One of the things accused Buffalo mass shooter Payton S. Gendron cited in his 100+ page online manifesto as the reason he decided to attack and kill 10 black shoppers at a grocery store over the weekend was something known as the “great replacement theory.”
If you’re unfamiliar with what replacement theory is, here’s a quick rundown, courtesy of the Washington Post:
The theory was once confined to far-right White extremists, who cast immigration as part of a plot by “elites” to take political and economic power away from White people. It has gained broader circulation in recent years as a talking point among prominent conservative media figures.
(Fox host Tucker) Carlson, whose weeknight program is typically the most popular on Fox News, has been an especially avid promoter of the thesis. He has mentioned variations on the idea in more than 400 episodes since 2016, according to a New York Times analysis of his program. In April of last year, he said on Fox News that people from the “Third World” are immigrating to the United States “to replace the current electorate” and “dilute the political power of the people who live there” — language that essentially distills the replacement thesis.
Replacement theory and Fox’s fondness for that and other extreme, right-wing ideas, was the topic of discussion on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” Tuesday, and one of the guests was former Fox reporter Carl Cameron, who was asked by host Nicolle Wallace:
“I mean, obviously a mass shooter is responsible for the violence and the heinous acts that the mass shooter committed,” Wallace noted. “It is also true that the ideology left in the mass shooter’s screen mirrors the ideology championed by Tucker Carlson.
“What happens at Fox News when something like this happens?”
“I can’t even imagine. That’s partly why I ended up getting out of there.
“It really is kind of horrible to think that journalists with national and international capacity are putting together this type of nonsense. I think the president did a great job. I wish he had done a lot of this a lot sooner, and we need a lot more from the left and the middle, and we got to watch out because the Republicans have become the purveyors of misinformation, and when our two-party system is broken like that, democracy is seriously in trouble.”
And then Cameron referenced something that President Joe Biden has said before:
Near then end of his remarks, Cameron told Wallace:
“I really can’t channel how Tucker believes in any of this stuff and how the network can go through with it. I will say this, however, it is very clear that this type of lying and deception is catching on,” he warned. “There’s racism across the borders, immigrants are being beaten up and being harassed more than ever. Judaism is constantly under fire, and all of this is essentially being accepted by a left — excuse me, a far, far-right community of people who have nothing but grievance based on lies.”
Before you say nothing can be done and point to the First Amendment, keep in mind that Americans have been prosecuted in the past for broadcasting information that was deemed to be supportive of Al Qaeda and ISIS. Those are international terrorist organizations, but the domestic terror threat is growing by the day, and if we don’t do something to address the problem, we may see attacks like the one in Buffalo across all 50 states and a call by some on the far right to stage mass casualty events that will leave the entire country terrorized.
Prosecute Tucker Carlson and others for inciting violence? Maybe if we did they’d think twice before they opened their mouths and spouted hatred again.