State Sen. Wendy Rogers

State Sen. Wendy Rogers has drawn criticism for a recent tweet that some believe is similar to a racist conspiracy known as the Great Replacement theory.

State Sen. Wendy Rogers has drawn a fresh round of harsh criticism after tweeting that “we are being replaced and invaded,” as arrests of border crossers surge in Arizona and Texas.

The remark echoed the “great replacement” theme embraced by conspiracy-minded, right-wing political movements in the U.S. and Europe suggesting blacks, Jews, Muslims and Hispanics are seeking to “replace” whites.

The Informant’s Nick Martin initially reported the tweet and said similar language has been cited by the perpetrators of multiple mass murders.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix decried the tweet, saying similar language has “inspired some of the worst atrocities in recent history, according to executive director Paul Rockower. “Given the uptick of antisemitism and extremism in our state, and across the country, Rogers’ use of thinly -veiled hate speech is dangerous and has no place in the rhetoric of Arizona’s elected officials.”

Rogers in a fresh tweet rejected the criticism. “Apparently #FakeNews is triggered because I said we are being replaced. We Americans who love this country are being replaced by people who do not love this country. I will not back down from this statement. Communists & our enemies are using mass immigration, education, big tech, big corporations & other strategies to accomplish this. The groups who are doing this undermine our families, our history, our faith and our rights. We need more people who love America, not less.”

Her original tweet came in response to news reports that this year federal immigration officials have arrested at least 750,000 people crossing illegally from Mexico to Texas, with arrests at the border surging to near record levels in recent months. Most have been quickly returned to Mexico, partly because U.S. detention centers are full to overflowing. Some of the people have tried to cross repeatedly, especially those from South America who cannot afford to make the long trip home. As detention centers fill up, the U.S. has also released many illegal border crossers to await a full hearing in the U.S. on their immigration or asylum claims. The number of unaccompanied children arrested at the border has also risen sharply.

Rogers, a retired Air Force pilot and colonel, represents all of the White Mountains and Rim Country. She defeated longtime Sen. Sylvia Allen in an expensive Republican primary. She then beat retired Army colonel, nurse and helicopter pilot Felicia French, spending a total of more than $1 million — mostly raised from out-of-district donors.

Rogers had also recently won praise from former President Donald Trump, after she said Arizona should revoke the certification of its 2020 election results and hold a new election. Rogers made the tweeted comment after a Senate briefing on progress of a controversial audit of the 2 million votes cast in Maricopa County in the 2020 presidential election. Trump lost the state by about 11,000 votes.

The Maricopa County Republican officials who oversaw the vote and conducted two independent audits of the results have harshly criticized the Senate audit, which has reportedly cost some $3 million and taken months to conduct. The Senate hired an outside firm with no experience in auditing votes called Cyber Ninjas and has not disclosed the source of the funding for the effort. At the Senate hearing, the head of Cyber Ninjas hinted that the firm’s count of the number of votes cast may not match Maricopa County’s stated vote total.

After Rogers tweeted that the election should be overturned, Trump tweeted, “the highly respected State Senator Wendy Rogers said in a tweet the hearing today means we must decertify the election. In any event, the Senate patriots are moving forward with final results to be announced in the not-too-distant future, but based on today’s hearing, why even wait?”

Rogers has made controversial statements before. She’s an avowed member of Oath Keepers, a militia movement that recruits former military and law enforcement members. Some 20 members of the group were arrested in conjunction with the Jan. 6 Capitol riots after entering the U.S. Capitol building in a confrontation in which people died and dozens of officers were injured. In one tweet, Rogers blamed the riots on antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters, although police have said there’s no evidence to support the claim.

The Great Replacement theory originated in 20th century French Nationalism and was reignited in 2011 when a French writer warned that white Europeans were being replaced by immigrants from Africa and the Middle East, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The white nationalist marchers who staged a rally in Charlottesville in 2017 carried signs saying, “Jews will not replace us” and “They will not replace us.”

“The theory has become synonymous with the racist idea that white people are the subjects of a worldwide genocide. Many white supremacists believe that Jews are behind the supposed replacement. The theory has motivated multiple killings across the globe over the last few years,” said the ADL.

Wikipedia says that the “replacement theory” is a white nationalist conspiracy theory that has spread in western, far-right movements — including the efforts of American neo-Nazi David Lane. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Replacement).

Several mass murderers have been inspired by the notion that Jews and minorities are conspiring to replace whites in Europe and the U.S.

In August 2019, a far-right terrorist killed 23 people at a Walmart, after releasing a manifesto decrying the Great Replacement.

In October 2018, a gunman killed 11 people in an attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, citing the Great Replacement.

In March of 2019, Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant killed 51 people at a mosque in New Zealand after releasing a manifesto citing the great replacement ideology, according to Wikipedia.

Contact the writer at paleshire@payson.com

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(2) comments

Wes Hamrick

Wendy is Spot On, It's all part of the Great Reset, WAKE UP, 40% are still asleep

Charles Eby

Really? A second 2020 presidential election for Arizona? What good would that do? The Electoral College has already voted Joe Biden in as U.S. President and Congress has certified the results. What purpose would a second election serve?

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