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House GOP Refuses to Denounce White Nationalist Conspiracies, Instead Keeps Amplifying Them in Hearings

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New House Oversight Committee Letter from Ranking Member Jamie Raskin Spotlights GOP’s Dangerous Mainstreaming of White Nationalist Conspiracies

Washington, DC – A new letter from House Oversight and Accountability Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) to Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) calls on Republicans to join Committee Democrats in “denouncing white nationalism and white supremacy, and the use of related conspiracy theories, including the ‘Great Replacement’ theory, during Committee hearings and in all our work together.” Thus far, zero House Republicans have signed onto the letter ahead of a scheduled border-related hearing in the Committee this Wednesday.

As the Washington Post “Early 202” tipsheet noted of the new letter and implications:

“Raskin argues that ‘dangerous and conspiratorial rhetoric echoing the racist and nativist tropes peddled by white supremacists and right-wing extremists’ has been used by some Republicans during committee hearings, particularly ones involving immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border.

The letter doesn’t mention any specific Republican lawmakers, but it references comments calling immigrants coming over the border an ‘invasion,’ which were made by Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Chip Roy (R-Tex.) and Josh Brecheen (R-Okla.). It also points to a comment by Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.), who asked at a Feb. 7 hearing whether Democrats’ answer to border issues is ‘changing our culture.’”

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“We applaud Rep. Jamie Raskin’s vitally important and urgent letter. Instead of denouncing white nationalism or focusing on the real threats to our nation as defined by the Attorney General, House Republicans have either embraced the conspiracies that have inspired multiple domestic terrorist attacks or continued to turn a blind eye as their colleagues spread animus and falsehoods about immigrants. This has real life consequences as we have seen in El Paso, Buffalo and Pittsburgh, to name a few. Ranking Member Raskin is right to spotlight the dangers of elevating these hateful conspiracies and to seek Committee-wide consensus on what used to be a point of bipartisanship. 

This isn’t about differences in opinion on immigration and border policies but a matter of public safety and keeping corrosive bigoted ideas that threaten our democracy out of the halls of Congress. It shouldn’t be hard to denounce racist fictions, but the fact that Republican leadership refuses to do so should tell you all you need to know.”

A key passage from the new letter reads:

“In particular, some Members repeatedly described the number of migrants arriving at the border as an “invasion,” and even went so far as to falsely accuse the Biden-Harris Administration of implementing a plan “to deliberately open our border” for purposes of “changing our culture”—mirroring language often used by MAGA extremists who believe that pro-immigration policies are designed to replace white populations with non-white immigrants and other racial minorities.  As I explained to you at the hearing, such language borrows from the “Great Replacement” theory, the central dogma of contemporary white supremacy that has been repeatedly invoked by white nationalists to justify violent acts of domestic terrorism…”

Additional Resources and Background

  • Over the first five weeks of the House Republican majority, they have held five border-related committee hearings and at all five they have platformed white nationalist conspiracies. 
  • At least six Committee Republicans, including Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this weekend, which featured an ugly and overt embrace of “replacement” and “invasion.” Those spouting versions of these conspiracies at CPAC included several Oversight GOP members:
  • Rep. Jim Jordan stated: “The biggest problem is, what is happening to our border over the last two years is intentional, there is no other way to interpret it. It’s premeditated, it’s done purposefully, and it’s why we have had 5 million illegal immigrants come into the country.”

  • Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA): “Their goal is actually the globalization of the United States of America, destruction of our sovereignty, so this is all intentional.”

  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA): “What our military should be doing, our military should be defending the southern border because we are being attacked every single day.”  

  • By contrast, last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that white supremacist violence is the biggest threat to our nation, a threat assessment similarly echoed by DHS.
  • Read research compiled by America’s Voice of the numerous occasions when Oversight Republicans have embraced white nationalist talking points on the “Great Replacement Theory” and lies about an immigrant “invasion.” This information helped set off the initial exchange at the House Oversight Committee hearing on February 6.