McConnell refuses to condemn replacement theory three times in a row

  • Some Republicans have promoted a version of the “replacement theory” that motivated the Buffalo shooter.
  • Insider and 2 other reporters repeatedly asked McConnell about the theory, but he refused to denounce it.
  • He said racism “must be fought by everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike”.

Faced with repeated questions from Insider and other reporters about his party’s association with the so-called replacement theory, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell repeatedly declined to condemn it during his weekly news conference at the Capitol on Tuesday.

“This horrific episode in Buffalo is the result of a totally deranged young man who should be punished as severely as possible by law,” he said when asked if he has the responsibility as a Republican leader to speak out on the theory.

“Racism of any kind is abhorrent in America, it should be fought by everyone, Republicans and Democrats, all Americans,” McConnell said as he continued to press.

Insider then asked McConnell whether he believes Democrats are seeking amnesty for undocumented immigrants with the aim of influencing and changing the electorate and giving themselves a political advantage — a version of the theory promoted by right-wing media and some Republican politicians.

But he objected a third time.

“What worries me regarding the southern border is its relative openness,” he said, while criticizing the Biden administration for lifting Title 42.

On Saturday, 18-year-old white Payton Gendron opened fire at a Tops supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, killing 10 people and injuring several others. Gendron is an outspoken white nationalist and a proponent of the substitution theory, according to a 180-page manifesto and a compilation of posts written online by someone who identified himself as Gendron.

In the wake of the shooting, Republicans and right-wing media have come under more scrutiny for promoting watered-down versions of the theory that white people are being replaced by people of color and that the “white race” is facing demographic and cultural extinction. .

Versions of the theory have been promoted on right-wing media outlets such as Fox News and by Republican members of Congress, most notably Republican Conference Speaker Rep. Elise Stefanik from New York. In general, arguments about replacement theory are formulated in terms of voter power, with Republicans arguing that Democrats want to use immigration to weaken Republican votes.

“Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION UPRISING,” Stefanik read an ad in September. “Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will topple our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.”

President Joe Biden at an event in Buffalo on Tuesday condemned “those who spread lies for power, political play and profit,” though he declined to name a specific person or identity.

But Congressional Democrats have gone further, with Senate Leader Chuck Schumer criticizing Fox News and Tucker Carlson for spreading the idea, while House Democratic leadership condemning Stefanik by name.

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