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A decade of domestic terrorism and the “Great Replacement Theory”

Until this week, the “Great Replacement Theory” was probably an unfamiliar phrase and concept for many Americans. But it’s not new. It's been a "pervasive and longstanding" part of the American discourse, says Karen Greenberg, Director of Fordham University’s Center on National Security. "Hitler based and thanked...Madison and Grant for writing some of the first treatises on this." The racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, NY is only the latest attack linked to the Great Replacement theory. Domestic terrorists have referenced the hateful and xenophobic conspiracy theory going at least as far back as 2011, when a gunman killed 77 people in Oslo, Norway. The theory has been a “powerful and low-hanging fruit for a very long time for those who want to exploit it,” says Greenberg. And although it used to be relegated to the dark corners of the internet, The Soufan Center’s Colin Clarke warns that these dangerous ideas are “moving to the mainstream, being piped into American homes to millions of viewers on a daily basis.” Says Clarke, “this is the impact of disinformation.”

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