On July 12, 2022, Rep. Josh Schriver, a Republican member of the Michigan House of Representatives, shared an image on social media depicting a map of the world with black figures covering most of the land masses except for small areas of Australia, Canada, Northern Europe, and the northern United States.

The image was accompanied by the text “The Great Replacement!” referring to a far-right conspiracy theory alleging a plot to diminish the influence of white people.

A History of Promoting Debunked Theories

Speaker Tate noted that Rep. Schriver “has a history of promoting debunked theories and dangerous rhetoric.” The “Great Replacement” theory promoted in Rep. Schriver’s post has been linked to violent attacks, including the 2022 mass shooting in Buffalo.

Source: Twitter(X)

In response to the backlash, Rep. Schriver defended his post, claiming that he opposes “racists, race baiters and victim politics.” Rep. Schriver’s refusal to acknowledge the harms of promoting racist misinformation and conspiracy theories underscores the need to counter such harmful rhetoric.

Swift Condemnation from Leadership

The inflammatory social media post by Representative Josh Schriver promoting the racist “great replacement” theory was met with swift condemnation from legislative leadership. House Speaker Joe Tate stripped Schriver of his committee assignments and office staff, stating, “There is no place for racist, hateful and bigoted speech.”

Source: Ben Orner

Tate, Michigan’s first Black Speaker, said Schriver’s actions threatened the safety and security of House employees. Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist said Schriver was “pedaling” a “deplorable demonstration of his fear of a dynamic and diverse Michigan future.” Governor Gretchen Whitmer called the post “abhorrent rhetoric” that “goes against our state and national values.”

Most Republicans Stay Silent

Josh Schriver, a Republican lawmaker representing portions of Oakland and Macomb counties, shared a racist image on social media depicting Black figures covering most of a map of the world. While a few Republican lawmakers joined in condemning Schriver’s actions, most refused to comment.

Source: Laina G. Stebbins

Source: Laina G. Stebbins

State Representative Matt Maddock defended Schriver, claiming he does not have “a racist bone in his body.” However, other Republicans like Senator John Damoose argued that failure to rebuke such rhetoric “undermines everything we say, everything we believe and everything we are trying to accomplish.” The lack of widespread Republican condemnation suggests tacit approval of Schriver’s actions by much of the party.

Calls for Lawmaker’s Resignation Mount

The sharing of the racist “great replacement” theory by Representative Josh Schriver has led to widespread calls for his resignation. House Speaker Joe Tate stripped Schriver of his committee assignments and staff in response, calling the post “racist, hateful and bigoted speech.”

Source: LinkedIn

Several Republican lawmakers have also spoken out against Schriver, including Senator John Damoose, who wrote that “Such ideas truly have no place in our politics or our culture.” However, other Republicans have defended Schriver, with Representative Matt Maddock calling the backlash an “obscene left-wing passion play.”

Impact on the House

Speaker Tate emphasized that the Michigan House of Representatives should be a place where all feel “safe and secure.” As the first Black Speaker, Tate likely feels particularly impacted by Schriver’s promotion of a theory that targets racial minorities.

Source: Joel Bissell

Schriver has defended himself by saying he opposes “racists, race baiters and victim politics,” but his continued support of far-right figures promoting the conspiracy theory undermines such claims. His rhetoric is unbecoming of public office, and there are valid calls for his resignation in order to maintain integrity within the Michigan House of Representatives.

The Impact on the Lawmaker’s Political Future

Representative Josh Schriver’s controversial social media post has seriously jeopardized his political future and strained relationships with his Republican colleagues. The legislator’s promotion of the racist “great replacement” theory has drawn sharp criticism from leaders of both parties and threatens to derail his political aspirations.

Source: Luis G. Rendon

Schriver’s controversial stance also threatens his reelection prospects. Promoting racist conspiracy theories and antagonizing Black and immigrant communities risks alienating moderate voters and independents in his district. Damoose warned that rhetoric like Schriver’s “truly has no place in our politics or our culture.”

Broader Discussion Sparked Over Racism in Politics

The controversial post and Schriver’s subsequent comments defending it have been met with strong criticism from both Republicans and Democrats in Michigan. House Speaker Joe Tate, Michigan’s first Black Speaker, condemned Schriver’s “racist, hateful and bigoted speech,” saying such rhetoric has no place in the state legislature.

Source: Stephanie Keith

The broader debate comes amid a rise in promoting the “great replacement theory,” including at the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville where participants chanted “You will not replace us!” and “Jews will not replace us!”

What This Means for Michigan Politics Moving Forward

The decision to strip Representative Josh Schriver of his committee assignments and office staff signifies a strong stance against hateful rhetoric in Michigan’s political sphere. With Michigan’s first Black Speaker of the House, Joe Tate, leading the charge, this move establishes that racist ideologies will not be tolerated within the state legislature.

Source: Michigan House Republicans

While stripping Schriver of privileges is an important first step, more must be done to counter racist ideologies in government and promote inclusion. The Michigan legislature should pass anti-hate resolutions and consider mandatory racial sensitivity training for members. Voters must also continue calling on lawmakers to condemn racist speech and hold those who spread misinformation accountable.

The Importance of Responsible Social Media Use by Public Figures

Public figures have an obligation to be judicious in how they use their platforms. Sharing unverified conspiracy theories and hateful rhetoric can have damaging consequences, as these ideas may gain traction and influence followers. The “great replacement” theory has been linked to violence, including mass shootings targeting minority groups.

Source: Joint Base San Antonio

Public figures must recognize the immense responsibility that comes with their platforms and positions of power. Sharing hateful misinformation and conspiracy theories threatens civic discourse and endangers lives. Condemning such harmful behaviors and ideologies is necessary to build a just, equitable, and inclusive society. Responsible use of social media is vital for progress.

Free Speech Doesnt Cater for Hate Speech

Representative Josh’s racist social media post has rightfully led to serious consequences, including being stripped of her committee assignments by the Speaker of the Michigan House, as well as facing calls to resign from both sides of the political aisle.


While free speech protects LaFave’s right to make such vile statements, it does not shield him from facing the repercussions of her actions. There is no place in elected office for promoting harmful racist rhetoric and tropes.