Republican lawmaker loses committee posts after sharing ‘blatantly racist’ post on social media

Michigan Republican representative Josh Schriver.

Michigan Republican representative Josh Schriver has been been removed from his place on a legislative committee after sharing a racist conspiracy theory online.

Last week, Schriver took to X/Twitter to repost an image first shared by right-wing conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec that features a world map filled with black figures, with pockets of white figures in Europe, Australia and north America.

Text overlaid on the inaccurate image reads “The great replacement” and Schriver’s repost of it is still live on his page. 

The Great Replacement Theory is a white nationalist conspiracy theory first put forward by French author Renaud Camus, that claims white people are being ‘replaced’ by with people of colour through migration.

Democrat Michigan House speaker Joe Tate has condemned Schriver’s post, branding it “blatantly racist” and stating that it “uplifts a dangerous and tortured narrative that fosters violence and instability”.

And on Monday (12 February), Tate introduced a series of punitive measures against Schriver, removing the politician from his seats on the committees for natural resources, environment, tourism and outdoor recreation.

You may like to watch

Schriver has also lost access to his office staff member and an office budget of $132,000 (£105,000), but will still be allowed to vote. 

“I will not allow the Michigan House of Representatives to be a forum for the proliferation of racist, hateful and bigoted speech,” Tate said.

“Representative Schriver has a history of promoting debunked theories and dangerous rhetoric that jeopardises the safety of Michigan residents and contributes to a hostile and uncomfortable environment for others.”

Following the backlash, Schriver denied that he is racist on X/Twitter. He posted that “White erasure is wrong. This isn’t controversial.”

On Thursday (15 February), Schriver responded to Tate’s condemnation, writing that if he was offended by “his interpretation” of it, he should have asked for clarification. 

“He still won’t talk man-to-man unless I initiate. Polit-icky,” Schriver added. 

According to The Guardian, some Republican legislators came to Schriver’s defence, with Matt Maddock describing him as a “great man without a racist bone in his body” and labelling the punishment “woke”.

But at least two others condemned their fellow local Republican. Representative Donni Steele insisted that lawmakers must speak out “against hate whenever it rears its ugly head”, and senator John Damoose said: “Such ideas truly have no place in our politics or our culture. By now, our nation should know better.”