KY House candidate TJ Roberts denies antisemitic chat reported by Hatewatch Skip to content

KY House candidate TJ Roberts denies antisemitic chat reported by Hatewatch

Accusations are based on a screenshot of an online chat from 2017.

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TJ Roberts (R-Burlington), candidate for the 2024 66th House District race. (photo provided by TJ Roberts)

Northern Kentucky state legislative candidate TJ Roberts is accused of making antisemitic statements in a 2017 private chat, the website Hatewatch reported Wednesday. 

Roberts, a Burlington Republican, denied the comments attributed to him in an email to LINK nky Thursday.

Hatewatch — a website feature of the Southern Poverty Law Center — said it obtained a screenshot of the chat from someone who is active in libertarian circles. According to that person (who Hatewatch said wants to stay anonymous), Roberts privately messaged them in 2017 and accused Jews of “promoting white genocide.” 

The chat allegedly followed Roberts’ removal of a post the person made on the Facebook group for Liberty Hangout, a libertarian media outlet.

“I’m a religious Christian and quite frankly I’m sick of them promoting white genocide,” Roberts said in the chat, according to Hatewatch. 

Hatewatch “monitors and exposes the activities of the American radical right,” the website says. 

In his email to LINK, Roberts – an attorney running against former NKY lawmaker and fellow attorney Ed Massey of Hebron for Kentucky’s 66th House District seat this year – said he remembers the “context of the conversation” referenced on Hatewatch.

Roberts adamantly denied, however, what was reported on the website. 

“I actually remember the context of the conversation they’re referencing. And I can say this, I NEVER said that Jews promote white genocide,” Roberts told LINK. He also responded by accusing the Southern Poverty Law Center of “false reporting and deliberate misrepresentations.”

“I have fought for liberty and justice for all, and I intend to continue this fight,” Roberts told LINK. “The SPLC has nothing to do with the south, poverty, or law besides their lawfare against conservatives and supporters of President Trump.” 

According to Hatewatch, the term white genocide refers to a conspiracy theory that “shadowy figures – often Jewish people – use immigration to dilute the population of majority-white countries.” 

Besides the reference to white genocide, Hatewatch reported Roberts used the term “the Zuck” (referring to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is Jewish) and placed references to Jews in three parentheses in the chat. Inserting pronouns or names in three parentheses is an antisemitic reference to someone being Jewish, the site said. 

Roberts made local headlines in February after former NKY attorney Eric Deters unsuccessfully sued to disqualify Congressman Thomas Massie from running for reelection this year based on Deters’ residency questions concerning Roberts, who was a witness to Massie’s candidacy filing in December. 

Roberts was temporarily displaced after a fire at his permanent address last year, although his permanent address has never changed. Under state law, an individual must reside in the same district as the candidate whose filing they witness. A Lewis circuit judge ruled in Massie’s favor.

Deters has appealed the case.

Roberts posted a public response to the Hatewatch story on X (formerly Twitter) Wednesday. In that post, Roberts made the following statement: 

“This shouldn’t even have to be said, but let me be clear: I reject white nationalism and antisemitism in all forms. I always have, because I love my neighbor. The only reason these fake smear campaigns are happening now is because my attackers know, as a candidate for office, I cannot sue them into oblivion.”

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Written by Rebecca Hanchett. Cross-posted from the Link NKY.



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