What is 'The Great Replacement' conspiracy theory?

STORY: What is ‘The Great Replacement’?

The conspiracy theory is popular among white nationalists

[Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal, The Berkeley Center for Right-wing Studies]

"Replacement theory is the idea that white populations, both in North America - here in the USA - and in Europe are being replaced by minority populations, largely through immigration."

It believes that leftist and Jewish elites are engineering the ethnic and cultural replacement

of white populations with non-white immigrants that will lead to a 'white genocide'

The teenage gunman of a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York

appears to have written a 180-page manifesto outlining 'The Great Replacement' theory

He was charged with shooting at more than a dozen, mostly Black, people

[Benjamin Crump, Civil rights attorney]

"This race replacement theory that he talked about in this manifesto. There are people who are pushing this hatred on these young people, indoctrinating their minds."

What are its origins?

The theory is thought to have roots in early 20th century French nationalism

White ‘replacement theory’ and the idea of a ‘white genocide’

were a pillar of Nazi Germany's ideology

which pointed to Jews as the single most

dangerous threat to white civilization

What is its connection to mass shootings?

In 2019, the gunman who killed more than 20 people in El Paso, Texas

decried a ‘Hispanic invasion’ of the U.S. in a manifesto explaining his actions

In 2018, anti-Semitism was behind the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh

when a gunman yelling ’All Jews must die’ opened fire on worshippers

At a 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia

some chanted ‘Jews will not replace us!’ in reference to the conspiracy theory

The Buffalo shooting also drew parallels with an attack on two

mosques that took place in New Zealand in 2019

Like the Buffalo attack, the gunman livestreamed the shooting

and distributed an online manifesto espousing far-right views

[Benjamin Crump, Civil rights attorney]

"We intend to hold those responsible for the root of the hate, the people who curate the hate, the people who inspire the hate on websites and internet services and cable news stations."