Republicans really gotta stop using the Holocaust to grandstand their own offensive assertions and proposals.
North Carolina state Sen. Dan Bishop, the Republican candidate running in a special election for the Charlotte-area congressional seat left vacated by last year’s ballot-stuffing scandal, compared himself to Oskar Schindler when discussing his plans to minimize the effects of the state’s partial repeal of its 2016 bathroom bill, according to emails obtained and published by nonprofit Real Facts NC last week.
Schindler was the German industrialist and Nazi party member who helped save 1,200 Jews from murder during the Holocaust by employing them.
In one email from March 2017, Bishop and conservative advocates discussed undermining the potential partial repeal of the anti-trans House Bill 2, which Bishop authored in 2016. Bishop proposed a religious exemption with language protecting “creative professionals” who discriminate against people in the LGBTQ community when taking on projects. The repeal happened later that month, but without the inclusion of the exemption.
When asked “Whom are we attempting to protect here?” by a lawyer at an anti-LGBTQ hate group, pointing out the small number of people this protection would apply to, Bishop responded, “As Oscar Schindler said, as many as we can.”
When reached for comment on the 2017 email by HuffPost, Bishop campaign spokeswoman Jessica Proud directed the publication to another email in the records request, in which Bishop explained his reasoning for specifying the exemption for people committing “act[s] of expressive creativity.”
“Senator Bishop’s next email (four minutes later) further explained his thought about the drafting of a religious conscience exemption: ‘Define the right too broadly, bad actors go free by cynical claims of religious belief. Define narrowly enough to protect the people likeliest to be targeted by the real haters,’” Proud told HuffPost.
One might think a comparison between someone who prevented hundreds of Jews from being murdered and Bishop’s own Republican anti-LBGTQ crusade for the religious freedoms of homophobic bakers and painters is strange and offensive, but it’s right in line with the rest of Bishop’s shitty politics.
Along with authoring the “bathroom bill,” which prevented local governments from passing ordinances mandating the rights of transgender people to use the bathroom aligned with their gender identity and made North Carolina an international laughingstock, Bishop also invested in the white supremacist social media website Gab, and has called the Black Lives Matter movement a “violent, racist movement” akin to white supremacist movements.
Bishop won a 10-way primary for the Republican nomination for the seat, after Islamophobic pastor Mark Harris dropped his bid for a second run following last year’s scandal. He’ll face Democrat Dan McCready, who’s making his second run for the same office in less than a year.
The special election is on Sept. 10—which means we have just two more months until this entire mess is laid to rest.