House Republicans refuse to join Democrats in denouncing white supremacy

More than two dozen Republicans on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee have refused to join Democrats in signing a letter denouncing white supremacy.

Earlier this week, ranking member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) sent a letter to Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) urging Republicans to join him and his fellow Democrats in denouncing “white nationalism and white supremacy in all its forms, including the ‘Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory.”

Though all 20 committee Democrats signed the letter, all 26 Republicans on the committee refused to sign. The letter comes after the committee’s recent hearing “On the Front Lines of the Border Crisis: A Hearing with Chief Patrol Agents.”

According to the letter, multiple Republican members “invoked dangerous and conspiratorial rhetoric echoing the racist and nativist tropes peddled by white supremacists and right-wing extremists,” during the hearing, including describing migrants arriving to the country as an “invasion.”

Raskin also argued that some members have accused the Biden-Harris administration of deliberately opening the border in order to change American culture. This rhetoric, Raskin wrote, is used by extremists who believe pro-immigration policies are actually part of a conspiracy theory to replace white Americans.

The “Great Replacement” theory has been used to justify terror acts such as the mass murders of Black Americans at a Tops Supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa., and a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

“This is not the first time that you and other House Republicans have been called on to publicly renounce and denounce the racist and xenophobic tenets of white supremacy,” Raskin wrote.

“As Chairman, you have another opportunity to take a public stand against the deliberate amplification of dangerous racist rhetoric that has had deadly consequences in this country,” he added.

In a statement to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Oversight Committee Republicans said the letter was meant to “distract” from the number of border crossings under the Biden administration, which have reached record levels.

“It’s shameful that Democrats are calling efforts to protect the American people from the worst border crisis in history racist,” the spokesperson said. “Fiscal Year 2022 set records for apprehensions of illegal immigrants, migrant deaths, terrorist apprehensions, and drugs seized.”

“Democrats are trying to distract from President Biden’s border crisis and their failure to conduct oversight of it for two years,” the statment continued. “Americans expect Congress to conduct oversight of the southern border and Republicans are focused on delivering results.”

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