Fort Bend County Commissioner candidate Taral Patel releases statement after receiving racist messages on social media

Taral Patel, who is running for Fort Bend County Commissioner for Precinct 3, released a statement Tuesday after he said he received racist and xenophobic messages on social media. (Taral Patel)

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – Taral Patel, who is running for Fort Bend County Commissioner for Precinct 3, released a statement Tuesday after he said he received racist and xenophobic messages on social media.

“As your Democratic candidate for County Commissioner, I am always open to criticism of my policy positions and stances on issues. However, when my Republican opponents supporters’ decide to hurl #racist, #anti-immigrant, #Hinduphobic, or otherwise disgusting insults at my family, faith community, colleagues, and me - that crosses a line. Fort Bend County’s diversity has made us all stronger, and these hateful images, a small sample attached here, are from a place of deep and misguided fear - incited by people like former President Donald Trump and today’s extremist Republican party fear that immigrants are ‘taking their jobs’ and setting out to hurt our own communities,” Patel said.

Patel shared a photo in a news release of some of the messages he’s received online. Social media users wrote that he is a foreigner and is trying to take away people’s freedom and guns. They questioned if he was “even” born in America. Other people said they support Andy Meyers, the current commissioner, because he is Christian while Patel and his followers worship monkeys and elephants.

Patel was previously the chief of staff for Fort Bend County. He grew up in the county, went to local schools, and said he is a proud American. Patel also said his campaign is focused on hard work and respect for all communities.

He quoted Fort Bend County Judge KP George, who also received xenophobic comments in the past.

“The next time you hear or see someone making an anti-immigrant or racist comment, call them out. Stand up for your neighbors, your coworkers, and your children’s classmates. Stand up for Fort Bend, our nation’s most diverse county. In doing so, you’ll be standing up for a better future America, the land of the free and home of the brave,” George said.

Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers shared the following statement about Patel’s situation. He is also looking to run for his current position again.

“From an early age, my parents taught me the importance of treating all people with dignity and respect, and I’ve never forgotten that lesson. For 27 years, I’ve worked with members of the Commissioners Court to build Fort Bend into one of the most diverse counties in the nation. I do not know the people to whom these comments are attributed, but they are reprehensible and do not reflect my values or the values that made Fort Bend County such a wonderful, safe, and family-friendly place to live.”

KPRC 2 also spoke to the Anti-Defamation League, an anti-hate organization about the messages Patel received. They said they are always concerned about how hate impacts our society.

“In this case, we’ve been very concerned for a while that the kind of hate that is infiltrating political discussions is challenging our democracy and our democratic institutions. And, this kind of rhetoric it has no place in (this country) whether it’s Fort Bend County, Harris County, Houston anywhere in the country,” said Mark B. Toubin, the Southwest Regional Director of ADL.

About the Author:

Cynthia Miranda graduated from UT Austin and is a proud Houstonian. She is passionate about covering breaking news and community stories. Cynthia previously covered elections, the historic 2021 Texas winter storm, and other news in East Texas. In addition to writing, she also loves going to concerts, watching movies, and cooking with her family.