As the nation continues to process the news of a mass shooting that occurred at a Buffalo, New York supermarket, many have drawn attention to the fact the shooter—who is reported to have written a 180-page manifesto released prior to the attack—subscribed to the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory often touted by Fox News personality Tucker Carlson.
Replacement theory is a conspiracy theory that states White European populations and their descendants are being demographically and culturally replaced with non-European peoples.
Several key facts came to light after the shooting.
Firstly, 10 people were killed during the shooting and three others were injured. 11 of the victims were Black.
Secondly, the shooter, who was arraigned in a Buffalo court and entered a not guilty plea to multiple charges of first-degree murder, identified as a White supremacist and voiced support for the conspiracy theory in his manifesto, which dedicates significant time to criticizing mass immigration.
Thirdly, the shooter had a racist slur written on his weapon and shouted some during the shooting, according to survivors. The shooter, who livestreamed the attack on Twitch, is shown in a viral video clip apologizing to a White man in the supermarket before sparing his life and continuing to shoot others.
So how does Carlson fit in?
Carlson has been accused of using his program to stoke resentment against people of color and a recent New York Times series noted he has "constructed what may be the most racist show in the history of cable news."
Critics of Carlson pointed out he has pushed numerous racist conspiracy theories on his program, including replacement theory. He has often railed against liberal immigration policies, providing an enormous platform for White nationalist rhetoric.
When Carlson hasn't been using his program to spout his own rhetoric, he invites others to do it for him, such as when he generated controversy last month hosting University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Amy Wax, who claimed Black people and “Third World” immigrants hold “resentment and shame and envy” against White people because of their "outsized achievements and contributions.”
Many pointed out these racist beliefs have become a major part of mainstream conservatism and voiced harsh criticism of Carlson and his program, noting his long history of promoting racist rhetoric.
In 2021, @TuckerCarlson openly embraced the \u201cgreat replacement\u201d theory that inspired the Buffalo shooting as well as the earlier white-supremacist attacks. Lachlan Murdoch stood by him, allowing his network to continue spewing racist vitriol.https://wapo.st/3PphAeT— Max Boot \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Max Boot \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1652649720
Charles Manson was not present at murder scenes and did not commit actual murders, but found guilty because of his influence over his followers. How\u2019s that any different from Tucker Carlson, who heavily influenced the Buffalo Shooter, with his replacement theory?— Dee (@Dee) 1652585032
Yesterday, a white supremacist spewing the \u201cgreat replacement\u201d conspiracy theory mainstreamed by Fox News\u2019 biggest star Tucker Carlson killed 10 people in Buffalo.\n\nTomorrow, Fox holds its upfronts presentation, where it will tell media buyers to ignore that and keep buying ads.— Matthew Gertz (@Matthew Gertz) 1652623515
NEW: A mass shooter in Buffalo, NY who killed at least 10 people had posted a manifesto online espousing the White Replacement Theory, per @BNONews.\n\nWhite Replacement Theory has been long promoted and championed by Tucker Carlson on Fox News.pic.twitter.com/LaO82WpzfH— Brian Tyler Cohen (@Brian Tyler Cohen) 1652561853
Like the El Paso shooter who targeted a Walmart in a Latino neighborhood, the Buffalo shooter, who went after a store in a Black neighborhood, subscribed to the Great Replacement theory touted by conservative elites like Tucker Carlson and believed by nearly half of GOP voters— Emmanuel Felton (@Emmanuel Felton) 1652576132
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.— Rob Reiner (@Rob Reiner) 1652607165
There's a STRAIGHT line from words of people like Tucker Carlson, Matt Gaetz, Elise Stefanik and other GOPers peddling the LIE that white people are being replaced by people of color to the Buffalo white supremacist terrorist attack. They radicalized him like an ISIS recruiter.— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@(((DeanObeidallah)))) 1652616436
The white supremacist terrorist who murdered 10 black Americans and shot 13 total in Buffalo had Tucker Carlson\u2019s name in his manifesto. Of course because that is what Tucker promotes every night. He has blood on his hands.— Ricky Davila \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Ricky Davila \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1652572960
The gunman who killed at least 10 people in Buffalo is a self-described white supremacist who advocates for the Great Replacement Theory.\nHe left a manifesto. See if you can tell the difference between it and standard fare on the Tucker Carlson show. https://bnonews.com/index.php/2022/05/mass-shooting-supermarket-buffalo-10-dead/\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/T5mZw9iV9C— Don Moynihan (@Don Moynihan) 1652562166
The Republican Party has shown it is significantly fractured in regard to the shooting.
Earlier today, Wyoming Republican Representative Liz Cheney had harsh words for Republican leadership, saying her party enables the “White nationalism” that led to the shooting.
Cheney said "House GOP leadership has enabled White nationalism, White supremacy, and antisemitism," and stressed Republicans "must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them."
By contrast, New York Republican Representative Elise Stefanik, who replaced Cheney as the House Conference Chair after Cheney pushed back against former President Donald Trump’s lies about the integrity of the 2020 general election, suggested the shooting had nothing to do with White nationalism even though the shooter espoused multiple White nationalist talking points in his manifesto.
The Washington Post called out Stefanik, noting she also pushed replacement theory on more than one occasion.