Robert Foster, a Republican former Mississippi state representative and failed gubernatorial candidate Friday night launched an unhinged assault on transgender allies, calling for their death by firing squad. After online outrage, he doubled down Saturday morning.
The Mississippi Free Press reports Foster is "using his social-media platform to call for the execution of political foes who support the rights of transgender people."
Friday night Foster tweeted: "Some of y’all still want to try and find political compromise with those that want to groom our school aged children and pretend men are women, etc. I think they need to be lined up against wall [sic] before a firing squad to be sent to an early judgment."
Saturday morning Foster, a farmer who runs an agritourism business and calls himself a "Man of Faith," and a "Constitutional Conservative," doubled down, attacking his foes and defending his hate-filled remarks while trying to claim he was not referring to transgender people.
"I see this really set some of the wackos off, let me elaborate for you. First, that tweet says nothing about shooting or killing transgendered people. It clearly says groomers," he wrote. "Groomers" is a commonly-used word to describe pedophiles or those who establish relationships with children in service of pedophiles, but has been used increasingly by conservatives to demean LGBTQ people with a false claim that equates them with pedophiles. And in writing, "pretend men are women," Foster clearly was referring to, at minimum, supporters of transgender people.
He did not stop there.
"To those adults that groom children into dressing like the opposite sex, telling them they can be a different sex, encouraging them to take hormone treatments to 'transition' and ultimately have surgery to remove their sex organs, I propose they be given the death penalty," Foster added.
Foster, like many Republicans who attack transgender children and adults, clearly has not done his homework, but he did release a statement to the Mississippi Free Press:
“I said what I said,” he wrote, adding to what he had tweeted. “The law should be changed so that anyone trying to sexually groom children and/or advocating to put men pretending to be women in locker rooms and bathrooms with young women should receive the death penalty by firing squad.”
And he tweeted:
"Adult groomers of transgendered children are all pedophiles. Pedophiles deserve the death penalty."
At around 11:00 AM ET Foster's original tweet was removed and Twitter stated: "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules." So far his remaining tweets have not been deleted.
Foster, the Mississippi Free Press notes, "authored the state’s current death penalty law in 2017, allowing for executions by gas chamber, electrocution and firing squad."
For those who think Foster's anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, coupled with his electoral loss have hamstrung his political power, Mississippi Free Press adds:
"Despite winning less than 18% of the GOP primary vote, Foster’s farm venue has become a prime destination for Republicans since 2019, with GOP officials like U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, U.S. House Rep. Trent Kelly and House Speaker Philip Gunn attending fundraisers and other events on the property."