The ease with which this single conspiracy theory has been mobilized against a wide range of victims and targeted groups — Muslims, Jews, Latinos and, now, Black Americans — demonstrates just how many people feel threatened by demographic change and are easily persuaded by manipulative rhetoric about it.

The 18-year-old accused of shooting 13 people, 10 fatally, at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store Saturday was, according to a manifesto he appears to have written, motivated by a global white supremacist extremist conspiracy theory called the “great replacement.” The theory falsely argues that global elites are orchestrating demographic changes via immigration in order to consolidate power and replace white populations with multicultural societies, writes MSNBC.

Authorities say he researched ZIP codes in his state with a high percentage of Black residents, and officials said he drove hours to Buffalo to execute his plot, which he livestreamed on a gaming platform.

A conspiracy theory called the “great replacement” argues that global elites are orchestrating demographic changes to replace white populations with multicultural societies.

Black shoppers and employees mostly were killed and injured in the shooting, part of a wave of violence rooted in that same conspiracy theory that has terrorized members of historically marginalized communities globally for over a decade. The attack followed mass shootings targeting Jews, Muslims and Latinos across the country and world that were motivated by a belief in the “great replacement.”


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