Monday, July 22, 2024
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Rep. Elise Stefanik Flamed For Pushing Racist Theory Embraced By Accused Buffalo Shooter

Right-wing Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) was denounced by her local newspaper for touting the racist “great replacement theory” just months before an accused mass killer used it to justify a racist massacre in Stefanik’s state.

“How low, Ms. Stefanik?” the editorial in the Albany Times Union asked in September.

Stefanik, a Donald Trump disciple who’s now the third-ranking House Republican, was condemned by the newspaper for a Facebook campaign ad campaign that promoted the racist conspiracy that whites are being replaced by people of color through immigration or, eventually, violence. Other right-wing figures, including Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, also have pitched the racist falsehood.

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Payton Gendron, the accused Buffalo supermarket shooter, repeatedly cited the theory in an online treatise before allegedly shooting 13 people, killing 10 — most of them Black.

Stefanik’s ads didn’t specifically name the theory, but clearly evoked its racist vision. The Republican lawmaker “isn’t so brazen as to use the [usual theory] slogans themselves; rather, she couches the hate in alarmist anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s become standard fare for the party of Donald Trump,” the Albany Times Union editorial charged.

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“The idea of America as a melting pot is not some idealistic fiction of the left; it is part of the foundation of this nation’s greatness,” the paper wrote. “If there’s anything that needs replacing in this country — and in the Republican Party — it’s the hateful rhetoric that Ms. Stefanik and far too many of her colleagues so seamlessly spew.”

Stefanik’s ad accused President Joe Biden and Democrats of fomenting a “permanent election insurrection” by allowing increasing numbers of immigrants into the U.S. and expanding citizenship for undocumented immigrants to capture their votes. It was all a ploy to outnumber white Republican voters to silence them, she claimed.

Stefanik’s senior adviser Alex deGrasse told the Times Union Sunday that the lawmaker has never supported replacement theory — or racism. He told The Washington Post that the claims against Stefanik are a “new disgusting low for the left … 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,” deGrasse added.

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Stefanik was roundly attacked last week for blaming mysterious “pedo grifters” for somehow causing the shortage of infant formula in the U.S. Some critics viewed it as a dog whistle to QAnon conspiracists who baselessly believe Democrats are running an international child sex trafficking ring.

Critics warned that such outlandish claims could trigger violence against imagined enemies. A gunman opened fire in 2016 on a Washington pizzeria that was identified as a headquarters for the nonexistent trafficking operation. No one was injured. The gunman was sentenced to four years in prison.

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