Buttigieg Exposes GOP For Spreading Racist ‘Replacement’ Theory

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joined those speaking out against the promotion of the so-called “great replacement” conspiracy theory after it was among the inspirations for a white supremacist mass shooter who targeted Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo. The delusional theory alleges white Americans are being intentionally crowded out — or “replaced” — by non-white individuals.

“It should not be hard, especially today, for every elected official and media personality in America—left, right, and center—to unequivocally condemn white nationalism, “replacement theory,” and all that comes with it,” Buttigieg said. And yet, rather than simply focusing on discrediting the racism and danger of the ideas harbored by the Buffalo shooter, Tucker Carlson — who is among the prominent conservatives to have spread some version of the replacement conspiracy theory — spent some time on the Monday edition of his Fox show pushing the idea that a screed written by the shooter wasn’t “political” at all, which is just ridiculous. Carlson’s response to the argument over Republicans promoting notions of “replacement” is apparently — in part — to pretend like the argument isn’t even realistic.

But something the shooter apparently said directly mirrors a remark Carlson himself made on-air. “Why is diversity said to be our greatest strength? Does anyone even ask why?” the assailant apparently ranted. And in 2018, Carlson asked on the air: “How, precisely, is diversity our strength?” Where’s the meaningful difference between these remarks? Doesn’t the correlation say something about where the conspiracy theories spread by prominent conservatives end up — violence? While the issues are obviously in sharply distinct categories in terms of their real-world impacts, Capitol rioters — of which there were hundreds upon hundreds, just going off those who’ve been charged (and that total doesn’t reflect the full crowd) — were apparently prepared, at least in part, to carry out executions. Are we supposed to believe the portion of the crowd chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” didn’t mean it? Gallows were put up! Republicans — some of them — are acting in a way that directly connects to deadly violence.

According to The New York Times, an investigation conducted by the publication “showed that in more than 400 episodes of his show, Mr. Carlson has amplified the notion that Democratic politicians and other assorted elites want to force demographic change through immigration.” The disconnection from reality inherent in what Carlson and others are spreading can have serious consequences, although it might be difficult to precisely quantify how Carlson’s on-air remarks connect to the Buffalo incident. There’s obviously no real-world evidence for a widespread Democratic conspiracy theory to intentionally replace native-born/white Americans with people of different backgrounds. White Americans aren’t being targeted by some nefarious force bent on wiping out the group. But the Buffalo incident is not the first time that ideas of “invading” racial outsiders drove deadly violence — a Texas shooter who killed 23 cited similar notions. After that point, Trump refused to distance himself from his “invasion” rhetoric about immigrants.