GOP Rep. Paul Gosar Calls for Violence: “America is under attack – we must act accordingly.”
Washington, DC – Our nation is facing a dangerous moment, with real and threatened incidents of hate-fueled violence spiking, including those directed at migrants and asylum seekers ahead of the overdue end of Title 42.
This weekend, a neo-Nazi sympathizer who “fantasized over race wars” killed eight in Allen, TX. Separately, a SUV plowed into a crowd outside a Brownsville, TX migrant service center and reports indicate the driver yelled: “You’re invading my property!” Then, yesterday outside that very same migrant shelter in Brownsville, a man with a gun appeared and, per reports, pointed the weapon toward migrants.
Instead of seeking to calm nerves or learning from past deadly violence by domestic extremists in El Paso, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Charlottesville, Republican elected officials are doubling down on apocalyptic rhetoric and white nationalist conspiracies about immigration and the border. Just yesterday, we saw the following examples of Republicans stoking fear and mainstreaming dangerous conspiracies about migrants and our current moment.
- Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), all but explicitly called for political violence while elevating white nationalist conspiracy theories that have been directly connected to multiple deadly domestic terrorist attacks. Yesterday, Rep. Gosar shared a graphic with a quote that asserted, “America is under a planned and sustained invasion – we must act accordingly.” As Dr. Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, said: “When migrants are described as invaders, that leads to violence. Because how else does one stop an invasion?”
- Rep. Gosar was one of at least 11 Republican House Members who promoted dangerous “invasion” or “replacement” messaging on Twitter in recent days, joining Bob Good (VA), Lauren Boebert (CO), Jim Banks (IN), Eli Crane (AZ), Anna Paulina-Luna (FL), Tom Tiffany (WI), Eric Burlison (MO), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Jeff Van Drew (NJ), and Wesley Hunt (TX) (see accompanying embedded links).
- Texas Governor Greg Abbott also continued his relentless and ugly demonization and dehumanization of migrants. At a press conference yesterday, Gov. Abbott said, “The cartels are working in collaboration with President [Joe] Biden and the federal government to facilitate that illegal crossborder … We are being overrun by our own federal government,” Abbott said.
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“Domestic terrorist attacks and hate-fueled violence are the main domestic threats to America, and they are not happening in isolation. Time and time again we have witnessed the deadly consequences of dehumanizing and scapegoating the ‘other.’ Yet, in the face of these tragedies that cost people’s lives, some elected Republicans are actively courting and inciting more racist violence and hate while their colleagues stand in damning silence. Republicans know exactly the deadly consequences of their dehumanization, but are still intent to add more fuel to our tinderbox moment.”