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Republican Says He'd Bring Back Slavery If His Constituents Asked Him To

Nevada Assemblyman Jim Wheeler's comments to fellow Republicans sparked an uproar from his colleagues.

A woman holds a GOP political protest sign at a Moral Monday Rally in downtown Asheville.
Photo Credit: J. Bicking / Shutterstock.com

A Nevada Republican sparked outrage after he told members of the GOP that he’d bring back slavery if that’s what his constituents wanted. Nevada Assemblyman Jim Wheeler made the comments to the Storey County Republican Party in August, according to the Associated PressA video of his remarks only recently surfaced, though YouTube copies of the video appear to have been taken down.

In 2010, when Wheeler was running for his seat, a conservative blogger wrote an article where he asked the question, “what if those citizens decided they want to, say, bring back slavery? Hey, if that's what the citizens want, right Jim?” Wheeler told the crowd in August that he responded to the blogger, “yeah, I would.”

Wheeler added: “If that's what they wanted, I'd have to hold my nose ... they'd probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah.”

Elected officials from both parties furiously denounced his comments. “Assemblyman Wheeler's comments are deeply offensive and have no place in our society. He should retract his remarks and apologize,” said the governor of the state, Brian Sandoval.

The Democratic caucus in the Nevada Assembly called Wheeler’s remarks “reprehensible and disgusting.”

Wheeler defended himself by telling the AP, “Anyone who knows me knows that I could never vote for something like that...There is absolutely no room in my life for any bigotry.”

 

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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