Congressman Andy Harris has been representing us in Congress for well over 10 years. Throughout his time in office, Andy Harris has had a major problem with ties to White Nationalism and Anti-Semitism. In this letter I will discuss in detail Congressman Harris problematic ties to these extremist and hateful ideologies. Make this word plural?
On January 16th 2017, Congressman Andy Harris joined Congressman Phil Roe for a meeting with White Nationalist activist Chuck Johnson. Chuck Johnson is nationally known for his hateful and dangerous ideology including being a Holocaust denier, believing that Muslims are “genetically different in their propensity for violence or rape”, and linked to stories about how African-Americans “possessed a ‘violence’ gene.” These views have been proven to be debunked pseudoscience? from as far back as 1920. Yet our congressman took time out of his day to meet with such a radical extremist.
Read more about it here.
This is not the first time that Andy Harris has openly worked with someone with anti-Semitic and white nationalistic views. Since taking office Congressman Harris has been a major collaborator with Hungarian Dictator Viktor Orbán. Andy Harris has assisted Viktor Orbán in his efforts to erode democracy and seize power in Hungary. Prime Minister Orbán, during his power grab, was is famous for using anti-Semitic imagery around his nation, claiming that “powerful Jewish financiers are scheming to control the world.” He has also led smear campaigns that openly ran Jewish leaders, businesses, and institutions out of the country. Orban’s anti-semitic horror show doesn’t end there. Throughout his time in office, Orban has started efforts to revise history in order to “sanitize” the record of Hungarian participation in the ghettoization and deportation of the country’s Jews to concentration camps during WWII. During this period, Hungary was an ally of the Nazis. Despite these several authoritarian and openly anti-semitic actions, Congressman Harris still proudly promoted and supported anti-Semites in their effort to rewrite history, harass the Jewish community in the country, and seize power in the nation.
Read about Harris’ collaboration with Viktor Orbán here.
Read about Viktor Orbán’s anti-Semitic views here.
Andy Harris’s efforts to support foreign anti-Semites don’t stop in Hungary. In 2018, the congressman attempted to secretly meet with the leader of the Czech Nazi Party (Svoboda a přímá demokracie) Tomio Okamura in Prague. Not only was this meeting going to be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, this party is by far the most extreme that Czech Politics has to offer. You might be asking yourself why is this party so bad? The party has a long history of advocating for the violation of human rights and extremism like anti-Semitism. The Secretary of the Party Jaroslav Staník openly called for the gassing of “Jews, gays, and Roma”, which would be nothing short of a modern-day Holocaust. The party’s leader, Tomio Okamura, has called on the Czech people to walk pigs and dogs in Muslim neighborhoods and mosques (Muslim religious doctrines call for practicing Muslims to avoid interaction with these animals). To have people walk pigs and dogs in their community would be nothing short of harassment and open terrorism towards people just trying to live their lives like you and I. Tomio has also advocated for the end of religious freedoms and wants to ban Islam and other religions he views as undesirable. The fact that our congressman would set up a meeting with such an extremist that openly goes against American values of freedom and peace is disgusting and a clear sign he holds these beliefs himself.
Read about Andy Harris’s planned meeting with a political party calling for the mass murder of Jews, Romas, and members of the LGBTQ community here.
In the simplest terms, the situation with our sitting congressman is untenable. The first time Andy Harris met with or attempted to meet with an Anti-Semite and or White Nationalist leader or organization, there it was at least somewhat believable that maybe Andy Harris and his staff were incompetent and didn’t know how to vet people before setting up meetings. Not even Harris could be THIS incompetent. There is no reason not to believe that he holds these anti-American and anti-Eastern Shore views himself. There is a saying for people like Andy Harris: if there’s a Nazi at the table and ten other people sitting there talking to him, you got a table with eleven Nazis. We can’t afford to continue electing a congressman who holds sympathetic views towards White Nationalism and anti-Semitism.
Chair, Lower Shore Progressive Caucus