Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA), who is running for governor in the 2019 elections, attended a meeting of a right-wing “patriots” group on Thursday. When an attendee delivered a racist rant against illegal immigration, and the members of Congress who allow it, and urged that some be shot, Abraham did not push back.
The incident happened during a question and answer session at the Acadiana Patriots Meeting in Lafayette, Louisiana. In two audio recordings, posted online by the progressive research group American Bridge 21st Century, the constituent is heard comparing the modern invasion by undocumented immigrants to Japanese people who he claimed crossed the Rio Grande during World War II.
“This Congress and this Senate too [are] absent minded and irresponsible,” the person claimed. “I think some of these people, whoever they are… ought to be shot.” It is unclear whether he wanted to assassinate the lawmakers or the immigrants.
But it is clear that Abraham did nothing to challenge the call to violence in his response.
“Let me jump in here,” the third-term Republican answered. “Many of those apprehended are not Hispanic, they are Chinese, Pakistani, Indian,” he observed. Abraham then complained that a bill that would have provided $25 billion for the wall failed when the Republicans held a majority in the last Congress due to GOP defections.
Abraham’s Congressional and campaign press offices did not immediately respond to a ThinkProgress inquiry about the incident.
Abraham tweeted after the 2017 violent white nationalist attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia, “I – like most of LA – reject violence & racism. Let’s not group ppl based on bad actions of a few. David Duke doesn’t speak for Louisiana.”