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Colorado Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who represents the western two-thirds of Eagle County and most of the state’s Western Slope, is best known for her antics on gun rights and her ties to QAnon.
Less known is her racist rhetoric and her promotion of policies that disparage racial minorities.
Here’s a brief rundown of Boebert’s attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement and immigrants, her connections to white nationalist groups, her rejection of a bill to curb racially motivated hate crimes, and more.
Black Lives Matter
On the campaign trail and during her short time in Congress, Boebert has repeatedly spoken out against Black Lives Matter, spreading misinformation about the movement and even comparing the summer’s protests to the violent insurrection that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
After a Juneteenth protest that called for an end to racist police brutality in her hometown of Rifle, Boebert claimed without evidence that Black Lives Matter protesters were paid and bussed in, echoing baseless rumors being spread by white nationalist groups like Identity Evropa that Antifa and BLM were shuttling in protesters to raid white neighborhoods. Boebert also said the racial justice protest “created an illusion of division in our city” and suggested that protesters were “trying to elevate one group or class above another.”
During the impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump that followed the violent U.S. Capitol insurrection, Boebert compared the “violence of BLM and ANTIFA that happened for months on end this summer” to the events of Jan. 6.
“Make no mistake here, the hypocrisy of the left is on full display,” Boebert later said as she voted against impeachment.
The comparison of a movement seeking to defend Black lives in the face of racial injustice to a violent coup attempt that was rooted in white grievance and carried out by those brandishing symbols of white supremacy speaks for itself.
Boebert continues to attack the Black Lives Matter movement today, echoing the conservative talking point that it’s destructive and violent, while ignoring the violence that Black people in America face in their daily lives.
“With the price of gas, at least Antifa and BLM won’t be able to light everything on fire this summer,” she tweeted last week.
Ties to Far-Right Militias With White Nationalist Roots
In addition to her Jan. 6 tweets that shared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location and that “Today is 1776,” Boebert faced scrutiny and calls to resign over her connections to the far-right militia groups that were central to the day’s events.
“I have constituents outside this building right now and I promised to be their voice,” Boebert said on the House floor as she objected to the certification of the 2020 election results moments before rioters invaded the building.
Boebert has long embraced the far-right militias, appearing at events with them and even asking members of the white nationalist paramilitary group the Three Percenters to provide security at her campaign events, as reported by CTR’s Erik Maulbetsch in July. The group had a strong presence at the Jan. 6 riot.
Boebert also appeared at a rally in opposition to Colorado’s “red flag” gun law in December of 2019 alongside members of the Three Percenters and the Proud Boys, Maulbetsch reported.
In an official campaign photo, Boebert posed with the Colorado “Boots on the Ground” Bikers for Trump group, which includes a man wearing a Three Percenter patch.
Both the Three Percenters and the Proud Boys participated in the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Three Percenters member Alex Ramos is serving a prison sentence for a violent assault on a Black man by a group of white men in a parking garage during the rally.
Speaking of the Proud Boys, Boebert’s former campaign manager, Sherronna Bishop, praised the white nationalist group on her radio show when she interviewed a member of the group.
“Thank God for the Proud Boys,” said Bishop on the show. Boebert appears to still be close to Bishop.
Anti-Immigrant Policy and Rhetoric
As with many political issues, Boebert’s rhetoric on immigration closely mirrors Donald Trump’s. In fact, she introduced a bill in March that would codify into law Trump’s immigration orders, such as building a wall and retaining the “remain in Mexico” policy, which allows border officers to return non-Mexican asylum seekers to dangerous locations in Mexico as their claims are adjudicated in U.S. immigration courts.
Another Boebert bill, the “No Amnesty Act,” would nullify President Joe Biden’s orders that restored the U.S. asylum system and added protections for refugees.
Beyond policy, Boebert’s rhetoric on immigration matches Trump’s as well. She often promotes myths that serve to vilify undocumented immigrants, like that they contribute to higher crime rates (They don’t – in fact, they’re less likely to commit crimes than citizens.) and that they’re taking the jobs of non-immigrants and straining the U.S. economy (They’re not.).
Immigrants represent a large portion of Boebert’s constituency and form a critical part of the resort town and agricultural workforces that are central to her district’s economy.
In March, Boebert compared Biden’s dogs to undocumented immigrants after an unfortunate biting incident at the White House, writing on Twitter, “Biden can deport his dogs for violent acts, but not illegal immigrants. I guess the White House isn’t a sanctuary city.”
Moreover, Boebert has employed a white supremacist theory in her scourge against immigrants often referred to as the “white replacement theory” that posits that people of color are replacing white populations.
She’s even gone so far as to promote the conspiracy that Democrats support immigration simply because it gives them an electoral advantage, and that immigrant voters will replace white, non-immigrant voters.
On April 13, Boebert tweeted, “Kamala’s border assignment is simple: Keep the new voters coming.”
Just this week, Boebert voted against a bipartisan bill addressing the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes amid the pandemic, including the recent mass killings of Asian women in Atlanta.
Boebert broke with her Colorado Republican colleagues in Congress to reject the measure, which instructs the Department of Justice to expedite the review of anti-Asian hate crimes related to COVID-19 and makes it easier to report those crimes.
The bill passed the U.S. Senate almost unanimously before passing in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday with significant bipartisan support.
The congresswoman has echoed Trump’s anti-Asian rhetoric when talking about the coronavirus, often calling it the ‘China virus.’
In January, she criticized Biden’s executive order that requires federal agencies not to use racially insensitive terms to refer to COVID-19.
Critical Race Theory
Boebert and Republicans across the country have recently taken aim at curriculums that acknowledge the country’s history of racism.
Republicans like Boebert are calling for bans on the teaching of critical race theory, the academic concept of systemic racism that shows how racism is embedded in societal structures.
At a press conference last week, Boebert called it “nothing more than modern-day racism” and called for parents who oppose it to run for school boards.
“Our children are so valuable, their future is so valuable, and we cannot lose it to something like this racist critical race theory,” Boebert said. “The Democrats want to fundamentally change America. If we don’t stop teaching critical race theory, then we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children that what it was once like in the United States when men and women were free.”
Editor’s note: A version of this analysis first appeared last week in the Colorado Times Recorder.