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The Buffalo Massacre & the White Nationalists that Stoke Violence

All those "great replacement" conspiracy theories came home to roost again yesterday when 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron drove 200 miles to murder shoppers and store employees in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, NY killing 10 people and wounding three others. Gendon posted a rambling white supremacist 180-page manifesto just prior to the attack.

Washington Post: "The author calls himself a white supremacist, fascist and antisemite. The document is centered on a far-right conspiracy theory that baselessly posits that the White population in Western countries is being reduced — or “replaced” — by immigrants in a deliberate plot."

The killer's screed was similar to others posted by past white nationalist mass murderers and reflects the ravings of a growing number of right-wing politicians and commentators in America. "The manifesto’s language closely echoes the themes of previous rants posted by white supremacist shooters, and refers repeatedly to the virulently racist and antisemitic Great Replacement conspiracy theory, which argues that Jews are responsible for non-white immigration into the United States, and that non-white immigrants will eventually replace (and lead to the extinction of) the white race."

The Chair of the House Republican Conference, Elise Stefanik of NY, joined the replacement conspiracy crowd last Fall with a Facebook ad claiming that Democrats planned to replace white voters with illegal immigrants. She joined other prominent Republicans in spreading the nonsensical and thoroughly racist theory including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Texas, Rep. Brian Babin of Texas, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Rep Joe Perry of Pennsylvania, and Rep Matt Gaetz of Florida.

As usual these days, the chief instigator of this dangerous stupidity is Fox News host Tucker Carlson who championed his own version of the conspiracy theory last year.

Illuminate: "Fox's Carlson offered his own take on white replacement theory, claiming Democrats are "importing a brand new electorate" of "Third World" immigrants to "dilute" the votes of good old-fashioned Americans, or some such nonsense. What do you suppose he meant by "Third World," [wink, wink]?"

And, as the massacre in Buffalo demonstrates, white nationalists don't really differentiate between varieties of non-white people, immigrants or African Americans who have lived in America for generations. For instance, the shooter in Buffalo wrote that "black people, like immigrants, [are] “replacers”: people who “invade our lands, live on our soil, live on government support and attack and replace our people.” To them, any dark-skinned person is fair game because their real fear is the growing racial and cultural diversity of America which has been developing naturally for decades based on birth rates and long-term immigration patterns.

It would be nice to ignore replacement theory as just the raving of bigots and fools, but it's a key component of white supremacy today, and Carlson and his Republican allies in Congress are stoking a virulent brand of hatred that is getting people killed.

#politics #culture

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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