Column: De León embodied the American dream. After racist audio leak, he’s living a political nightmare
In the wake of a racially-charged audio recording leaked from a private meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives, which revealed Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) complaining about his life being threatened by a white nationalist, Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke and his father vowed to push forward an impeachment inquiry, while Green said he is “not seeking reelection.”
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Green’s remarks about his life being “threatened” by white nationalists, including an individual calling himself “MAGA,” are likely to incite backlash from the far-right, who have embraced his remarks as a means to attack his critics and elevate him to a more prominent place.
In the leaked audio, Green was discussing a meeting he had in January, and expressed regret for his past views and actions.
“I’m sorry,” he said to fellow lawmakers, referring to his statement that he “felt like I had to stand up and be counted.” He then went on to argue that he “needed to prove to myself that I could be a better steward for my country.”
In subsequent comments, he went on to say that when he voted for Trump, he had “to put my family first,” and “not let anybody tell me what I could or couldn’t do.”
“I did that, and I know that I made mistakes, and I know that I should have listened to my heart, and my gut,” he said.
While Green’s description of his actions in the past has been criticized by his critics—including fellow congressmen, but most notably, Texas Governor Greg Abbott—he’s used it to continue to be a voice for the left. Since the recording was published by the conservative website Breitbart News, Green has been labeled “the most important [House] freshman since Thurgood