Dems turn focus to racist ‘replacement theory’ post-Buffalo shooting

Democrats are flipping the script after a racist mass shooter killed 10 people in Buffalo, N.Y., blaming Fox News and “MAGA Republicans” for promoting an ideology embraced by the attacker rather than focusing solely on gun legislation.

There’s almost no hope for a breakthrough on gun safety or background checks in a narrowly divided Congress. With that path blocked, the Democratic Party is instead turning its attention to the racist motivation of the gunman himself.

“Republicans are owned by the NRA. That’s the first problem, essentially,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “I don’t know that it’s cause/effect. I think it’s worth calling people out, to call out Tucker Carlson for doing this, for always playing to race.”

Democrats’ focus on the racist replacement theory, which casts minorities as an existential threat to white people, signals a shift in how they respond to gun violence. While previous mass shootings have prompted calls for votes to put most Republicans on record for opposing gun legislation, Democrats are now trying to make Republicans answer for the discriminatory arguments that the Buffalo shooter allegedly backed in a manifesto he wrote before attacking a grocery store.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) set the tone on Monday. While Schumer said focusing on the shooter’s rhetoric is no substitute for enhanced background checks for gun purchases, he made clear that the most urgent response needs to be to “oppose the old poisons of racism and white supremacy that have been with us far too long.”

And he made no bones about tying his efforts to the Donald Trump-era Republican Party, calling for every influential voice in America to “band together to stomp views like replacement theory out of existence.”

“These hard-right MAGA Republicans argue that people of color and minority communities are somehow posing a threat to the American way of life. This is replacement theory in a nutshell,” Schumer said.

Trump faced multiple allegations of racist rhetoric during his four years in office, asking minority congresswomen to “go back” where they came from, attacking a “Mexican” federal judge who was born in the United States and singling out “very fine people on both sides” after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Carlson has used his Fox News show to repeatedly invoke replacement theory-style rhetoric, including saying in 2021 the Democratic Party is “trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters, from the third world.”

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) also took to the Senate floor to castigate Carlson as a “leading ideologue in the white supremacist movement.” Durbin said that, in his capacity as Judiciary Committee chair, he would soon hold a hearing on domestic terrorism and hoped that the Senate could ultimately pass legislation addressing it.

In an interview, Durbin said that at this point he’s not sure about whether the Senate needs to hold a vote on legislation to expand background checks that would fail to win the necessary GOP votes to overcome a filibuster: “I know the outcome.”

Instead he turned his attention to Carlson for “peddling these racist theories like replacement theory … he should be ashamed of himself and the politicians who support him should be as well.”

Not everyone in the Democratic Party was willing to go as far as Schumer and Durbin. Asked about calling out Republicans and Fox News over replacement theory, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said: “Yeah. I’m not going to go down that road. We’ll let them do that.”

And Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) defended his previous effort at expanding background checks but declined to weigh in on Schumer’s speech, saying simply that “we need a good bill” to restrict the mentally ill from obtaining guns.

Republicans strongly rejected the idea that their party’s rhetoric contributed to the shooting this weekend. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said Schumer’s remarks were “a vile attempt to use a tragedy to score political points, it sounds like to me,” while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called the Democratic leader’s speech “sick.”

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One thought on “Dems turn focus to racist ‘replacement theory’ post-Buffalo shooting

  1. What about the illegals trafficking human across borders raping women selling the kids not to mention murder of innocent Americans . I no way saying buffalo was insignificant because I’m not. I haven’t read too much about it as it’s so disgusting anyone could do what he did and he deserves what life sentence! I wish it were left of to victims families to decide his fate! So sick of left versus right!!!!! Congress could all be doing their jobs instead of turning us against each other and so shouldn’t the disgusting media.

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