Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is refusing to apologize after suggesting that the US use nuclear weapons to bomb “the Muslim world.”
Miller posted a Facebook photo on Sunday night showing a mushroom cloud rising up through the air after the explosion of an atomic bomb with the following text:
Japan has been at peace with the US since August 9, 1945. It’s time we made peace with the Muslim world.
The post has since been deleted.
On Monday the Texas Democratic Party condemned the post as hate speech and xenophobic, and called on Miller to apologize. In a statement, Manny Garcia, Texas Democratic Party Deputy Executive Director, said:
It is unacceptable for Republican Sid Miller to be promoting such disgusting rhetoric. Sadly, this kind of racist, xenophobic hate speech qualifies you for higher office with Republicans’ Tea Party fringe base. We hope Sid Miller shows some respect for Texans and the responsibility of holding state office and issues an apology.
As one might expect, Miller is refusing to apologize. Todd Smith, a political consultant and spokesman for Miller, said:
We’re not going to apologize for the posts that show up on our Facebook page.
Smith said he didn’t know why the post was taken down but said critics outraged over the content should instead be demanding apologies from Islamic terrorists, Iranian leaders and President Barack Obama for their words and actions.In an attempt at damage control and spin, Smith told The Texas Tribune he found the post “thought provoking,” adding:
I don’t know who did it, but I’m not going to start a witch hunt to find out who did. I read the post this morning, and we’re at the 60th anniversary of dropping the atom bomb in order to destroy an insidious enemy that was intent on destroying American lives, and we face a similar enemy who has vowed to destroy American lives, and I think that’s the topic that the American people are focused on.
This is not the first time Miller has made anti-Muslim remarks. Last January Miller told the Dallas Morning News that he cannot sleep at night because of concerns that the United States will become a “Muslim country.”
Miller, a Republican, took office in January, but served in the Texas House of Representatives for 12 years prior to his election as the state’s agriculture commissioner.
During his first term as agriculture commissioner, Miller made headlines by lifting bans on cupcakes and deep fat fryers in public schools. Go Texas.