The man who allegedly shot dead at least 10 people at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket on Saturday may have been preoccupied by the so-called “great replacement” conspiracy theory. A sprawling propaganda document released online under his name in advance of the attack obsessively references that theory. Authorities have yet to confirm the authenticity of the document, but if it was indeed written by the killer, it further exposes the deadly consequences of white supremacy.
This racist conspiracy narrative falsely asserts there is an active, ongoing and covert effort to replace white populations in current white-majority countries.
In some periods of American history, paranoid narratives of “white extinction” have appeared to exist only on a radical fringe of racist political movements. In other periods, some of the nation’s highest political officeholders have repeated these ideas, leading to forced sterilization programs at the state level and a racial quota system becoming federal immigration law for four decades. No longer on the fringe, such narratives now have currency among some of the most powerful and influential actors in right-wing media and politics. [...]