Extremist Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) wondered in a weekend interview why people pick on homicidal white supremacists.
She said there are so many other criminals to complain about, like undocumented immigrants. She also said people should talk about the “Asian man” who killed a California church member last week, and the “Black man” who drove his car into Wisconsin shoppers last year.
He added, incongruously, that “it shouldn’t be about race.”
Greene made the comments as he attacked Rep. Jerrold Nadler (DN.Y.) for protesting last week in the House against the white supremacist declared a suspect in a horrific Buffalo grocery store robbery against Black people last week that killed 10 people.
Why is there a “target” in white supremacists? he asked him in a drive-by interview (below) with the right-wing outlet Real America’s Voice.
“White supremacy should not be the main objective,” argued the legislator. “We should be more concerned about illegal invasion at the border, the crime that happens every day on our streets, especially in cities like Chicago. We should go after criminals who break the law and not go after people based on the color of their skin.”
But race is clearly important in hate crimes. The FBI reported last year that the number of hate crimes in the US in 2020 was the highest in two decades, fueled by a surge in assaults, largely by white men, against blacks, Asians , Hispanics and Jews.
There were 51 hate crime murders in the United States in 2019, the highest at the time since the FBI began tracking the number of victims in the 1990s. Most of the murder victims were black, Hispanic and Jewish.
“Preventing racial hate crimes means addressing white supremacist ideology,” said a position paper released last week by the Brookings Institution. In the last 20 years, the number of hate groups in the US has increased 100%, he noted.
Nadler’s reference to the Buffalo shootings that so angered Greene was part of his argument for passing the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act to crack down on the problem. The bill has support from Democrats, but Republicans are lukewarm.
Nadler also referred to the killing of more than 20 people at an El Paso store in 2019 and the shooting deaths of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.
All of the killings involved white shooters inspired by the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, which unsubstantiatedly claims there is a plot to replace whites with people of color, immigrants, and Jews. Greene’s reference to an “invasion” of immigrants was a clear whistle to those who believed in the imagined plot.