The Republican Party of Virginia attacked Democratic gubernatorial candidate and current Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday by saying he had “turned his back on his own family’s heritage” by supporting the removal of Confederate monuments.
“Ralph Northam has turned his back on his own family’s heritage in demanding monument removal,” the Virginia GOP wrote in a tweet.
The party also wrote that Northam’s decision to back Confederate monument removal “shows [he] will do anything or say anything to try and be [Virginia’s governor].”
Northam, who grew up in Virginia and served as a United States Army physician for eight years, quickly shot back that he felt “fine about turning my back on white supremacy,” and he challenged his opponent, Republican Ed Gillespie, to do the same.
— Ralph Northam (@RalphNortham) August 23, 2017
The Virginia GOP’s tweet also drew a quick backlash from other Twitter users, who accused the party of using racial dog whistles to insinuate that Northam is a race traitor because of his rejection of the Confederacy.
Check out the top reactions below.
Heritage=losing commanders, a flag and racism? My heritage is my family, my friends, food, traditions, clothing, etc. You lost get over it.
— Greg Morris (@StraightGMoney) August 23, 2017
if "you lost, get over it" is the motto of Trump's base there should be exactly zero problems with removing statues of losing generals
— Just Jess (@Jess_IsAMess) August 23, 2017
So he's just like these descendants of Lee, Jackson and Davis?https://t.co/3rVIQL1fGc
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) August 23, 2017
So if I'm a gun-toting fiscal conservative who finds this whole "betraying your heritage" KKK parroting incredibly disturbing, how do I vote
— Ryan Schmid (@Schmiddysaurus) August 23, 2017
That's one of the clearest racist dog-whistles I've ever seen. Why not just call him a race traitor?
— Mary Ellen (@librarianatrix) August 23, 2017
As a native Virginian, I find hundreds of things to be proud of regarding my state. None of them involve glorifying slavery and racism
— smacb1 (@smacb1) August 23, 2017