Kansas Republicans reminded of their fearmongering in wake of Olathe shooting

The murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla at an Olathe bar has been added to the list of post-election hate crimes. Witnesses say the suspect, Adam Purinton, told Kuchibhotla and his colleague, fellow Indian national Alok Madasani, to “get out of my country.” Purinton reportedly thought the men, who worked at Garmin, were of Middle Eastern descent.

The attack raises new alarms about President Donald Trump’s rhetoric. But Trump was hardly the only Republican to play to fear and anger in the last election.

Last fall, the Kansas Republican Party sent out mailers suggesting that ISIS fighters were moving next door. (Defending the mailer, the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party said the intention was to remind voters of the importance of “safety” issues.) On Monday, an advocate for public education in Kansas shared an image of the Republican mailer in response to a Washington Post story about the shooting.

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U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder attended Sunday’s prayer vigil for the shooting victims and stated his support for diversity and tolerance. But last summer, he too sent out a mailer suggesting that keffiyeh-wearing terrorists could strike in Overland Park. 

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KCTV-TV reporter Nathan Vickers asked Yoder about the rhetoric around immigration on Sunday. “Our words matter,” Yoder replied.

So do pictures.

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