Ignore hot takes until real analysis is produced
After the horrific racist mass shooting of 13 people — 11 of them black — in a Buffalo, New York supermarket, it is vital to ask what caused such violence. For some progressives, the answer is already clear: Republicans, notably Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson, have blood on their hands because they endorse the “Great Replacement” theory that the shooter, Payton Gendron, referenced in his 180-page manifesto. This is the same phrase used by the El Paso shooter, who targeted Latinos, and by Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch killer whose victims were Muslim.
The Great Replacement theory argues that an elite cabal, often Jewish, sometimes Leftist, seeks to “replace” Western whites with minority immigrants. Like any conspiracy theory, it has is a kernel of truth upon which the fantastic elements are grafted. Many mainstream and liberal writers have drawn attention to the ethnic transformation of the West. The term “replacement population” has a long history of use by demographers and geographers. In Western countries, whites are a smaller share of the population than they were in 1960, and I suspect this is why many French or Americans think replacement is real.
Eric Kaufmann is professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London and an adjunct fellow of the Manhattan Institute.
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