Extremist GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) wondered in a weekend interview why people are picking on homicidal white supremacists.
She said that there are so many other criminals to complain about instead — like undocumented immigrants. She also said people should be talking about the “Asian man” who killed a member of a California church last week, and the “Black man” who drove his car into Wisconsin shoppers last year.
She added, incongruously, that it “shouldn’t be about race.”
Greene made the comments as she attacked Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) for railing last week in the House against the avowed white supremacist suspected in the horrific assault at a Buffalo supermarket targeting Black people last week that killed ten people.
Why is there a “target” on white supremacists? she asked in an interview from her car (below) with the right-wing outlet Real America’s Voice.
“White supremacy shouldn’t be the main target,” the lawmaker argued. “We should be more concerned about the illegal invasion at the border, the crime happening every single day on our streets, especially in cities like Chicago. We should go after criminals that break the law and not pursue people based on their skin color.”
But race clearly is critically important in hate crimes. The FBI reported last year that the number of hate crimes in the U.S. in 2020 was the highest in two decades, triggered by a surge in assaults largely by white men on Black and Asian Americans, Hispanics and Jews.
There were 51 hate-crime murders in America in 2019, the highest at that time since the FBI began tracking the toll in the 1990s. Most murder victims were Blacks, Hispanics and Jews.
“Preventing racial hate crimes means tackling white supremacist ideology,” said a position paper posted last week by the Brookings Institution. Over the past 20 years, the number of hate groups in the U.S. has jumped 100%, it noted.
Nadler’s reference to the Buffalo shootings that so incensed Greene was part of his argument to pass the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act to crack down on the problem. The bill is supported by Democrats, but Republicans are lukewarm.
Nadler also referred to the killing of more than 20 people in an El Paso store in 2019 and the shooting deaths of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.
The killings all involved white shooters inspired by the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, which baselessly claims there’s a plot to replace whites with people of color, immigrants and Jews. Greene’s reference to an immigrant “invasion” was a clear dog whistle to believers in the imagined plot.