Elise Stefanik’s ‘Replacement Theory’ Ads Slammed After Buffalo Shooting

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is facing a fresh backlash over Facebook ads that critics say invoked the racist ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Buffalo.

A gunman opened fire on a supermarket, killing 10 people in what authorities called “racially motivated violent extremism”. Eleven of the 13 people who were shot were black, while the rest were white.

The suspect, an 18-year-old white youth identified as Payton Grendon, allegedly wrote a 180-page manifesto detailing racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic beliefs.

The document, which has circulated widely online, repeatedly cited the racist “great replacement” theory that is often pushed by white supremacists and claims that white Americans are being replaced by people of color.

“Very saddened to hear the tragic news from other NYers in Buffalo,” Stefanik wrote in a tweet. “We are praying for the entire community and law enforcement at this time.”

Her tweet was criticized, with some accusing the MP of invoking conspiracy theory in her campaign ads last year.

“Did you know @EliseStefanik is championing white replacement theory? House GOP #3. @Liz_Cheney was fired for demanding the truth. @GOPLeader should be asked about it,” tweeted GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, with a link to a Newsweek article about a scathing editorial published by Stefanik’s hometown newspaper in response to the ads.

House Republican Conference Speaker, Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY), speaks during a town hall event hosted by House Republicans on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

In September of last year, the Union Times editorial – titled “How Much, Ms. Stefanik?” – warned of the dangers of mainstream politicians adopting such rhetoric. “If there’s anything that needs replacing in this country — and in the Republican Party — it’s the hateful rhetoric that Ms. Stefanik and far too many of her colleagues have shamelessly spat out,” he said.

Author Don Winslow was among those calling on Stefanik to deal with the aftermath of the Buffalo shooting, writing in a Tweeter“Hey New York – remember the aftermath? @EliseStefanik bought Facebook ads promoting the ‘Grand Replacement Theory’ claiming white people are intentionally replaced by migrants.

“IMO his words encouraged hatred and division and the kind of violence we witnessed in Buffalo today.”

California Representative Ted Lieu, a Democrat, added: “What MAGA Republicans love @Elise Stefanik don’t understand is that America is great because they don’t judge you based on your lineage. At the end of the day, we are all Americans.

“I call on Rep Stefanik not to run ads promoting the replacement theory, used by the Buffalo killer.”

Stefanik, whose loyalty to former President Donald Trump landed her a leadership position in the House Republican caucus last year, was also lambasted over the weekend for a tweet in which she blamed “The House Blanche, the House Democrats and the usual pedophiles” for the worsening formula shortage.

Stefanik’s office has been contacted for comment.

About Ricardo Schulte

Check Also

Marketers on the Determinants of Effective Advertising

Consistency, relevance and strong branding are all key to creating effective and creative ad campaigns, …