HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A coalition of social justice groups are criticizing Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill's use of his personal Twitter account, saying he is sending tweets that are racially insensitive and promote violence.

Merrill recently retweeted one item that criticized “Black Lives Matter's war on whites” and a second item saying “when patriots decide it's time to fight back it's gonna be ugly.”

More than 20 groups and individuals signed a letter to the elected Republican this week stating their disapproval and challenging him to appear at a Tuesday news conference with them in Montgomery to answer for his actions.

Project Say Something Founder Camille Bennett told WHNT-TV the tweets Merrill retweeted were racially insensitive and promoted violence, indicating his approval of those messages.

“We understood how we were going to be affected by tweets like that so we found it necessary to come together quickly and come up with a statement and work together to make sure we push it out to the public,” Bennett said.

Bennett called Merrill’s actions, with him being the secretary of state, irresponsible.

“It was not only one-sided, but it was really irresponsible,” Bennet said. “If you’re going to post something like that, talking about a war on whites, you really need to show the entire picture.”

Merrill said it was wrong to attack his performance as secretary of state over the tweets, saying he was using his personal account.

“The people that have a concern about my social media engagement or activity should not follow me on social media if they have a concern about that,” Merrill said. “If they want to follow the Office of the Secretary of State, they’re certainly welcome to do that.”

Merrill said his personal account reflects his views and his individual opinions.

When asked if he would attend the news conference, Merrill said anyone who would like to meet with him, one at a time, can schedule an appointment with him Tuesday.

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