Texas Rep. Chip Roy’s lynching comments draw criticism from Texas GOP chair

Allen West: Comments were ‘inappropriate’ but ‘not grounds for resignation’

Texas Rep. Chip Roy under fire for referencing lynching during anti-Asian violence congressional hearing
Texas Rep. Chip Roy under fire for referencing lynching during anti-Asian violence congressional hearing

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) is used to drawing heat from Democrats, but this week he caught ire from his own party for comments he made Thursday that glorified lynching.

“We believe in justice. There’s old sayings in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree,” he said before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on violence against Asian-Americans. “You know, we take justice very seriously, and we ought to do that. Round up the bad guys. That’s what we believe.”

Roy later defended his comments, saying “we need more justice and less thought policing.”

The comments drew backlash from Democrats, but on Friday, Texas GOP Chair Allen West also weighed in on the controversy, calling Roy’s comments “inappropriate and unfortunate” in a newly released statement.

West urged Roy to “engage the brain before firing the mouth” to avoid making charged statements but stopped short of asking him to resign.

“While his comments about hanging were dumb, they’re not grounds for resignation,” West said.

In response to West’s comments, Roy said West “might have had the courtesy to reach out to (him) personally,” according to the Texas Tribune. Roy said he was simply quoting a lyric sung by Willie Nelson on Toby Keith’s song, “Beer for my horses.”

On Twitter, West responded: “I humbly ask Congressman Roy to give me the courtesy of reaching out before he talks about ropes and trees.”

Roy, who was reelected in the 21st congressional district of Texas in November, represents a large swath of land that includes Alamo Heights, parts of North Side San Antonio, New Braunfels and Hays County.

CD-21 map (Texas Tribune)

About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.