This weekend’s deadly and racist mass murder in Buffalo has prompted a number of questions, including some that expose the hypocrisy of conservatives politicizing critical race theory (CRT).
It is in that context that I ask:
Why aren’t Republican lawmakers across America scrambling to ban the so-called “Great Replacement Theory” (GRT) (also sympathetically referred to as the “White Replacement Theory“) from institutions of learning? Why aren’t right-wing pundits ranting about the dangers of GRT in America? Where are the legislative committees? Where are the school board meetings full of conservative parents foaming at the mouth over what their children are learning in the classroom? Where are the lists of books to be banned after conservatives combed through reading materials in search of even the most obscure references to white people’s fear of being replaced by Black and brown people in America?
Now, white people will say these are loaded questions since GRT is not being taught in K-12 schools. But the same can be said for critical race theory, the college-level academic study on systemic racism in America that Republicans are trying their best to ban into oblivion despite them knowing absolutely nothing about it.
There are, of course, glaring differences between CRT and GRT.
The former is backed by research and academic rigor while the latter is supported by nothing but white people’s fear of non-whiteness and a historic need to justify genocide.
The former has been denounced by white nationalists while the latter is a cornerstone for white nationalist propaganda.
And lastly, critical race theory wasn’t cited by Payton Gendron as the inspiration for his alleged shooting spree in Buffalo, New York, that killed 10 Black people at a Tops Friendly Market on Saturday.
As we previously reported, the so-called “White Replacement Theory” was reportedly referenced in a manifesto left by Gendron after he allegedly targeted a grocery store in a Black neighborhood for his deadly mass shooting. Here’s Fox News’ most popular host, Tucker Carlson, espousing that same theory, which he has been pushing for years.
In fact, Carlson and ex-President Donald Trump have both been such fierce spreaders of the idea of white people being replaced in America by Black people and non-white immigrants that former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke complained that he hadn’t gotten enough credit for essentially being the blueprint of their platforms.
As we previously reported, Trump and Carlson are far from the only prominent right-wingers who are guilty of this. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick—another dedicated warrior in the propaganda-infused battle against CRT—has taken to white replacement rhetoric in denouncing illegal immigration in America. Sunken place resident Candace Owens was literally namedropped in a manifesto left by Brenton Tarrant, who killed at least 51 people in an Islamaphobic terrorist attack at a mosque in New Zealand in 2019—a shooting that was also allegedly inspired in part by white replacement propaganda.
White Replacement Theory might not be taught in K-12 schools, but it has been spread by white conservatives’ favorite political talking heads and media sites as well as their favorite politicians, including their favorite former president.
So when I ask why Republican legislators don’t have the same smoke for WRT or GRT that they have for CRT, it’s not really a loaded question—it’s just a rhetorical one. We already know the answer. White nationalism is America’s default and, to them, that’s not something to ban, it’s something to protect—no matter how many white supremacist mass shooters are inspired in the process.