As Online Chats Get Out, a Kentucky Candidate for Office Rejects Anti-semitism and “White Genocide”

As Online Chats Get Out, a Kentucky Candidate for Office Rejects Anti-semitism and

WKRC reports that BOONE COUNTY, Ky. Some people are looking closely at a local candidate for state lawmaker because of things they may have said in an online chat seven years ago that they think are anti-Semitic.

A 2017 Facebook post from TJ Roberts is at the heart of the problem. Right now he’s running for the Kentucky House spot in District 66, which covers most of Boone County. At the time of the texts, he was in charge of a Facebook group.

Also, Roberts seems to have used three-paragraph lines around some words in this chat, which many people think is a code for Jews.

He then said, “I’m a religious Christian, and quite frankly, I’m sick of them promoting white genocide.” Roberts said that he is a quarter Jewish.

In that message, he didn’t use the paragraph breaks. But Roberts strongly rejects that he is anti-Semitic, saying that he wasn’t talking about Jews when he said that last thing. “White genocide” is an idea that some white nationalists spread that says Jews and other minorities are trying to get rid of white people and replace them with immigrants and people of other races.

Plus, he didn’t say who he meant by “them.” Then the other person in the chat says, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Jew admit to white genocide.” “You are one of the good ones.”

In the rest of the chat, Roberts doesn’t seem to explain what he meant by what he said. The Southern Poverty Law Center broke the story late last week and gave Local 12 a picture of the chat.

Roberts turned down calls for an interview, but in a statement to Local 12, he said he remembered what was said online and that the SPLC story is not true:

It is well known that the Southern Poverty Law Center spreads false information and intentionally misleading information, which has led to horrible acts of violence against harmless people. This story is the same. There are many mistakes, fabrications, and plain lies in it. I have fought for everyone’s freedom and justice, and I will keep fighting for these things. The SPLC only defends conservatives and Trump followers in court, but they have nothing to do with the south, poverty, or the law.

“I remember the context of the conversation they’re talking about.” And I can say for sure that I have never said or thought that Jews or the Jewish society support the killing of white people. I don’t think I need to say this, but I will anyway: I am against all kinds of white nationalism and anti-Semitism. “Because I love my neighbor, I always have,” Roberts said. “These fake smear campaigns are only happening now because the people who are behind them know that I can’t sue them forever because I’m running for office.”

Roberts’ comment doesn’t explain why he didn’t tell the other person in the chat what he really meant. The SPLC is a non-profit group that keeps an eye on hate crimes and racism across the country. Local 12 hasn’t been able to directly confirm that the screen shots that the SPLC says come from an unnamed source are real.

But Roberts’s statement shows that he does remember the talk. He just thinks that what he said was taken out of context. Ed Massey is his opponent in the primary in May. Massey is trying to get back the spot he lost two years ago after being elected twice. He told her that he doesn’t believe Roberts’ story.

Massey said, “I think that what he said was disgusting to the Jewish community.” Massey said, “He can’t fix the damage he’s caused, but hopefully he can learn from this.”

In an X post, the Kentucky Jewish Council said it was “extremely concerned by the reports of hateful anti-Semitic comments” and asked Roberts to either explain or say sorry.

Chet Hand, who is the head of the Boone County Republican Party, has backed Roberts. He didn’t answer when asked for a statement. Thomas Massie, (R)-Ky., who is a US Representative for Northern Kentucky, also backed Roberts.

Massie’s campaign said in a statement, “In light of this flimsy political hit piece from this notoriously misleading organization, I have doubled my support for TJ.”

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