverse and politically contested. This transformation has made Tarrant County a beacon for extremists, attracting organizations like Defend Texas Liberty PAC and Texans for Strong Borders, who seek to leverage the county’s historical conservatism to push their extremist agenda.
This is a signal of unrest for the voters of Tarrant County, especially the voters of color. These organizations, with their deeply ingrained white supremacist ideologies, don’t just pose a theoretical threat; they actively work to influence policies and legislators that directly impact the lives and rights of minority communities.
That means that Anglos (white, non-Hispanic) are now a minority in this district. Would it shock you to know that several Republican Tarrant County Legislators openly and frequently vote against Tarrant County’s majority population?
Bad votes from bad legislators.
Last year, Toni Rose (D) passed bill 1488, addressing disparities in sickle cell disease awareness. This bill was to help Black people in Texas directly. Luckily, it passed and was signed by the governor, but multiple Tarrant County Republicans voted against it.
Then, when Rhetta Bowers passed the Crown Act, Tony Tinderholt (R) was one of the few Republicans to vote against it. This bill was to prevent discrimination against Black people for their hairstyles.
Then, when Republicans pushed through the ban against Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, every single Tarrant County Republican voted for it.
Banning Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) offices will profoundly negatively affect marginalized students. These offices are crucial in creating a supportive and inclusive educational environment. DEI initiatives work to dismantle systemic barriers and promote fairness, providing students from historically underrepresented and marginalized communities with the resources and support they need to succeed. Without these dedicated efforts, institutions might inadvertently perpetuate existing disparities, leaving students of color, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, and others without the advocacy and representation they need.
Republicans believe diversity is an attack against white people, so their solution is to roll back the hands of time to make sure that white Republicans remain at the top of the food chain.
These are the Tarrant County Republicans who voted for this ban:
Representative Stephanie Klick
Representative Nate Schatzline
Representative Tony Tinderholt
Representative David Cook
Representative Craig Colgman
Representative Giovanni Capriglione
Representative Charlie Geren
Senator Kelly Hancock
Senator Phil King
Senator Tan Parker
Senator Brian Birdwell
Every single one of these elected officials is white in a county that is 58% non-Anglo, and they’ve directly voted to harm students of color in Tarrant County.
The voting records of these Tarrant County Republican legislators reveal an alignment with the white supremacist rhetoric espoused by organizations like Defend Texas Liberty PAC and Texans for Strong Borders.
When legislators consistently vote against measures designed to support and protect minority communities, such as the sickle cell disease awareness bill and the Crown Act, and instead actively support the ban on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) offices, they are not only ignoring the needs and rights of their increasingly diverse constituency but also perpetuating the very ideologies these extremist groups advocate for.
The direct correlation between the presence of these groups in Tarrant County and the legislative actions taken by these officials suggests a disturbing influence of white supremacist-aligned organizations on the legislative process. This influence has tangible, detrimental impacts on the lives of minority communities, shaping policies that further marginalize already vulnerable populations and entrench inequality.
This pattern of voting sends a clear message that these legislators are more interested in serving a narrow, extremist agenda than in meeting the needs of all their constituents, thereby undermining the principles of representation and equality that are supposed to underpin our democracy.
It should be noted that Republicans Nate Schatzline and Tony Tinderholt have been some of the biggest benefactors of the Nazi-aligned Defend Texas Liberty PAC. Here’s how much they’ve received:
Schatzline - $173,000
Tinderholt - $118,000
Then, after the Nick Fuentes scandal broke the Republican Party wide open, the Texas House Republican Caucus made a pledge disavowing Nazism and the Defend Texas Liberty PAC. Sixty Republicans signed the pledge.
The Tarrant County House Republicans who did not sign the pledge:
The same influence has also infiltrated Tarrants County’s local government.
These signs are from a protest in October when Tarrant County residents learned that County Judge Tim O’Hare took large amounts of money from the Defend Texas Liberty PAC. O’Hare still has not denounced Nazis or the Defend Texas Liberty PAC.
O’Hare has a long history of racism in North Texas.
When he was the mayor of Farmers Branch, he fought tooth and nail to keep Latinos out of Farmers Branch, which ultimately cost the city millions of dollars. O’Hare lost that fight because what he was doing was unconstitutional.
He was also the grand wizard of the fight against Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Southlake. This racist CRT battle in Southlake eventually made national media and was the subject of an NBC podcast.
Last year, in his role as Tarrant County Commissioner, Tim O’Hare led the charge to cut all funding to Girls Inc.
Girls Inc. of Tarrant County has long promoted education, career readiness, leadership, economic literacy, independence, equity, and diversity to young girls in underserved communities, especially in Black and brown neighborhoods.
O’Hare and the two commissioners who sided with him wanted to strip this away from these girls because Girls Inc. teaches them to advocate for social change. Young Black and brown girls advocating for social change scares the shit out of them.
And as a reminder, Tarrant County is 58% non-Anglo.
Another Commissioner-hopeful with a history of white supremacist ideology.
Matt Krause served in the Texas House for ten years and is now running for Tarrant County Commissioner, Precinct 3. Here is the record of his key votes. As you will see, Krause has a long history of voting in favor of minority disenfranchisement and for legislation directly aimed at harming marginalized communities.
In 2021, Krause produced the “banned book list,” which has served as a guideline for Conservative activists to attack schools and libraries to get these books removed. While Republicans will tell you getting rid of these books is specifically about removing “sexually explicit material,” the list includes a multitude of Black civil rights titles, including:
Racial Justice in America
What is White Privilege?
The Black Power Movement and Civil Unrest
Still, I Rise: Black America Since MLK
Those are just a few of them. Check out the list. There are hundreds. Now, Matt Krause wants to join Tim O’Hare on the County Commissioners Court to implement measures that will harm communities of color in Tarrant County, which is:
Tarrant County’s situation is a stark warning of the dangers that arise when extremist ideologies gain traction in local politics.
The consistent pattern of behavior from certain legislators and officials, who have demonstrated an alignment with white supremacist groups and ideologies, poses a significant threat to the fabric of all communities in Tarrant County. The votes against measures designed to uplift and protect minority communities, the direct financial ties to extremist groups, and the refusal to denounce such affiliations paint a troubling picture for the future of Funkytown and nearby cities.
If the residents of Tarrant County, especially those from marginalized communities, do not mobilize and express their voice at the polls, they risk allowing these extremist ideologies to infiltrate their local government further, potentially leading to more policies that marginalize and disenfranchise non-Anglo populations.
It’s more important than ever for the voters of Tarrant County to recognize the critical juncture at which they stand. By voting against these Republicans, they have the power to reject the politics of division and hate and instead champion a future that values equality, justice, and representation for all, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or background.
The ballot box is not just a right; it’s a tool of defense and progress, and in the upcoming elections, it’s the most potent weapon the residents of Tarrant County have to safeguard their community and their rights.
This is a call of action for all Tarrant County residents to show up to the polls in 2024 and vote against the white supremacists who seek to control their lives.
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