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The Truth Behind the Great Replacement Theory  

The Black or African American population grew by 88.7 percent since 2010, according to census numbers.

In 2020, the Black or African American population ballooned to 41.1 million, accounting for 12.4 percent of all people living in the country in comparison to 38.9 million and 12.6 percent in 2010.

The white population remains the largest race or ethnic group in the United States with 204.3 million people identifying as white alone, according to Census data. Overall, 235.4 million people reported white alone or in combination with another group.

Despite these staggering numbers, the white alone population decreased by 8.6 percent since 2010, according to statistics.

What would happen if minorities outpaced white people? For some, it’s a brutal question with deadly outcomes.

A Deadly Theory

The term, “The Great Replacement Theory,” has recently cropped up with many Black people scratching their heads at the thought of white supremacists concerned about “white extinction,” as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) described the growing (but not new) narrative of people holding onto white supremacist ideals over the years.

“In other periods, some of the nation’s highest political officeholders have repeated these ideas, leading to forced sterilization programs at the state level and a racial quota system becoming federal immigration law for four decades,” according to the SPLC. “No longer on the fringe, such narratives now have currency among some of the most powerful and influential actors in right-wing media and politics.” The USA Today reports that the “The Great Replacement Theory” is a real threat to seven in 10 Republicans.

The SPLC organization adds that the theory hangs its hat on “stoking fears that a non-white population” that they deem inferior would eventually “displace a white majority.”

“It is also ant-Semitic,” SPLC noted, adding that a racist French writer, Renaud Camus, coined the “great replacement” formulation. His thoughts were featured in books published in 2010 and 2011, which impacted the growth of the far-right, anti-immigrant European ideas.

After America saw massive spikes in violence with mid-May shootings from coast to coast in New York, California and Houston, the country was put on edge as many Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities were left wondering if they’re next.

In Buffalo at a local supermarket, an 18-year-old white man killed 10 people while live-streaming the massacre with a helmet camera in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

Per police, the gunman started shooting in the parking lot and then moved inside the store.

In California, churchgoers stopped a gunman after a deadly shooting when the man opened fire during a lunch event at a Southern California church on Sunday. A sheriff’s official called their intervention an act of “exceptional heroism and bravery,” according to the report.

Houston police also had violent murders over the weekend when two people were killed and three additional individuals were critically injured during a shooting at a flea market in Houston, according to a FOX 2 News Detroit report.

“It’s unfortunate,” Detroit Police Chief James white said in the article. “Whatever conflict they were having not only did they put their lives in jeopardy but the residents’ lives in jeopardy.”

What’s at Stake

According to FBI data, hate crimes rose 23 percent between 2016 and 2020, and hate crimes targeting race and ethnicity made up 65 percent of hate crimes in 2020, rising 42 percent during that period. There were nearly 3,000 hate crimes committed across the nation targeting the Black community in 2020; hate crimes targeting the same community rose nearly 60 percent between 2016-2020 and rose more than 40 percent between 2019-2020. And those figures are likely undercounted.

Dr. Kalfani Ture, an assistant professor at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Maryland, told the Michigan Chronicle that the recently-celebrated Juneteenth holiday should be looked at more deeply as it brings cultural conversations to the table including the theory.

“This day curiously draws attention to America’s greatest and unresolved sin, which many anti-critical race theorists earnestly try to erase from historical memory. Nowhere in the world can one find notions of justice without its coupling of repair. To be clear, the victims of this, America’s greatest sin, remain at the bottom of every social indicator — at the bottom of America’s social order. And yet, this sin produced peerless wealth for the nation,” he said. “Furthermore, racism remains a caustic carcinogen wasting African American life such that in this post-George Floyd era, marked with replacement theory terrorists, the normalization of trauma, violence and grief colors the daily news and extinguishes any hope that we will become a more perfect union.”

 From Hate to Hope

Vice President Kamala Harris recently spoke during a virtual meeting on June 16 with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), where she gave her thoughts on The Great Replacement Theory.

“I’m very concerned,” Harris said previously, adding that gun violence is an “epidemic of hate.”

“We need to take notice of it,” Harris said, adding that equally disheartening are the politicians who aren’t addressing the roots of the problems in white supremacy-laced hate speeches and acts precede the gun violence on Black and Brown victims. “I’m very concerned elected officials will not name it.”

“We have to name it,” she said, adding that it is time to build a community coalition around communities targeted for hate. “We all have more in common than what separates us.

“I do believe in many ways …we are entering an increasingly unsettled world …. the things we took for granted as being settled are no longer settled,” she said. “Now we’re seeing laws sprouting up around the country about … the issue of a woman’s decision to make decisions about [her] own body.”

While it appears that progress is being made to combat these radical ideals as the U.S. Senate in late June approved a bipartisan gun violence bill that won’t always deter people from acquiring guns illegally.

Detroit native Dr. Sabrina Jackson, a motivational speaker, told the Michigan Chronicle that gun reform started so Black people couldn’t get guns when opposing forces saw Black Panthers have guns, but now the tables have turned.

“Now we see people have guns who don’t look like us and attacking people who look like us,” Jackson said, adding that she personally doesn’t know where to get a semiautomatic gun, and gun reform doesn’t deter lawlessness no matter what color you are. “[It is] still going to be a problem.”

She added that another word for The Great Replacement Theory is “cultural disruptiveness” and it’s an attempt to destroy or “annihilate” another culture.

“They want to get rid of the opposite,” she said, adding that these beliefs are destructive to the human race as a whole. “We all have to understand that we are occupying a planet with people who don’t look like us, think like us — raised like us, believe like us. But at our core of humanity in us has an ability to agree to disagree agreeably.”

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©2019 Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine

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