JM Rieger+ Your Authors @RiegerReport Video Editor, The Washington Post • [email protected] Aug. 07, 2019 5 min read + Your Authors

Over the past two years the rhetoric of some Fox News personalities has overlapped with a racist conspiracy theory regularly cited by white supremacists, according to a WaPo review.

The theory was also cited by the gunmen in two mass shootings this year.

The theory, known as “The Great Replacement,” warns of “ethnic and civilization substitution” from immigrants in Western nations.

It was developed in part by right-wing French polemicist Renaud Camus, who wrote a 2012 book of the same name. 

Camus has written separately about the “cultural ethnocide of the Europeans,” another component of the “replacement” theory.

It is similar to trends some Fox News personalities and President Trump have pointed to about the decline of U.S. culture. 

Tucker Carlson speaking about the cultural decline in a town he regularly visits in March 2019:

“You watch the same very familiar pathologies that we wrote a lot about in the 80s and 90s in the inner city … What caused it was the collapse of male jobs.” 

TRUMP on Monday:

"It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. … Cultural change is hard, but each of us can choose to build a culture that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every human life."

The alleged El Paso and Christchurch gunmen cited the “replacement” theory, writing about immigrants “replacing” native born citizens and “invading” countries.

“Replace” and “invasion” are central to the theory.

They are also repeatedly used on Fox.

At least eight Fox News personalities have referred to the migrant crisis as an “invasion”:

- Tucker Carlson
- Laura Ingraham
- Brian Kilmeade
- Stuart Varney
- Pete Hegseth
- Jesse Watters
- Mike Huckabee
- Lawrence Jones

Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have said Democrats want to “replace” U.S. citizens with immigrants.

The title of Renaud Camus’ 2018 book, an extension of the “replacement” theory?

“You Will Not Replace Us!”

Fox News coverage of the migrant crisis in 2019, according to data from Media Matters:

- Over 70 on-air references to an “invasion” of migrants
- At least 55 clips of Trump calling the migrant crisis an “invasion” 

In May, shortly before a rallygoer suggested shooting migrants to prevent them from entering the United States, Trump called the surge of migrants at the border an “invasion.” 

According to a New York Times analysis of FBI data, white extremists have carried out no fewer than 17 active-shooter attacks since 2011, beginning with an attack in Norway that killed 77.

Eight of those 17 attacks were public mass shootings. 

The majority of the FBI’s domestic terrorism cases this year have been motivated by white supremacy.

Far right extremists have killed virtually the same number of Americans as Islamic extremists since 2002, per data compiled by think tank New America. 

“The Great Replacement” theory traces back to decades-old neo-Nazism and the 1973 French novel “The Camp of the Saints.”

When “The Camp of the Saints” was translated into English, it was subtitled: “A Chilling Novel About the End of the White World” 

“The Camp of the Saints” was regularly cited by former WH adviser Steve Bannon before he joined the Trump campaign in 2016.

Bannon in October 2015:

“It’s been almost a Camp of the Saints-type invasion into Central and then Western and Northern Europe.” 

.@KirkusReviews on “The Camp of the Saints” in 1975:

“The publishers are presenting The Camp of the Saints as a major event, and it probably is, in much the same sense that Mein Kampf was a major event.”

More on this here from @PaulBlu and I: 

FBI Director Chris Wray on extremists and rhetoric last month:

"I think extremist rhetoric by anybody can have the effect—any public figure could have the effect of inspiring people. But remember that the people who commit hate fueled violence are not logical, rational people."

Despite violent crimes and mass shootings carried out in recent years by white extremists, Tucker Carlson last night called white supremacy a “hoax”:

“It’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power.” 

On Tuesday, Fox host Brian Kilmeade defended calling the migrant crisis as an “invasion”:

“When you have over 110,000 people coming a month … if you use the term an ‘invasion,’ that’s not anti-hispanic. It’s a fact.”

“The Great Replacement” conspiracy theory cited by white supremacists relies on numerous falsehoods:

- Immigrant share of the population is often overstated by conservative-leaning citizens
- Immigrants commit fewer crimes than U.S. citizens 

Adherents to “The Great Replacement” theory also warn of “white genocide” in part stemming from declining white birthrates.

But demographers don’t even agree how much the white population will decrease in western nations, if at all. 

Other U.S. politicians who have warned about declining birthrates, a migrant “invasion” or migrant “replacement” of citizens:

- Steve King
- Louie Gohmert
- Ted Yoho
- Tom McClintock
- Jodey Arrington
- Bobby Jindal
- Pete Sessions
- Pat Buchanan 

Since January, Trump’s reelection campaign has posted more than 2,000 ads on Facebook that include the word “invasion.”

Trump has tweeted about a migrant “invasion” more than a half dozen times since 2015. 

Foreign political parties with members who have warned about a migrant “invasion” or “replacement”:

- Austria’s Freedom Party
- Belgium’s Vlaams Belang
- Denmark's Hard Line
- France's National Rally
- Germany’s AfD
- Hungary's Fidesz
- Italy’s Lega Nord 

In the past year, Donald Trump was among the ten most influential figures referenced in English-language Twitter conversations surrounding the “great replacement” theory. 

Research conducted by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue earlier this year:

"The Great Replacement theory is able to inspire calls for extreme action from its adherents, ranging from non-violent ethnic cleansing through ‘remigration’ to genocide.” 

More from ISD:

"Politicians and political commentators have been key in mainstreaming the Great Replacement narrative by making explicit and implicit references to the conspiracy theory in their speeches, social media posts and policies.” 

You can follow @RiegerReport.


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