The United States witnessed another incidence of a public mass shooting on Sunday, May 15, in Buffalo, NY.
An 18-year-old “lone wolf” gunman walked into a Buffalo grocery store and killed ten people. Three more were injured. Occurring in a predominately black area of the city, the shooting was racially motivated and is being called a hate crime. The culprit, Payton Gendron, was taken into custody on the scene when he put the gun to his neck and was charged with first-degree murder.
According to The Hill, Gendron is believed to uphold racist and far-right conspiracy theories. Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) is calling out her party for letting it happen. On Monday, May 16, Cheney did not mince her words as she accused leading House Republicans of “enabling” antisemitism, white supremacy, and white nationalism.
This is not a new fight for Liz Cheney. Last May, she was ousted from her spot as the number 3 Republican in the House for not backing Trump’s fictional claims about losing the 2020 election. At this point, Cheney asked the GOP to “renounce and reject” not just white supremacist beliefs but also people who espouse such views.
The topic of white supremacy is front and center of the horrific Buffalo incident. 11 of the 13 victims were black, and Gendron wrote a manifesto that referenced the “great replacement theory.” This is a conspiracy theory claiming efforts are being made to replace white Americans with people of color through methods such as immigration. The manifesto mentioned other shooters motivated by white supremacy, including Dylann Roof.
Cheney repeated her message to the GOP in a tweet just days after the shooting. She stated her colleagues have enabled violent racist behavior and should note that history has proven what starts as words can lead to terrible consequences.
Several lawmakers have made statements that mirror the beliefs found in the great replacement theory. This includes New York rep. Elise Stefanik, who claimed that the Democrats were planning to change the electorate landscape by granting amnesty to millions of immigrants, thus creating a permanent liberal majority.
Ironically, Liz Cheney was ousted for demanding the truth while those pushing a racist conspiracy theory are in leadership roles.