Monday, May 16, 2022

Quote of the Day

The ideology that motivated [Payton] Gendron’s mass murder in Buffalo, white replacement theory, has a lengthy and blood-soaked 20th-century history. Since 2011, it has been the explicit motivation for over 160 murders, including Norway’s Anders Breivik’s slaughter of 77 people, including some immigrants, in 2011, Dylann Roof’s mass murder of Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, the Tree of Life synagogue killings in 2018, and the murder of 23 people, mostly immigrants, in El Paso, Texas, in 2019.

Mass atrocities do not occur in a vacuum. They are enabled by a present normalization of a lengthy previous history, a process that the philosopher of mass killing Lynne Tirrell labels the social embeddedness condition. White replacement theory was the dominant structuring narrative of Nazi ideology. Adolf Hitler also announced his genocidal intent in a lengthy manifesto about the supposed Jewish threat to white civilization, entitled Mein Kampf, which was published in 1924. Hitler also was obsessed by mass immigration, and the threat it posed to “white civilization.”

Currently, white replacement theory has been mass popularized and normalized, perhaps chiefly by the American political commentator Tucker Carlson. It is rapidly moving to the center of the mainstream narrative of America’s Republican party. In this form, it appears stripped of its explicit connection to antisemitism. You will not find Tucker Carlson asserting that the Jews are behind the mass replacement of American whites that he bemoans regularly in what is regularly the most watched cable news show in the United States among adults 25-54.

But what Carlson has been doing is spending an entire year repeating a conspiracy by Christopher Rufo that says that American education has been infected by a pro-Black ideology (CRT) that was created by German Jewish Marxist intellectuals (the Frankfurt School). And that while the CRT version of this conspiracy theory is new, it is a direct descendant of the “cultural marxism” conspiracy theory, which was a primary topic of Breivik’s manifesto.

The fact that Carlson does not mention American Jews as a target by name should be cold comfort to American Jews. Every single rightwing antisemite in America who watches Tucker Carlson’s show hears him as denouncing Jews when he regularly platforms the 20th century’s worst anti-semitic conspiracy theory.

Jason Stanley
Excerpted from “How White Replacement Theory
Keeps Inspiring Mass Murder

The Guardian
May 15, 2022

Related Off-site Links:
What Is the “Great Replacement” and How Is It Tied to the Buffalo Shooting Suspect? – Dustin Jones (NPR News, May 16, 2022).
Buffalo Massacre: Gunman Cited Racist “Great Replacement” Conspiracy Theory Popularized by Fox NewsDemocracy Now! (May 16, 2022).
Tucker Carlson’s “Great Replacement” Theory Comes From an Anti-U.S. Nazi French Thinker – Juan Cole (Common Dreams, May 16, 2022).
Buffalo Gunman’s Racism Directly Tied to Mainstreaming of White Nationalism, Say Critics – John Queally (Common Dreams, May 15, 2022).
Liz Cheney Says Republican Leadership Has “Enabled White Supremacy” – Richard Luscombe (The Guardian, May 16, 2022).
American Racism and the Buffalo Shooting – Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (The New Yorker, May 15, 2022).

UPDATES: Most Extremist Violence in the U.S. Comes From the Political Right – David Leonhardt (The New York Times, May 17, 2022).
Buffalo Shows We Must Confront the Right’s Racist Propaganda – Jesse Jackson (Chicago Sun Times via Common Dreams, May 17, 2022).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Marianne Williamson on America’s “Cults of Madness”
“New and Very Dangerous”: The Extreme Right-Wing Infiltration of the George Floyd Protests
President Trump, “We Hold You Responsible”
Quote of the Day – October 28, 2018
In Charlottesville, the Face of Terrorism In the U.S.
Trump's America: Normalized White Supremacy and a Rising Tide of Racist Violence

Opening image: Buffalo, NY resident Aaron Jordan adds to a sidewalk chalk mural depicting the names of the 11 people killed at a mass shooting at the city’s Tops Friendly Market – Sunday, May 15, 2022 in Buffalo, NY. (Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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