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What is the Great Replacement Theory? Tucker Carlson and Elise Stefanik under fire for pushing conspiracy theory linked to alleged Buffalo shooting suspect

Great Replacement Theory supporters (Image via Medianews Group/Reading Eagle/Getty Images)
Great Replacement Theory supporters (Image via Medianews Group/Reading Eagle/Getty Images)

On Saturday, May 14, around ten individuals were killed in Buffalo, New York, after a mass shooting that has been tied to the 'Great Replacement Theory.' The shootout was carried out by an 18-year-old gunman identified as Payton Gendron, who hailed from Conklin, New York, and drove for hours to initiate the attack.

Local authorities labeled the shootout as a racially charged attack as 11 of the 13 victims who were shot by Gendron were black. Furthermore, the shooter reportedly wrote a 180-page manifesto-esque document, which contained a lot of racial hatred and outlined his plan for the shootout.

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Other mass shooters have cited this racist conspiracy theory in recent history. These shooters include Robert Bowers, who shot 11 people at a Pittsburgh Synagogue in 2018. Furthermore, Patrick Crusius was also associated with the theory as he reportedly killed 23 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019.


Great Replacement Theory: What does it mean?

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French author and novelist Renaud Camus reportedly coined the theory. This theory is essentially a conspiracy theory that enables its followers to believe that a ploy to decrease the influence of white people is underway by people of color.

However, in the USA, the definition of this theory may have been evolved by its followers to cater to their nation specifically. The conspiracy theory states that non-white citizens are allowed into the country to replace white voters in order to diminish their majority in decisions. The Great Replacement theory is also politically charged as some individuals often use it to state the Democratic party's supporters have enabled mass migration into the US, which replaces white voters.

Most believers of this theory believe that the migration of a non-white demographic is the leading cause behind this theory, which ultimately threatens the white population majority as per the claims.

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Meanwhile, Payton Gendron stated in his document that he was influenced by some opinions on the anonymous website 4chan, infamous for some users' racist and radicalized views. He further claimed that he developed his views on the subject in 2020, as he was bored amid the pandemic.


Why are Tucker Carlson and Elise Stefanik under scrutiny for the association of the Great Replacement Theory in the Buffalo shooting?

Following reports of this theory being potentially involved in the Buffalo mass shootout, Fox News host and Republican party sympathizer Tucker Carlson and Republican representative Elise Stefanik are being criticized by netizens. As per many tweets, numerous individuals believe that these two individuals are responsible for popularizing the conspiracy theory in the USA.

The racist massacre in Buffalo rest at the feet of Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson, and the GOP. There are not fine people on both sides.
Who else thinks Tucker Carlson should be taken off the air for inciting violence? ✋
Who else agrees that Tucker Carlson shouldn't have a show on any station?
Tucker Carlson is many things — but he’s not stupid.When he pushes racist conspiracies like “the great replacement,” he knows the risks.He knows some view his vile hate as a call to arms.The problem is Tucker just doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself.
Don't let @EliseStefanik get away with what she did.
Here is my replacement theory: we need to replace @EliseStefanik @GOPLeader @RepMTG @CawthornforNC and a number of others. The replacement theory they are pushing/tolerating is getting people killed.
The only question reporters should be asking Elise Stefanik is why she's claiming to be "very saddened" about the shooting in Buffalo when she paid for Facebook ads promoting the exact conspiracy theory the shooter espoused.
Elise Stefanik is as dangerous a politician as we have seen, she has blood on her hands and I will do all in my power to see she is removed from office. I have a lot of friends/family in her district and you can be damn sure I will make sure they vote her out. @EliseStefanik
Elise Stefanik has doubled down on her use of dangerous Replacement Theory rhetoric. We want to know what her corporate donors, and their customers and employees, think about that. 🧵1/6
Tucker Carlson pushing Great Replacement Theory, all in one place, courtesy of the @MehdiHasanShow on @MSNBC. Watch/share/be disgusted:https://t.co/uwOeYkWHSW

Following the shootout on Saturday, a day later, MSBC host Mehdi Hasan tweeted a video that contained clips of Tucker Carlson allegedly promoting the Great Replacement Theory.

In August last year, Carlson reportedly said:

"Our country is being invaded by the rest of the world."
Badly timed. twitter.com/elisestefanik/…

Meanwhile, fellow Republican representative Adam Kinzinger called out Elise Stefanik on Twitter for her political Facebook ads, which allegedly promoted the Great Replacement Theory. Thus, the two influential figures (Carlson and Stefanik) received a lot of backlash following the shootout.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish
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