Within the 2018 Pittsburgh Synagogue, a white man with a history of anti-Semitic Internet postings shot and killed 11 worshipers, accusing the Jews of allowing “invaders” of immigrants to the United States.
The following year, another white man, angry at what he called a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” fired at shoppers at El Paso Wal-Mart, killing 23 people. Tell the police later He was trying to kill a Mexican.
And in yet another deadly mass shooting in Buffalo on Saturday, a heavily armed white man killed 10 people after targeting a supermarket, mostly to the east of blacks in the city. Have been blamed. A culture that aims to “ethically replace one’s people.”
Three shootings, three different targets — but all are linked by one vast and ever-changing belief now commonly known as permutation theory. At the extremes of American life, replacement theory (sometimes the notion that Western elites manipulated by Jews want to “replace” and incapacitate white Americans) is the engine of racist fear. It has helped to stimulate the wave of mass shootings in recent years.Fueling the 2017 Right-Wing Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia Eruption with violence..
However, alternative theories that were once limited to the Reddit message board’s digital fever swamps and semi-ambiguous white supremacist sites have become mainstream. Sometimes in a more modest way, the fear of it crystallizing-in the future America, where whites are no longer the majority of numbers-is a conservative media and political remix of theory borrowed and remixed to attract the audience. It has become a powerful force, retweets and small donations.
According to his own explanation, Buffalo’s Peyton S. Gendron follows a lonely path to extremism, with alternative theories and other types of racists and anti-Semitism that are easily found on Internet forums. Immerse yourself in the content of and make black Americans like racist immigrants “alternatives” to white Americans. But in recent months, a version of the same idea has clearly stripped the anti-black and anti-Semitic themes and has become commonplace in the Republican Party — speaking aloud at parliamentary hearings and campaigning for the Republican Party. Right-wing candidates and media personalities that have responded to advertising and have been accepted by more and more people.
Since joining Fox’s prime timeline in 2016, Fox’s host Tucker Carlson has made elite-led demographic change the central theme of his show, publicly promoting exchange theory as loudly or relentlessly. There are no people. Times survey In more than 400 episodes of the show released this month, Carlson amplifies the idea that Democratic politicians and various other elites want to force demographic change through immigration, and his producers sometimes from the same dark corner. Buffalo has shown that he has scrutinized the raw materials for his show on the internet.
“It’s not a pipeline, it’s an open sewer,” he said. He was fired in 2020 after defending the network’s decision to call Arizona to then-candidate Joseph R. Byden, a former Fox News political editor. Future books How the media got angry to get more viewers.
“Cable hosts looking for ratings and politicians for small donations can see the stories and stories that are the most responsive among online addicts,” says Stirewalt. Social media sites and internet forums are “like a focus group of pure anger,” he added.
Just last year, Republican celebrities who turned to Trump Acolite (and third-ranked Republican) by former Speaker of the House and Georgian Parliamentarian Newt Gingrich and New York Parliamentarian Elise Stephanik on the center right. , Repeated the alternative theory. Ginrich, who appeared in Fox, declared that the left was trying to “drown” the “classical Americans.”
In September, Stephanik launched a campaign ad on Facebook, claiming that the Democratic Party was plotting a “permanent election rebellion” by giving “pardons” to illegal immigrants. Her ad said “We will overthrow our current voters and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.” That same month, after the Defamation Federation, a civil rights group called on Fox to dismiss Carlson, a member of the Florida Republican House of Representatives Matt Gaetz, and stood up for both the television host and the alternative theory itself. rice field.
“@TuckerCarlson explains what’s happening in the United States, so it’s correct about exchange theory,” Gates wrote on Twitter. “I have never talked about alternative theories from a racial point of view,” Gates said in a post-shooting statement in Buffalo.
Currently, one in three American adults believes that efforts are underway to “replace native-born Americans with immigrants to profit from elections.” According to the Associated Press announced this month..Polls show that people who primarily watched right-wing media such as Fox News, One American News Network, and Newsmax Likely to believe in permutation theory Than anyone who saw CNN or MSNBC.
All variations of alternative rhetoric are rooted in the last 10 as the population of people identified as Hispanic and Asian has skyrocketed and the number of people who have stated that they are of multiple races has more than doubled. The diversity of the United States is increasing over the years. Census Bureau.
Democratic politicians generally favored immigrants more than Republicans, especially in the post-Trump era, and sought more humane treatment of immigrants and refugees.However, the number of immigrants illegally living in the United States, which increased from the 1990s to the 2000s, was the first. Rejected A Democrat who was nicknamed “Deportee” by critics under President Obama. There is no evidence of widespread voting by non-citizens or other ineligible people.While Mr. Biden plans to expand legitimate migrants, federal agencies have banished more than 1.3 million migrants at the southwestern border under his watch, but continue with some of the more restrictive ones. Is Immigration policy It was started by former President Trump.
Through his presidency, Mr. Trump filled his speeches and Twitter feeds with often instigating and sometimes false rhetoric about immigrants. Border wall.. Such languages have been more widely adopted by his most ardent supporters, such as Arizona Senator Wendy Rogers last summer. Said on twitter“We have been replaced and invaded.” By illegal immigrants.
Efforts to contact Mr. Rogers on Sunday failed. Ginrich contacted by email, declaring the alternative theory “insane,” adding that he opposed all anti-Semitism, not just “white racist violence in Buffalo.”
Correspondence to Criticism of Stephanique’s advertising Following the shooting of Buffalo, the senior adviser to the president sent two replies. It’s a sad statement from Mr. Stefanik about the killing in Buffalo and a fierce counter-argument from his adviser, “despite illness and false reports.” I have never claimed a racist position or made any statements about racists. “
Experts studying digital extremism and the media are complex interactions between the darker version of the replacement theory that appears on white supremacist or nativist websites and the currently reverberating decaying version. I explained the action. Traditional rights, including cable news and protolamp media outlets.
Nicole Hemmer, a historian at Columbia University, said: “But people like Carlson are also important because he justifies those ideas and makes them look less radical when the viewer sees them.”
It may not be possible to measure the extent of Carlson’s influence on the dissemination of permutation theory. However, the controversy over the use of “replacement” rhetoric by the host seems to have helped at least drive general curiosity about the idea.According to Google data, until the shooting of Buffalo, there were three big spikes in the Google search for the European variation “substitution theory” or “great permutation”. Popular with French writer Renault Camu in recent years. The two were reported by media outlets around the world, following shootings in Christchurch and El Paso, New Zealand. The third was in April 2021 when Carlson called on Fox to dismiss him after defending the idea of a demographic “exchange” on the network.
Buffalo seems to be immersed in web forums such as 4chan and 8chan. There are many versions of permutation theory here. It’s also where the suspect posted a 180-page summary of racist discussions and internet memes before slaughtering black shoppers in Buffalo.
He writes that he received the news from Reddit. He began browsing 4chan “after extreme boredom” in May 2020 and soon found a gateway to anti-Semitic and anti-Semitic alternative content. Reflecting the most extreme version of the theory of substitution, the suspect regarded blacks like immigrants as “substitutes.”
According to a detailed analysis by the Anti-Defamation League provided to the Times, the suspect Screed plagiarized nearly two-thirds of another manifesto. This is left by an Australian man who killed dozens of Muslims when praying at two mosques in Christchurch in 2019. .. In some cases, Buffalo replaced Christchurch’s murderer’s reference to former German Chancellor Angela Merkel with billionaire philanthropist George Soros. One page of the Australian document contains the number of Jews allegedly working at the advanced level of major media, including Fox itself.
Oren Segal, vice president of ADL’s Center for Radicalism, said Buffalo’s diversion of Christchurch’s manifesto to justify an attack on African Americans was “the evolving interactive propaganda of radical propaganda. It shows the nature. “
Carlson’s alternative rhetoric does not contain the explicit anti-Semitic elements that are common on racist web platforms. There were no signs that Buffalo shooters had seen Carlson’s show or other Fox shows, and Carlson blamed political violence, despite inciting viewers’ fears.
However, there was also a notable response between Carlson’s segment and Buffalo’s long frustration, with Internet-fueled grips and the lines of attack currently common in conservative media and politics. It reflects the blurry boundaries between.
“Why is diversity said to be our greatest strength? Does anyone even ask why? It speaks like a mantra and repeats endlessly,” the suspect said. I am writing. This line closely matches one of Carlson’s reliable attacks on Fox. “To be precise, is diversity our strength?” Carlson asked in the 2018 segment. One of the many he ran into a question. “We have made this the motto of our new country, so please be specific when explaining it.”
A Fox spokeswoman declined to comment.
Amy Spitalnick, Executive Director of Integrity First for America, Successful civil proceedings He argued to the organizers of the 2017 Charlottesville rally that broader publicity of alternative rhetoric had normalized hatred and bolded violent militants.
“This is an inevitable result of the normalization of all forms of white supremacist alternation theory,” Spitalnick said. “Tucker Carlson may lead the allegations, but he is endorsed by elected Republican officials and other leaders who are eager to amplify this deadly plot.”
Alan Fur, Emily Cochran, Zoran Canno Youngs, Chris Cameron and Aji Peybara contributed to the report.