Republican Rep. Liz Cheney on Monday accused her party’s leaders of enabling “white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism” days after a gunman killed 10 people and injured three others in the incident. which authorities called a racist attack targeting a community in Buffalo, NY, for its predominantly black population.
Cheney’s comments come as Republican party members have been slammed for echoing the racist ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory that the suspect allegedly cited in an online document. Authorities said they were still working to confirm the authenticity of the racist 180-page document allegedly written by 18-year-old Payton Gendron.
Cheney, a representative from Wyoming and a frequent critic of members of her own party, said on Twitter on Monday that “House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends up much worse. [GOP] leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who defend them.
Officials said Gendron, who has been charged with first-degree murder, allegedly researched the demographics of the area where he carried out the shooting in an act of “racially motivated violent extremism.” Of the 13 people killed On Saturday at Buffalo’s Tops Friendly Market, 11 were black.
Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, the No. 3 Republican in the House, has been criticized by the Democratic National Committee for peddling baseless conspiracy theory themes in campaign ads. A Facebook ad posted in September 2021 by Stefanik’s campaign committee falsely claimed that “radical Democrats” were planning a “PERMANENT ELECTION UPRISING,” according to the Washington Post. The ad showed President Biden wearing sunglasses with migrants in the reflection and said, “Their amnesty plan for 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.”
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who has also been a vocal critic of his own party members, drew attention to Stefanik’s ads on Twitter on Saturday and called out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. to answer.
“Did you know: [Stefanik] Does White Replacement Theory Drive? The No. 3 in the House GOP. [Cheney] was fired for demanding the truth. [McCarthy] should be asked about it,” the tweet read. It included a link to a Newsweek article from September 2021 describing the blistering response from The Albany Times Union editorial board to his campaign announcement.
In a Monday press release, Stefanik said, “Our nation is heartbroken and saddened to hear the tragic news and horrific loss of life in Buffalo, NY.” But the statement was titled “Statement on Shameful, Dishonest and Dangerous Media Defamation”.
A senior adviser to Stefanik, Alex De Grasse, said in the same statement that Stefanik “has never taken a racist position or made a racist statement.”
The racist conspiracy theory has also been peddled by Fox News personalities like Tucker Carlson. An analysis by The New York Times found that Carlson mentioned versions of the theory in more than 400 episodes of his top-rated Fox show.