GOP candidate's ties to hate site criticized in wake of white supremacist shooting


North Carolina Republican Dan Bishop's investment in Gab is causing concern among others in his party.

North Carolina state Sen. Dan Bishop's early investment in Gab, a social networking site that caters to racists and other right-wing extremists, is back in the headlines after a white supremacist killed 22 people in El Paso earlier this month.

Bishop is running in next month's special election for the 9th Congressional District. The results of the 2018 midterm were invalidated after the elections board concluded that a new election was necessary in the face of overwhelming evidence of the the Republican campaign's rampant election fraud.

Now, less than a month before the special election, Bishop's investment in a business favored by white supremacists is receiving renewed criticism.

In 2017, in the wake of neo-Nazis and white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, Bishop made a $500 investment in Gab, a Twitter-like platform favored by extremists. Bishop claimed he was investing in "a new, unbiased media platform," but an editorial from the Charlotte Observer in 2018 calls into question what Bishop really knew about the site.

Gab's alliance with white nationalists was evident in an article Bishop himself posted on Facebook to announce his investment in the company. While Bishop claims he was supporting free speech, he was really "taking the side shared by white supremacists and other racists and bigots," the Observer noted. Both Apple and Google refuse to support the Gab app in their stores because of rampant hate speech violations.

Bishop's support of racism in 2017 alarms some Republicans today.

"Violent extremist movements are on the rise, and Americans are increasingly afraid and losing trust in our core American institutions," Mindy Finn, a prominent Republican opposed to Bishop, told the Washington Post. "We need leaders who will work to solve these problems, not exacerbate them."

In 2016, Finn was the vice-presidential candidate with Republican Evan McMullin as the two mounted a campaign to oppose Trump. The two now run a political organization promoting good government and opposing racism, and they are deeply critical of Bishop's campaign.

McMullin told the Post that his opposition to Bishop is even more critical in the wake of the white supremacist shooting in El Paso. Earlier this month, a young white man told police he entered an El Paso Walmart with an assault rifle to target "Mexicans." His attack left 22 people dead, making it one of the country's deadliest hate crime targeting Latinos, according to the L.A. Times.

"The American republic is increasingly facing the threats of anti-freedom movements and ideologies such as violent white supremacism and political authoritarianism," McMullin told the Post. "The two are closely related in their rejection of the essential truth that all are created equal, and both are at issue in this special election."

Gab, the platform Bishop supported, was a favorite of the man who entered a Pittsburgh synagogue and murdered 11 people in October 2018.

Bishop's support of a white supremacist-linked platform is not the only controversy he is facing. Bishop was the author of the infamous "bathroom bill" in North Carolina, which discriminates against the transgender community. After a massive national backlash that cost the state millions in revenue, the legislature eventually changed the law.

Bishop also has extreme views when it comes to women's autonomy. He is a fan of radical anti-abortion laws that would force rape and incest survivors to give birth.

Now Bishop's support for a social platform that provides a safe haven for white supremacists is coming back to haunt him, just weeks before Election Day.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.