Over the weekend, Fort Bend County Judge KP George shined a light on some of the racist and xenophobic attacks that have been sent to him online in recent weeks.
George, an Indian American Democrat who’s served as county judge since 2019, published a collage of offensive comments he’s received in posts on Facebook and Twitter on Saturday. Many of the messages were seemingly made in response to actions he’s taken to fight the spread of COVID-19 in his county like mandating that county businesses enforce the use of face masks and recommending that residents stay home if possible.
A recurring theme in the messages George shared was an attempt to paint him as untrustworthy due to the fact that he wasn’t born in America. “Go back to wherever you came from,” read one message, while another labelled him as an “S O B” that’s “trying to destroy and take away our freedoms.”
“If KP George Tries to Take Away Our Freedom… It will NOT be the First Time a Foreigner has Attempted to do so…” said another message. George graciously blurred out the names of the people who sent the messages, despite the fact that several were sent via Facebook from personally identifiable accounts.
“When someone criticizes my decisions,” George wrote on Facebook, “that is their right as Americans. However, when people choose to hurl racist, anti-immigrant garbage at my family, colleagues, and me — that crosses a line.”
George explained that his Christian faith guides all his decisions as county judge, and said that although he wasn’t born in America, he “got here as fast as I could” and has since become a naturalized U.S. citizen. George came to the United States from India in 1993 for a finance job in New York City, where he met his wife. The George family moved to Fort Bend County several years later, where they eventually raised their three children.
According to U.S. Census data, Fort Bend County is the most diverse county in Texas, with a population that’s 31.9 percent white, 24.9 percent Hispanic, 21.3 percent black and 20.9 percent Asian.
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The messages George shared were just “a very small sample” of the bigoted comments he’s received since taking office, he said, which he believes “are coming from a place of deeply misplaced fear” that immigrants are “taking their jobs” or are “replacing real Americans.”
Multiple local public officials spoke out in support of George over the weekend. “These are NOT values of the Fort Bend County that I have been privileged to represent in the United States Congress for 12 years. Hate is not welcome here,” said a Facebook post from Pete Olson, the Sugar Land Republican U.S. congressman who currently represents Fort Bend County.
Brian Middleton, the Fort Bend County District Attorney and a Democrat, spoke out in support of his colleague on Facebook. “Vile, hateful comments made to County Judge KP George are unacceptable. Probably written by bitter people who are unhappy with themselves lashing out at others,” Middleton wrote.
“As a fellow American, I ask you this: the next time you hear or see someone making an anti-immigrant or racist comment, call them out,” George said. “Stand up for your neighbors, your coworkers, and your children’s classmates.”