Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Fox, Stefanik, Others Have Blood On Their Hands In Buffalo

The video of Saturday’s bloody Buffalo shooting that claimed nine lives has had more than 2 million on-line views after someone linked to it 10 hours ago on Facebook; it now has 500 comments, 46,000 shares and is still online. The original Twitch stream had 22 viewers.

Clearly, the public loves violence but there is growing support, if not for the violence, support for the politics of the teenager who went on the rampage at the Tops Friendly Market
Nine people were shot to death at the supermarket, which caters to mostly African Americans. Police have arrested 18-year-old Payton Gendron, of Conklin, N.Y., a white supremacist and anti-Semite, who touted the so-called, widely debunked, previously, far left, “great replacement” conspiracy theory in a 180-page manifesto rant.
In the screed, Gendron asks himself, “What do you want?”
He answered with a 14-word sentence that is a common slogan among neo-Nazi groups and argues for the preservation of the white race and its children. The words are “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” Because of its widespread popularity, white supremacists reference this slogan constantly, in its full form as well as in abbreviated versions such as “14 Words”, “Fourteen Words” or simply the number “14.” White supremacists and neo-Nazis also use the numbers “1488” as a coded reference to Nazism. The first two digits refer to the 14 Words. The last two are meant to invoke the words “Heil Hitler” since H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. Nazi symbols commonly appear in these kinds of screeds, including “14 Words” that was scratched in the sand by the white supremacist who killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. in 2015.

The first page of Gendron’s screed is emblazoned with a symbol called the sonnenrad or sunwheel. The sonnenrad is an ancient European rune that, like the swastika, was appropriated by the Nazis to embody their ideal vision of an Aryan identity.

Other mass shooters have frequently referred to the replacement conspiracy theory, which they believe warns that a systematic, planned increase in the non-White population fueled by immigration will destroy White and Western civilization. In 2019, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue reported more than 24,000 social media mentions of the Great Replacement in the month before the Christchurch shootings, in comparison to just 3,431 mentions in April 2012. The use of the term spiked in April 2019 after the Christchurch mosque shootings, the institute noted.
The first reference to “Great Replacement” in a mass shooting came in 2011 when Norway’s Anders Breivik’s slaughtered 77 people, mostly immigrants; in 2011, Dylann Roof’s mass murder of Black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C.; in 2015, the 11 Jewish worshipers killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018; and the murder of 23 people, mostly immigrants, at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in 2019. In 2017, white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Va., carrying torches and chanting, “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us,” referring to the replacement theory.
The replacement theory in the U.S. holds that Democrats are flooding the country with immigrants to change the national demographics in favor of Democrats. The theory that is widely supported and repeated by white racist and neo-Nazis, has gained widespread mainstream support from many Republicans including Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., chair of the House Republican Conference and the third-ranking House Republican and most famously from the continued, aggressive support of the theory by Tucker Carlson, the Fox host whose show is one of the most popular in the nation. On Sept. 22, 2021, Carlson claimed that President Joe Biden was intentionally trying to replace the population with people from the third world. Critics have said that Carlson has given the theory credibility and has fanned the hate flames by racists. The trump supporters who rioted at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2020, are reported to generally believe in the replacement theory.
In the aftermath of the Saturday shootings, Fox made no mention of the killer’s rants about the replacement theory and said nothing about Fox’s responsibility to stop publicizing the incendiary theory. Instead, Fox ran a column by Stephen Hilton, host of Fox’s weekly show, “The Next Revolution.” Hilton is a COVID-19 conspiracist and supporter of trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Hilton accused the media of engaging in a “smear” campaign to cast all Republicans as “racist and white supremacists.”
“Let’s be better than the left, better than the establishment media. Let’s be honest. This murderer did make clear his motivation… of course, the vast majority of conservatives, Republicans, Trump supporters are repulsed by this stuff,” Hilton said. “It is obviously disgusting… [but] just as it was a despicable smear after 9/11 to suggest that all Muslims are terrorists, so the media and the Democrats are engaged in a despicable smear today that conservatives, all Republicans, all Trump supporters are racist and White supremacists. Of course, that is a hateful divisive and cynical lie, an attempt to deflect from their own policy failures.”
It really doesn’t matter if Hitler personally hated Jews or if he used anti-Semitism of the period as a vehicle to rouse the Germany public and blame the Jews for Germany’s loss in World War I and the country’s subsequent economic calamities.
And it really doesn’t matter if people like Carlson, Hilton and the rest of the Fox crew really believe in the replacement theory or if they are simply pouring gas on the fire to boost ratings and make more money. And it’s equally immaterial if people like trump bootlicker, Stefanik, really believes in the replacement theory, as she has said, or if she is just looking for votes. After the incident, Stefanik reached the pinnacle of hypocrisy and cynicism when she tweeted that she was “very saddened” and was praying for “the entire community and law enforcement.”
Either way, the Jews lose and African Americans lose. Carlson didn’t start the fire and Stefnaik didn’t start the fire; they both just accelerated it. Usually I don’t bother with the Fox News circus but I draw the line when the most watched show in America reports on “Mass shooting in a Democratic City.” False politicizing of such a terrible incident makes me sick. Hypocritical comments like those made Stefanik and Carlson make me sick. And throwing out dog whistles to white supremacists and other Republicans also makes me sick. In fact, I’m feeling pretty sick right about now.

Brandon Judd, a Border Patrol agent and the president of the National Border Patrol Council, representing more than 18,000 border patrol agents, referred to the replacement theory in a May 6 interview with Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer.
“I believe that they’re trying to change the demographics of the electorate, that’s what I believe they’re doing,” Judd said in reference to unfounded claims about government immigration policies.
The shootings in Buffalo came less than eight months after the Albany, N.Y.-based Times Union warned Stefanik and Fox about their comments in favor of the replacement theory.
“That rhetoric has been resonating ever since in the right wing, repackaged lately in what’s known as ‘replacement theory,’ espoused by conservative media figures like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. And it has seeped into the mainstream political discourse in the Capital Region, where Rep. Elise Stefanik has adapted this despicable tactic for campaign ads,” the Times Union editorial board wrote in September 2021.
The editorial said that Stefanik “isn’t so brazen as to use the slogans themselves; rather, she couches the hate in alarmist anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s become standard fare for the party of Donald Trump.”
The editorial went on to say that Stefnaik doesn’t attack immigrants directly.
“Instead, she alleges that Democrats are looking to grant citizenship to undocumented immigrants in order to gain a permanent liberal majority, or, as she calls it, a ‘permanent election insurrection,’” the newspaper wrote.
The editorial board wrote that Stefanik knew that what she was doing was wrong.
“The Harvard-educated Ms. Stefanik surely knows the sordid history and context of this. The idea of stoking racial, ethnic and religious tribalism among voters dates back to this country’s earliest days. At various times, politicians have warned that Catholics, Jews, or Muslims were out to change the ‘culture,’ or that Irish, Italian, Asian or eastern European immigrants would take the jobs — to ‘replace’ white, Protestant Americans,” the editorial board explained. “If there’s anything that needs replacing in this country — and in the Republican party — it’s the hateful rhetoric that Ms. Stefanik and far too many of her colleagues so shamelessly spew.”
Stefanik is not the only Republican member of Congress who has voiced sordid agreement with the replacement theory. Around the same time that Stefanik spoke, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the network to fire Carlson for pushing the racist conspiracy theory. In response, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said the ADL was “a racist organization” and claimed Carlson “is CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America.”
After Saturday’s attack, the ADL wrote that the shooter “is the latest in a long line of violent domestic terrorists who embraced the virulently racist and antisemitic ‘Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory, and who turned to violence apparently after ingesting white supremacist and antisemitic content online.”
“Make no mistake: This is the same hateful antisemitic bile that inspired the shooters in Pittsburgh, Poway, El Paso and Charleston,” wrote ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “More must be done — now — to push back against the racist and antisemitic violence propounded by the far right.”
In October 2018, former Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa said that Europe and the United States have shared concerns that “if we continue to abort our babies and import a replacement for them in the form of young violent men, we are supplanting our culture, our civilization.” King, a racist and anti-Semite, blamed George Soros, the billionaire Jewish philanthropist, as being behind the conspiracy. King served in congress for 18 years before he lost a reelection bid in June 2020.
In May 2019, State Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Fla., who has served in the state Senate since 2016, referred to the replacement theory in relation to the abortion debate.
Speaking of Western European birthrates as a warning to Americans, Baxley said, “When you get a birth rate less than 2 percent, that society is disappearing, and it’s being replaced by folks that come behind them and immigrate, don’t wish to assimilate into that society and they do believe in having children.”
In June 2019, Maine Republican Party Vice Chair Nick Isgro warned that abortion providers were given subsidies “so we can kill our own people” while “global elites” bring immigrants into America “to be used for our own destruction.”
“Everything that we love and hold dear as Mainers is under attack and this influx of immigrants is all part of the plan to continue to do that, in order to undermine our ability to band together and put an end to what’s going on,” Isgro said.
In April 2021, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., said “For many Americans, what seems to be happening or what they believe right now is happening is, what appears to them is we’re replacing national-born Americans, native-born Americans to permanently transform the landscape of this very nation.”
And there were the Aug. 2021 comments from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, while speaking about immigration in a Fox News interview.
“I think what’s hard for most of us to accept is that the anti-American left would love to drown traditional classic Americans with as many people as they can who know nothing of American history, nothing of American tradition, nothing of rule of law, and I think that when you go and you look at the radical left this is their ideal model is to get rid of the rest of us because we believe in George Washington, we believe in the Constitution, and you see this behavior over and over again,” Gingrich said.
And then there is trump, who has referenced the Great Replacement, while a 2019 tweet in favor of his proposed border wall was interpreted by many as endorsing the replacement conspiracy.
The great replacement theory has inspired racists and ant-Semites to horrific violence in recent years but it owes its foundation to Theodore G. Bilbo, a two-time governor, U.S. Senator from Mississippi from 1935 to 1947 and proud member of the Ku Klux Klan.
The slight, 5-feet-2 tall racist, reserved most of his loathing for African Americans, which he wrote about in his 1947 book, “Separation or Mongrelization: Take Your Choice,” that became a template for the Great Replacement Theory. Bilbo proposed resettling the 12 million American blacks to Africa and was outspoken in decrying that blacks should not be allowed to vote anywhere in the United States.
Bilbo died on Aug. 21, 1947, and the governor was among 5,000 mourners at the funeral at Juniper Grove Cemetery in Poplarville, Miss. A bronze statue of Bilbo was placed in the rotunda of the Mississippi State Capitol building but it was later relocated to a room which is now frequently used by the Legislative Black Caucus,. The statue was removed to storage in 2021.
In France, the Great Replacement theory was disseminated in 2011 by French author Renaud Camus in his book, “Le Grand Remplacement,” directed at Arab, Jewish, Berger, Turkish and sub-Saharan Muslims. Camus railed against mass migration and abortion leniency, demographic growth and a European drop in the birth rate. Camus said the growing presence of Muslims in France was endangering and destroying French culture and civilization. Camus and other conspiracy theorists blame policies advanced by global and liberal elites from within the Government of France, the European Union, or the United Nations.

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