Republicans and the conservative media ecosystem must answer with blood on their hands.
Whether through innuendo or outright statements, they continue to promote the “great replacement theory” of white supremacy that has yet again radicalized a terrorist to commit violence against people of color. And they should be held accountable for their role.
We’re still learning more about Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old suspected terrorist who killed 10 people in a racist attack in Buffalo. However, it is clear from his so-called manifesto that the “great replacement theory,” which is now a dominant GOP talking point, continues to radicalize men to commit violence. And yet, some Republican leaders and conservative pundits continue to promote this hatred for the sake of votes, profit and ratings.
Enough is enough. Until Republican leaders and conservative media stars explicitly renounce this white supremacist conspiracy, condemn it, and disassociate themselves from its peddlers, it is fair to conclude that they are entirely complicit in its message.
Journalists and reporters must repeatedly harass Republican officials with follow-up questions about this national security threat. Recall that Democrats and President Joe Biden are still being asked about “defunding the police,” even if it’s not a DNC dominance, or the critical race theory panic ( CRT) even after it was revealed to be a disingenuous Trojan created by right-wing activists to incite racial panic and anxiety.
Before the election, any journalist worth their salt should doggedly ask every elected Republican the following questions:
- “Do you believe in the replacement theory? »
- “Do you condemn the replacement theory or support the ideology that has inspired many mass terrorists?
- “If you condemn it, why do you and your colleagues repeat it?”
In recent years, these terrorists, all radicalized by the same plot, have attacked Jews, Muslims, Mexicans and others. This time, it is blacks whom the terrorist accuses of having weakened and replaced his people. How do we know? Because he clearly and methodically detailed his poisonous ideology in his so-called manifesto.
In case there is any doubt – or if my media colleagues once again decide to whitewash the actions of another white supremacist terrorist as a “lone wolf” or infantilize him as a troubled young man – he describes himself as a white nationalist, fascist, neo-Nazi and anti-Semite. He describes his attack as an act of terrorism, which he rationalizes as a “partisan action against an occupying force”.
“The replacement theory, which has inspired and radicalized many mass shooters… is now accepted by nearly half of Republican voters. Half!
In an interview with himself, he said he decided to attack “to show the replacements that as long as the white man lives, our land will never be theirs and they [will] never be safe from us. He managed to shoot 13 people, killing 10, including Ruth Winfield, 86, a grandmother who simply lived her life, didn’t bother anyone and shopped for groceries.
But for the supporters of the replacement theory, Ruth was the enemy that had to be eliminated. They believe that Jews are at the head of an infamous international cabal that deliberately uses black people, Muslims, immigrants of color, feminists and LGBTQ+ people to infiltrate, weaken and ultimately replace “Western” civilization – which is a euphemism for white people.
At the start of his so-called manifesto, Gendron writes, “If there’s one thing I want you to take away from these writings, it’s that white birth rates must change. Every day, the white population decreases in number. To sustain a population, people must achieve a birth rate that reaches replacement fertility levels, in the Western world which is about 2.06 births per woman.
It might as well have been a quote from Tucker Carlson during one of his many rants about white Americans being diluted, weakened, and replaced by people of color. Stop for a second and think about that.
Carlson, one of the most influential conservative voices, hosts the top-rated cable news program that repeats the replacement theory – the main conspiracy that fueled the Buffalo terrorist. If you think that’s hyperbolic, don’t take my word for it. Just listen to white nationalists themselves who have repeatedly praised Carlson for echoing their message. Neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer loves Carlson, and its founder, Andrew Anglin, said: “Tucker Carlson is literally our greatest ally.
The replacement theory, which has inspired and radicalized many mass shooters, according to a poll by Associated Press and NORC, is now accepted by nearly half of Republican voters. Half!
A majority of Republican voters also believe the big lie that Trump won the 2020 election. Increasingly, many also believe in the QAnon conspiracy theory, which the FBI has deemed a national security threat with the potential to radicalize individuals and groups towards violence.
A logical question is where did so many otherwise rational and sane people hear these once fringe conspiracy theories and talking points? How do they radicalize?
We need look no further than Fox News, right-wing media, and Republican politicians. In an exhaustive review of Carlson’s influential show, The New York Times concluded that Carlson excites white grievances and victimization by actively promoting replacement theory and xenophobia, often bemoaning demographics.
Carlson responded to the article by tweeting a photo of himself holding the newspaper with a huge, poop-eating grin. He bathed in it. He wore it as a “badge of honor”. This is how Steve Bannon recommends the right to respond to accusations of racism. “Let them call you racist. Let them call you xenophobic. Let them call you nativists,” Bannon advised right-wing French politicians in 2018. weaken. In a Playboy interview the same year, Carlson said, “I don’t doubt [white supremacists] to exist. But the idea that white nationalism is a dominant position is absurd… I am rather moderate by temperament.
Thanks, in part, to Carlson, white nationalism is now a moderate and dominant position of the GOP.
The replacement theory has not only been promoted by the usual GOP eccentrics — Reps. Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene, but also Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-highest-ranked Republican leader. After the Buffalo shooting, Rep. Stefanik tweeted, “Very saddened to hear the tragic news of fellow New Yorkers in Buffalo. We are praying for the entire community and law enforcement at this time. »
Was Rep. Stefanik sad when she bought Facebook ads last year promoting the replacement theory? Why did she deliberately join a white supremacist conspiracy even after knowing she was radicalizing Robert Bowers, the terrorist who killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue because he wanted to punish Jews for helping the “invaders »? Why did Rep. Stefanik encourage the hate conspiracy when she knew it was radicalizing Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch terrorist who killed more than 50 Muslims and served as a direct inspiration to the Buffalo terrorist? In fact, is Rep. Stefanik feeling sad for deliberately promoting the QAnon conspiracy earlier this week when she tweeted that her fellow Democrats were aligning themselves with “pedo-crooks?”
They may not be taking direct orders from the “mainstream,” but these terrorists emerge from the same ideological infrastructure of the modern GOP. While these Republican hate mongers and elected officials don’t pull the trigger, they provide the ideological bullets.
They are also radicalizing a generation of white men who believe they are the real victims, and as such must use violence to save themselves from “invaders”.
The question I have for the majority is, what are we going to do about it? How many more live streams of mass shootings, online hate manifestos and grieving parents do we need to see on TV before the majority, especially colleagues in the media, stand up and call on the right to answer for its role in this stochastic terrorism?
Ask them again and again if they support these toxic and diabolical lies. Don’t let them get away with it. No shame is too much.