Texas Democrat Gary O’Connor is facing calls for his resignation after referring to Republican South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott as an “Oreo.”
“I had hoped that Scott might show some common sense, but it seems clear he is little more than an oreo with no real principles,” he wrote.
The term “oreo” is sometimes used as a disparaging and offensive slur for a “Black person who is regarded as having adopted the attitudes, values, and behavior thought to be characteristic of middle-class white society, often at the expense of their own heritage,” according to Dictionary.com.
Republican Texas Rep. Pat Fallon called for O’Connor to resign over his “abhorrent, insulting and unforgivable” remarks.
“Gary O’Connor’s comment against Senator Tim Scott is abhorrent, insulting, and unforgivable. Both he and the entire Lamar County Democratic Party should be ashamed of this racist behavior,” Fallon said in a statement. “O’Connor must apologize and step down immediately.”
He added: “Additionally, I call on both the Democratic Party of Texas and the NAACP to condemn these words, and the state party should take swift action to censure him. This kind of behavior is not tolerable in Texas, the United States, or any political party.”
Other critics took to social media to call for O’Connor to be ousted from his post.
“Gary O’Connor needs to be forced out of his position,” tweeted @cricket2001.
@JonathanAFox154 wrote, “Democrats have called for Republicans who make questionable social media posts. When will you encourage Gary O’Connor, your Lamar Co., TX party chair to resign for calling Mr. Tim Scott a racial slur. I demand equality.”
“Gary O’Connor must resign or be terminated. Disgusting racist,” @dwsgrant added.
In his rebuttal, Scott said, “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country. It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different discrimination. And it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present.”
On Wednesday night, “Uncle Tim” began trending on the social media platform as Scott faced online backlash for his remarks.
Scott appeared on Fox & Friends Thursday to hit back at his critics. “Intolerance so often comes from the left with words like ‘Uncle Tim’ and the N-word being used against me by the left, and last night what was trending on social media was ‘Uncle Tim,'” he said.
Newsweek reached out to the Texas Democratic Party for comment. This story will be updated with any response.