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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Democratic Rival Accuses Sen. John Cornyn of Using Racist 'Dog Whistle' Nickname

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2020 at 10:12 AM

  • Wikimedia Commons / Iamhasanansari (Royce West) and Shutterstock (John Cornyn)
After taking heat for blaming the coronavirus pandemic on "Chinese culture," Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is facing new allegations of racism.

This time, they're coming from State Sen. Royce West, who's in a Democratic runoff to challenge Cornyn in November. West, who's African American, accused the GOP incumbent's campaign of engaging in “dog whistle racism” by mocking him as “Restful Royce.”

"Cornyn’s and his team’s choice of words … plays into longtime racial stereotypes of African Americans being lazy," West spokesman Vince Leibowitz told the Dallas Morning News.

Cornyn spokeswoman Krista Piferrer, who used the nickname in recent media interviews, later defended it to the Morning News, saying the dig mocked the West campaign for lacking "any sort of policy depth, financial backing or inkling of grass-roots support."

Royce — locked in a July 14 runoff with former Air Force helicopter pilot M.J. Hegar for the right to challenge Cornyn — has already put together a web ad attacking the three-term senator for his choice of words.

"I certainly wasn’t too 'restful' for John Cornyn when he needed my help to reform child support collections when he was Attorney General," West told the Corpus Christi Caller Times. "Senator Cornyn should buy himself and his staff a thesaurus, so they can come up with some better adjectives – or what were you really trying to call me?"

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