Republican Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger criticize members of their own parties in the wake of what officials are investigating as ain Buffalo, New York. The alleged shooter, a white male, reportedly posted a conspiracy-themed “manifesto” of white supremacists online prior to the attack, saying he chose the location because it has a high black population.
The online post referred to the so-called “Great Replacement” theory, centered on fears that non-white people are “replacing” America’s white population and diminishing their influence.
Cheney, of Wyoming, accused her party leaders in the House of enabling “white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism.”
“History has taught us that what begins with words ends much worse,” Cheney wrote in a tweet. †@GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who adhere to them.”
This was not the first time a mass shooting had been committed by a gunman apparently acting on the “Great Replacement” and related white supremacist beliefs. Such motives were also found in the mass shootings at a 2015 Charleston church, a 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue, a 2019 El Paso Walmart, and other fatal incidents.
The Anti-Defamation League has documented the spread of similar rhetoric in recent years at events such as the 2017 Unite the Right meeting in† While mainstream figures have denounced violence, the ADL and others have documented the use of language following the “Great Replacement” theory of figures such as former Iowa GOP congressman Steve King and Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
Kinzinger called several fellow Republicans by name in a tweet, claiming they helped spread such dangerous beliefs.
“Here’s My Replacement Theory: We Need To Replace” [Rep. Elise Stefanik]† [Rep. Kevin McCarthy]† [Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene]and [Rep. Madison Cawthorn]and several others,” he tweetedtag his colleagues’ Twitter accounts.
“The replacement theory they push/tolerate is what causes people to get killed,” Kinzinger wrote.
In another tweet, he accused Stefanik of posting ads that “push” the replacement theory. Several GOP campaigns have used language reflecting the theory in instilling fear of migrants crossing the southern border.
Stefanik himself tweeted in the aftermath of the shooting: “Our nation is heartbroken at the tragic news of the horrific loss of life in Buffalo. We mourn for the entire community and loved ones. During the day #National PoliceWeekwe must thank and honor our law enforcement officers and first responders who are heroically faced with towering violent crimes.”
In a statement to CBS News, Stefanik’s senior adviser, Alex DeGrasse, said: “Any implication or attempt to blame the Congressman for the horrific Buffalo shooting is another disgusting low for the left, their Never Trump allies and the sycophant stenographers in the media. The shooting was an act of malice and the criminal should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Despite nauseating and false reporting, Congresswoman Stefanik has never advocated a racist position or made a racist statement,” the spokesperson said.
CBS News has contacted representatives for Greene, Cawthorn and McCarthy, as well as Cheney and Kinzinger, and is awaiting a response.
the shooter,in a supermarket and live streaming the rampage, is in custody and charged with murder in what officials call a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism. He shot 13 people, 11 of whom were African American, officials said died.