'White replacement' theory may be used as ammunition for Trump's next presidential campaign, op-ed warns
With former President Donald Trump's history of using controversy to fuel his agenda and ignite his base, there is speculation of a new political angle he may use as ammunition for his next presidential campaign.
A CNN op-ed written by Michael D'Antonio and James Cohen highlights how Tucker Carlson's "white replacement" theory is picking up steam as Trump-loyalist lawmakers are also beginning to embrace the dangerous ideology. Tracing back to the suggested inception of this ideology, the writers pointed to the Charlottesville riots of 2017.
"Also known as the Great Replacement Theory, this idea lurked behind the "Unite the Right" rally of August 2017, which saw a small army of young White nationalist men carrying tiki torches while chanting "You will not replace us!" and "Jews will not replace us!" as they paraded in Charlottesville, Virginia," the writers wrote.
Referencing Madison Grant's "The Passing of the Great Race," D'Antonio and Cohen also highlighted the real concern right-wing extremists are faced with.
"White America's fears of being subsumed by other racial groups were later supported in pseudoscientific terms with the 1916 publication of The Passing of the Great Race by Madison Grant, who warned against immigration and interracial marriage," they wrote. "Grant's book, which expanded on ideas that originated from economist William Ripley, informed lawmakers who approved laws banning interracial marriage. He was also cited publicly by Adolf Hitler."
Now, the concept has become a dominant topic of discussion for the Fox News primetime anchor; one that he has alluded to more often over the last couple of months. Not only are his viewers, typically far-right-leaning Trump supporters, hearing the conspiracies he is circulating, but lawmakers are also engaging in perpetuating the claims.
"In political terms, this policy is called the great replacement, the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries," said Carlson last month. Those disturbing remarks were echoed by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who tweeted about Carlson's arguments insisting the news anchor was "CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America."
However, Carlson isn't the only Fox News host giving attention to the conspiracy theory. The writers also described Fox News' Laura Ingraham as a "leading voice" for the great replacement theory, citing her 2018 remarks. At the time, she said, "In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn't exist anymore."
Ingraham added, "Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people and they're changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don't like."
So what happens if well-known, right-wing voices like Carlson and Ingraham continue to have platforms to spread fearmongering and damaging conspiracies? The writers warn: "The more visible alarmists like Ingraham and Carlson can function as the final link in a chain which leads from the likes of Southern to Trump."
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