Schumer accuses ‘MAGA Republicans and cable news pundits’ of spreading ‘echoes’ of Buffalo shooter’s ideology

Pressure intensifies on right for immigration rhetoric after another mass shooter references ‘replacement theory’

John Bowden
Tuesday 17 May 2022 07:29
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Schumer calls out Tucker Carlson for 'spewing' the 'poison' of rhetoric replacement theory

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joined the chorus of voices accusing the right of spreading the same ideology as the shooters in Buffalo, Christchurch, El Paso and other attacks motivated by the racist “White Replacement Theory” belief.

Speaking on the floor of the US Senate on Monday, Mr Schumer excoriated conservatives for spreading what he said were “echoes” of the same ravings that the suspect in the mass shooting that occurred over the weekend in Buffalo espoused in a lengthy manifesto posted online before the attack.

“Unfortunately, with each passing year it seems harder and harder to ignore that the echoes of replacement theory and other racially-motivated views are increasingly coming out into the open, and given legitimacy by some MAGA Republicans and cable news pundits,” said the Democratic Senate leader.

“Every time they falsely claim that millions of undocumented people cast ballots in our elections, every time loud, bigoted voiced bemoan the disintegration of an imagined classic America, the subtext is clear,” Mr Schumer added, reinforcing his point.

He went on to reference an investigation published by The New York Times published earlier this year that found Fox News’ Tucker Carlson had expressed views in line or similar to “replacement theory” in at least 400 episodes of his show.

Mr Carlson and other conservative figures have born the brunt of backlash from the left as well as experts in race-related extremism in the aftermath of the shooting in Buffalo, where an 18-year-old is accused of killing 10 people after allegedly stating his intention in a manifesto to kill as many Black people as possible. The manifesto, which has been verified by some news outlets, also includes numerous references to the racist “white replacement theory”.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, the No 3 House Republican, is also among the targets of that criticism given her campaign’s past rhetoric accusing Democrats of wanting to bring in millions of illegal immigrants, grant them amnesty, and use them to “overthrow” the “current electorate”.

“Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION,” an ad from her campaign declared. “Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.”

She attempted to battle back against that criticism on Monday in a statement accusing reporters of spreading “dangerous” smears about her.

Fox News also pointed to comments Mr Carlson made disavowing political violence on his show when questioned about their primetime host’s frequent spread of rhetoric similar to or expressly the same as “replacement theory”.

Experts are divided over how such rhetoric should be handled in public spaces. In the wake of the Buffalo shooting, the Anti-Defamation League called for legislation to be passed to penalise those who spread such views, while others have called for racist beliefs to be challenged in the public square.

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