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On One Year Anniversary of Terror Attack, Biden Calls White Supremacy “The Most Dangerous Terrorist Threat to Our Homeland” as GOP Leaders Stay Silent or Echo Racist Theories

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Yesterday, President Biden marked the one-year anniversary of the horrific shooting in Buffalo by writing an op-ed in USA Today. He also tweeted, “One year ago, evil came to Buffalo – manifested in a gunman who massacred people in service of hate. Today, we remember the ten lives senselessly taken. In America, evil will not win. Hate will not prevail. White supremacy will not have the last word.” He included the names of the ten people who were killed in that horrific massacre: Roberta A. Drury, Margus D. Morrison, Andre Mackneil, Aaron Salter, Geraldine Talley, Celestine Chaney, Heyward Patterson, Katherine Massey, Pearl Young, and Ruth Whitfield.

But top Congressional Republicans, including New York Rep. Elise Stefanik and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz were silent on the anniversary of the racist terror attack that took the lives of Black Americans going about their day, one year ago this past Sunday. The mass shooter had purposefully targeted a predominantly Black area, driven by the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory, which posits that Jews and others are replacing white people through immigration.

The silence from GOP leaders this past weekend was even more deafening considering how fervently they pushed the kind of dangerous rhetoric that led to this domestic terror attack on ordinary shoppers.

In the year prior to the attack, Stefanik had begun pushing an anti-immigrant Facebook ad that echoed the conspiracy theory, including rhetoric claiming that undocumented immigrants will “overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.” But despite condemnation of her rhetoric, Stefanik continued running the ads and subsequently spewed “invasion” rhetoric from the House floor, America’s Voice Political Director Zachary Mueller wrote in “One Year After the Buffalo Terror Attack, Republicans Have Fully Embraced Racist Conspiracy Theories Espoused by Domestic Terrorists” last week. 

Immediately following the mass shooting, Stefanik also appeared to be more outraged over being publicly called out than over the fact that she was amplifying the racist conspiracy theory that motivated the Buffalo mass shooter.

Over the weekend, Cruz could not find the time to remember the victims but found time late Thursday night to stage a photo op and press conference at the border to demagogue migrants seeking safety and echoing the same racist conspiracy theories as the Buffalo mass murder. It was a similar move to a year earlier, when he despicably doubled down on amplifying this conspiracy theory in the days following the terror attack, repeatedly posting the language to his social media profile.

There was also silence this past weekend from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who failed to denounce this racist belief when pressed last year. 

“At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked repeatedly about his views of ‘replacement theory,’ a conspiracy theory that holds that Democrats are trying to replace white Americans with undocumented immigrants and people of color in order to win elections,” ABC News reported at the time. That’s a good summary of Stefanik’s ads, by the way. But McConnell “repeatedly avoided denouncing it outright,” the report said.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise were also silent over the weekend, but their actions before and since ring loudly. Scalise in 2014 confirmed that he’d once addressed a white nationalist group founded by David Duke. Speaking of Duke, Scalise had also reportedly claimed that he was like the former Ku Klux Klan leader but “without the baggage.” McCarthy, meanwhile, has turned over his gavel to the likes of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of the worst pushers of “invasion” and replacement theories.

Like McConnell, both McCarthy and Scalise also refused to denounce white nationalist conspiracies following the mass shooting. Instead, they have allowed their conference to spew this racist rhetoric from Congressional hearings, paid advertisements, and official social media accounts. House Republicans in fact invoked “invasion” rhetoric to push through their draconian anti-immigrant bill last week.

“One year on from the Buffalo attack, the language rooted in the great replacement conspiracy theory is commonplace within the Republican Party,” Mueller wrote last week. “America’s Voice message tracking project has identified over 550 examples of elected Republicans or top campaigns that employed the white nationalist great replacement conspiracy theory from May 14 2022 through May 10, 2023.” 

In just one recent example, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar last week amplified replacement theory in a Twitter message that all but called for mass violence, Mueller noted. Subsequent reporting has revealed that Gosar’s digital director is reportedly a “Groyper” and key supporter of notorious white nationalist Nick Fuentes. Hunter Walker from Talking Points Memo, who broke the story, also reports that Vanderbilt University historian Nicole Hemmer “described the situation with Gosar’s office as unprecedented in the modern era.”

Gosar has his own ties to Fuentes, including recording a video for his white nationalist America First Political Action Conference gathering last year. “There were a few members of Congress in the 1990s who had loose ties to militia groups, but nothing like this,” Hemmer told TPM.


Both U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had previously testified that white supremacist extremists posed the greatest threat to our national security. In his speech to this year’s graduating class at Howard University this past weekend, President Biden continued to sound this alarm, calling racist extremists “the most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland.” But from GOP leaders, we hear nothing as McCarthy instead allows the likes of Greene to control the legislative and political agenda. That says everything.