The accused in the Buffalo store shooting was a believer in “The Great Replacement” conspiracy theory.
The conspiracy theory is quite popular among ring-wing supporters in United States.
The theory says that Jews and leftists are engineering ethnic and cultural replacement of white populations with non-white immigrants.
It further says that the move would lead to a “white genocide.” The non-whites will ensure that political and business elite remain forever in power.
Origins of the theory
The theory finds its origin in French Nationalism. It was popularized by French writer Renaud Camus in recent years.
Immigration from Africa and the Middle East to France will eventually lead to the extinction of the native white European race, according to proponents.
There is a strong belief that Jews are involved in encouraging non-white immigration and inter-racial marriages, which makes this theory anti-Semitic.
This theory was the bedrock of Nazi ideology, which believed that Jews were the single most dangerous threat to white civilization.
Role in racial violence
Replacement theory has been the single-most reason for racially related hate crimes in United States and elsewhere.
Many right-wing believers have perpetrated mass shootings inside synagogues to kill Jews, holding them responsible for population replacement.
Popularity of the theory
Previously, the theory was restricted to corners of internet and chat rooms. In recent times it has managed to enter mainstream.
The theory has now been widely discussed on mainstream media channels. Many politicians have openly supported the theory.
Preventing hate crimes
There should be greater restrictions on use of guns. Selling and buying guns must be strongly regulated to prevent such crimes.
Use of social media to propagate hate messages and beliefs must be stopped. Social media platforms must adopt greater regulations.