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Stefanik Facebook ad mirrors manifesto of Buffalo mass shooter

May 16, 2022 2:02 pm

Michelle Del Rey reports in the Times Union Rep. Elise Stefanik, a North Country Republican, used the same replacement theory in Facebook ads last fall that the racist Buffalo mass-shooter allegedly cited numerous times in his online screed. Several media descriptions of the shooter's post say he believed in the discredited theory that white Americans are being replaced by foreign migrants. Stefanik's ad said, "Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION. Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington." Even though the language in Stefanik's ad was nearly identical to racist replacement theory chatter online and on Tucker Carlson's Fox TV show, her spokesperson denied the link. "We've never been in favor of 'replacement theory,' " said Alex deGrasse, Stefanik's spokesperson. He added that the congresswoman, "has never advocated for any racist position or made a racist statement." According to the National Immigration Forum, the replacement theory, "states that welcoming immigration policies — particularly those impacting nonwhite immigrants — are part of a plot designed to undermine or 'replace' the political power and culture of white people living in Western countries." The New York shooter traveled from the Binghamton area to a predominately Black area of Buffalo where he shot 11 Black and two white citizens, killing ten. America has welcomed migrants since forming in 1776, and only Native Americans would be here without immigration. Read more about this story in the Times Union.