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Republicans Are Furious People Remember They’ve Been Pushing the Racist “Great Replacement” Rhetoric for Years

In the era of Donald Trump, a major plank of the modern Republican Party platform is outright racism. Whether it’s the leader of the free world telling four congresswomen of color to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came,” a U.S. senator saying he wasn’t afraid of the January 6 rioters but would have been worried if they were Black Lives Matter protesters, a U.S. congresswoman speaking at event put on by a white nationalist, the complete and total hysteria over the idea of children being taught about systemic racism, or a prime-time conservative host’s regular white-power hour, this hateful little ecosystem just loves to appeal to the lowest common denominator by demonizing anyone who isn’t white. But when their actions actually have consequences? And it turns out their hate speech matters? And people have the audacity to suggest they’re part of the problem? Well, they really get their noses out of joint.

Take, for instance, New York representative Elise Stefanik. Following the horrifying mass shooting in a Buffalo grocery store that left 10 dead after a gunman allegedly targeted Black people, The Washington Post and other outlets thought it was important to note that Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican, among other conservatives, had previously echoed the “great replacement” rhetoric (the conspiracy theory that liberal politicians are trying to replace white Americans with nonwhite immigrants). In a series of Facebook ads highlighted in a tweet Saturday by Representative Adam Kinzinger, Stefanik’s campaign claimed in September 2021 that Democrats were letting undocumented immigrants into the country in an attempt to ultimately silence Republican (read: white) voters. “Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION,” reads one of the ads, with an accompanying image of migrants reflected in Joe Biden’s sunglasses. “Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.” At the time they ran, Albany’s Times Union, the congresswoman’s hometown paper, called the ads ”despicable,” and blasted her in an editorial, writing that she “isn’t so brazen as to use [Nazi-inspired] slogans themselves; rather, she couches the hate in alarmist anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s become standard fare for the party of Donald Trump.” As The New York Times reported over the weekend, Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old white suspect in the Buffalo shooting, “had posted a hate-filled manifesto online,” in which he wrote of his plan to shoot Black shoppers and went on “racist, anti-immigrant” rants “arguing that white Americans are at risk of being replaced by people of color.” Kind of like the ads run by one Elise Stefanik!

The congresswoman, though, did not appreciate any insinuation whatsoever that someone might have actually taken her words to heart, and in a statement released on Sunday, a senior adviser, Alex deGrasse, insisted that the “implication or attempt to blame the heinous shooting in Buffalo on the congresswoman is a new disgusting low for the Left, their Never Trump allies, and the sycophant stenographers in the media. The shooting was an act of evil and the criminal should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” He added, “Despite sickening and false reporting, [the] congresswoman has never advocated for any racist position or made a racist statement,” a claim that is obviously not true at all. On Monday, Team Stefanik followed that up with a press release accusing the media of “disgraceful, dishonest, and dangerous” smears.

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Stefanik, of course, is far from the only member of her party to push racist rhetoric intended to rile up the base. As the Post notes, Pennsylvania Republican representative Scott Perry, current chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said during a subcommittee hearing concerning migration from Central America last year that many Americans believe “we’re replacing national-born American—native-born Americans—to permanently transform the political landscape of this very nation.” Senator Ron Johnson has suggested that Democrats “want to remake the demographics of America to ensure their—that they stay in power forever.” Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick has declared that the “revolution has begun” and Democrats are “trying to take over our country without firing a shot” by allowing immigrants to enter the country who will vote for Democrats to “thank the Democrats and Biden for bringing them here.” Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance has claimed Democrats want to let in 15 million immigrants into the U.S. to “shift…the democratic makeup of this country” so “Republicans [will] never win a national election in this country ever again.”

And, of course, we can’t forget the fear-mongering, hateful commentary that appears on Fox News on a daily basis, which has included Laura Ingraham’s claim that Democrats “want to replace you, the American voters, with newly amnestied citizens and an ever-increasing number of chain migrants”; Jeanine Pirro’s that Democrats’ immigration policies are “a plot to remake America, to replace American citizens with illegals who will vote for the Democrats”; and basically everything that comes out of Tucker Carlson’s mouth…

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