A domestic terrorist shot and killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York, Saturday. The white gunman intentionally traveled to a predominantly Black neighborhood and sought to kill as many Black people as possible. Though he claimed to be acting alone, the terrorist’s 180-page white supremacist screed focuses on the conspiracy that white people are being intentionally replaced.

GOP-Pushed Conspiracy Theory

Elected Republicans — including House Republican Conference chair Elise Stefanik (NY) and Matt Gaetz (FL) among others — and Fox News stars (most notoriously, Tucker Carlson) have aggressively pushed the so-called “great replacement theory.” In 2017, the president at the time praised new-Nazis who  chanted “Jews will not replace us” as “very fine people.” The racist conspiracy theory also inspired domestic terrorist attacks at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018 and against Hispanic shoppers in an El Paso Walmart in 2019, as well as attacks in New Zealand in 2019.

The conspiracy is not a fringe belief in the United States. An AP poll released earlier this month found one in three adults in the U.S. believe an effort is underway “to replace native-born Americans with immigrants for electoral gains.” The terrorist was wearing military-style clothing and body armor, armed with a high-powered rifle, and was arrested by police, alive.

(Attack: Buffalo News, AP, The Root, Black Wall Street Times, New York Times $, Rolling Stone, Salon, NPR, AP; Great Replacement Theory: Buffalo News, NPR, Washington Post $, Salon, Mother Jones, Newsweek, The Hill, NBC, Business Insider, NBC, HuffPost; GOP proponents: Washington Post $, New York Times $, Rolling Stone, The Guardian; Arrest: NewsOne, Buffalo News; Victims: Buffalo News, Buffalo News; Lone-wolf fallacy: The Atlantic; Response and condemnations: The Grio; Commentary: Buffalo News, Rod Watson op-ed, The Guardian, Jason Stanley op-ed, Daily Beast, Wajahat Ali op-ed, LA Times, Erika Smith column $, The Guardian, Jason Stanley op-ed, USA Today, Ben Jealous op-ed)