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Congressional Candidate Vows to Make America White Again

Tennessee Congressional Candidate Has A Dream To ‘Make America White Again’

Rick Tyler longs for a “Leave It to Beaver” version of America.

06/22/20  | by Kim Bellware | Courtesy of The Huffington Post
Congressional Candidate Vows to Make America White Again

A sign in Jackson, Mississippi which reads ‘Waiting Room For Colored Only by order Police Dept.’, 25th May 1961. (Photo by William Lovelace/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Congressional Candidate Vows to Make America White Again

Congressional Candidate Vows to Make America White Again ~ An independent candidate running for Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District hopes a racist campaign sign points to the path of victory.

Rick Tyler, a local businessman running in the heavily Republican district, has drawn sharp criticism for a pair of inflammatory signs near Highway 411 in Polk County: One that says “Make America White Again,” and another that invokes Martin Luther King Jr. and reads “I Have a Dream” over an image of the Capitol surrounded by Confederate flags.

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News Channel 9 reported the “Make America White Again” sign had beensin taken downce . Tyler did not respond to multiple requests via phone and email for comment, and on Wednesday, his campaign website had crashed.

Tyler rejected the idea his sign was hateful in an interview with WTVC and said it was “deliberately designed to be provocative.”

“It was intended to elicit the idea in people’s minds of …what ‘Make America White Again’ could possibly mean. My quick response to that is the ‘Leave It to Beaver,’ ‘Ozzie and Harriet,’ ‘Mayberry’ America that I grew up in was a better America,” Tyler said, claiming that time had no “break-ins” or “Muslim sleeper cells,” had less immigration by people of color — and was so safe you could leave your doors unlocked.

Tyler expressed fondness for a time when there was an “85 percent super white majority.”

The 1960s — an era of American history marked by the rise in violent crime and the mass expansion in immigration thanks to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 — was uniquely perilous for people of color due to rampant, institutionalized racism and exclusion.

William Lovelace via Getty Images
A sign in Jackson, Mississippi, from the 1960s, an era one congressional candidate would like to return to.

Three candidates each from the Democratic, Republican and independent tickets are running for the 3rd Congressional District seat, currently held by Republican Chuck Fleischmann.

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Topher Kersting, who is also running as an independent, said he met Tyler at an event in Polk County.

“He’s about as racist as you can get, from what I can tell,” Kersting said, noting the main image on Tyler’s campaign website:

The main image on candidate Rick Tyler’s Facebook page. 

Tyler’s campaign blog posts are no better: They include a series of audio clips talking about white fright and “the browning of America.”

“He wants to go back to the 1950s where whites are in control and blacks ‘know their place,’” Kersting said, adding, “He’s wide open about it. It’s kind of scary we’re not past this.”

Kersting said getting on the ballot is simple: It only requires 25 signatures of registered voters. The district the nine candidates are vying for runs from the southern to the northern border of Tennessee and includes Chattanooga and Oak Ridge, where most of the population is concentrated.

“It’s pretty diverse,” Kersting said. “Chattanooga has a significant minority population. The rest of the district is heavily white.”

Kersting admitted he doesn’t have a chance in the race against the heavily favored and well-funded incumbent: He’s running because being on the ballot gives him a bigger voice on issues like bipartisanship and moderate gun control.

Tyler, he said, has an equally long shot at victory. Tyler ran for a Senate seat in 2014 as an independent and got 0.4 percent of the vote with about 5,700 ballots.

“The best thing is that Rick Tyler has zero chance of getting elected,” Kersting said.

“I’m really hopeful the people in the district don’t give him too much attention,” he said, adding that Tyler’s ideas, though they appeal to a minority of voters, are “less marginal than I would like.”

“There will be some people who will latch on to his ideas,” Kersting said. “Unfortunately, with Trump in the race, there’s nothing discouraging that.”

Editorial Response

Actually,  I shared this on The Odyssey Project site because I have a different perspective and approach in dealing with situations like this. When observe the history between Blacks and Whites, I find very little that provides the confidence necessary to convince me that some form of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence is plausable. While I have met numerous Whites who have been nice to me, even some who have been intrumental in my success. I doubt any are willing to reliquish their privilege, but even more, I sense impassible indifferences that actually qualifies the White race as our mortal enemies. There has never been collective peace among our races.

When it comes to a White politician claiming to fight for the return to a White America, I have no desire to change their point of view. I seek no place of compromise. I simply understand that he is fighting for his race, which inspires me to fight harder for mine. I have no desire to take a seat at their table, I want to teach my people how to build our own table — creating our own system of power! I want to condition the minds of my people to seek one thing — victory! ~ Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.


  1. Dr. Wallace,

    I wish I could tell you that you were wrong about whites not being willing to relinquish their privilege, but I can’t. Personally, I would love to do so, as I have an obsessive need for fairness–which I have often pressed, too often to my own detriment. I wish I could get elected and change the system, but I’m an independent running in a world that loves Republicans and Democrats. All I can do is get on the ballot and scream.

    I am a student of negotiations, and your approach of building your community rather than looking for a seat at the current table of power makes sense, because at that table you won’t have an equal voice. Having said that, much of the progress of the 1960s was a result of the good cop/bad cop approach of Dr. King and Malcolm X. I won’t presume to give you advice–that’s not my place.

    The lesson I try to teach my daughter is to treat everyone with respect, dignity, and fairness, and I’ve shown her the ugly side of US history that schools don’t teach. If I can’t change the world, maybe she can.

    Thanks for linking back to my site, and fight on!

    • Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.

      Thank you for your candidness. My approach to working with my people is simple — stop asking and expecting others to do for you what you are capable of doing for yourself.

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