Despite Links to Buffalo and El Paso Massacres, White Nationalist Rhetoric Still Touted by Many in Texas GOP
Austin, Texas – In the wake of a massacre committed by a racist white nationalist, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and at least 12 Texas House Republicans have repeated, amplified, and extended their dangerous claim that there is a hostile immigrant “invasion” occurring in Texas as we speak. Their escalation and insistence on using the “invasion” rhetoric and fomenting fears that there is a plot to “replace” American voters were also espoused by racist attackers in both the Buffalo mass murders this month and the El Paso mass murders in 2019, as well as others.
Last week, the Houston Chronicle reported, “12 Texans in Congress join Sen. Ted Cruz in border ‘invasion’ claims after Buffalo shooting,” which noted, “It’s a worldview similar to that of the gunman accused of killing 23 people at an El Paso Walmart in 2019. The shooter allegedly shared a hate-filled document claiming a ‘Hispanic invasion of Texas.’”
Writing for The Atlantic, Adam Serwer explained the connection:
“Large sections of the manifesto attributed to the Buffalo shooter were plagiarized from the El Paso shooter’s writings. Both share the premise that violence against nonwhite people is justified to prevent ‘white genocide’ or the ‘replacement’ of white Americans by nonwhite immigrants.”
As Cruz and other leading Texas Republicans push this dangerous rhetoric, the question should be asked of the Texas House candidates who want to represent districts with significant Hispanic populations including Rep. Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Monica de la Cruz (TX-15), Mayra Flores (TX-34), and Cassy Garcia (TX-28): Do they support this message from their party?
The following is a statement from Mario Carrillo, an El Pasoan and the Texas-based Campaigns Manager for America’s Voice:
The horrific shooting in Buffalo shocked the nation. What happened there hit hard for those with close ties to El Paso like me and my family. We know what it’s like when a racist drives across the state to find a certain group of people and then opens fire because of warped racist ideologies.
You’d like to think Republicans would quickly denounce the racist screeds espoused by mass murderers, but clearly that’s a bridge too far for Republicans. Instead of looking for solutions that would benefit the state, they look for political points, no matter the cost. Republicans have mainstreamed these very ideas and doubled down on them in the days following the horrific racist attacks.
I have questions for the Hispanic candidates who are running for Congress as Republicans in South Texas: Rep. Tony Gonzales, Monica de la Cruz, Mayra Flores, and Cassy Garcia. Do they condemn their party’s use of dangerous language designed to incite? Do they agree with Cruz and their fellow Republicans that immigrants are hostile invaders? Or will they turn a blind eye to the danger that rhetoric poses to our communities in order to keep in good standing in the GOP? Silence is complicity, and voters deserve to know where they stand.
That rhetoric employed by Cruz and too many others in Republican leadership already comes with a body count, including 23 people killed in Texas at a Walmart. These battleground Republicans can either stand for the leadership of the Republican Party and endorse their violent and hateful rhetoric or they can stand for their communities. Their party leadership has made it impossible to do both.