Avi Benlolo: It’s time to replace white nationalists’ conspiracy of hate

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The mainstreaming of the ‘great replacement theory’ not only threatens minority groups, but society itself

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America is in trouble. The horrific mass shooting in Buffalo last Saturday added another layer of hate and racial division to a nation once dubbed a “melting pot” of differing ethnicities. No more. In a racially motivated shooting spree, a white gunman specifically targeted the Black community — unleashing 50 rounds of bullets in the Tops Supermarket. Shockingly, he murdered 10 Black people in cold blood — six females and four males ranging from the age of 32 to 86.

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What motivated the 18-year-old suspect to unleash violence on his fellow citizens? Authorities indicate it was the same white-nationalist sentiment that also led to mass shootings in 2018 at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and in 2019 at Chabad of Poway. A total of 12 Jewish worshippers were murdered in those attacks by two lone male gunmen motivated by a white-nationalist racist ideology known as “replacement” theory.

It’s not the theory itself that is mainstreaming from the fringe, as many commentators have contended in recent days. It’s that white supremacism itself is mainstreaming, growing in numbers and accelerating the threat to such minority groups as Black and Jewish people and to America itself. A racist screed reportedly posted online by the Tops supermarket suspect outlined the so-called “great replacement” theory — a white-nationalist belief in a conspiracy to diminish the power and influence of white people and in effect, replace them in America.

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White supremacism itself is mainstreaming

One might argue that America has always had a massive racial divide going all the way back to slavery. Henry Ford himself capitalized on antisemitism and convinced millions of Americans that Jewish people were out to control the world. Ford published a series of pamphlets in the 1920s arguing that the “international Jew” was “the world’s foremost problem,” thereby unleashing hateful conspiracy theories that accused Jewish people of everything from agricultural depression to strikes and financial manipulation. This screed would strengthen white-nationalist belief systems, particularly as Nazi ideology began taking hold.

White-nationalists take their inspiration from Nazism — the original ideology pursuing racial supremacy for a white, so-called “Aryan race.” The Nazis’ plan was to ethnically cleanse all minority and racial groups including the Jewish and Black communities — whom they described as inferior races. The Old Testament of America’s white-nationalist movement might be Hitler’s racist screed Mein Kampf, but the movement’s New Testament is “The Turner Diaries.” Published in 1978, it’s a fictional novel written by William Luther Pierce about a violent race-motivated revolution in America in which whites exterminate non-whites.

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Although white nationalists have a long laundry list of hate, Black and Jewish communities are their prime targets. America realized it was asleep at the wheel when in 2017, white nationalists marching at Charlottesville, Va., chanted “Jews will not replace us!” and “You will not replace us!” We were all still trying to figure out what they meant. Who would want to replace such vile people anyway?

Since Charlottesville, there have been at least three violent white-supremacist attacks on American soil. Similar international mass murders took place in Norway at a summer camp in 2011 in which 77 people were murdered; at a Quebec mosque in 2017 when six Muslim worshippers were killed; and in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019, when 51 Muslim worshippers were murdered. It’s no wonder that intelligence agencies including the FBI in America and CSIS in Canada have reportedly placed white-nationalist movements high on their threat lists.

The Black, Jewish and Muslim communities have all been victims of violent racism and prejudices and need to be unified, not divided, in order to protect themselves. It’s time for all minority groups to have empathy and call out hate against others. More importantly, the majority must stand with them and against the mainstreaming of the replacement theory, which threatens not only minority groups, but society itself.

National Post

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