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White genocide conspiracy theory

Anti-immigrant protesters in Calais hold a sign in French reading "Diversity is a code word for white genocide", above a banner calling for remigration. November 8, 2015

The white genocide, white extinction,[1][2][3][4][5] or white replacement conspiracy theory[6][7][8] is a white supremacist[9][10][11][12] belief that there is a deliberate plot, often blamed on Jews,[9][12] to promote miscegenation, mass non-white immigration, racial integration, low fertility rates, abortion, governmental land-confiscation from whites, organised violence,[13] and eliminationism in supposedly white-founded countries[9] in order to cause the extinction of whites through forced assimilation[13] and violent genocide.[14][15][16][17] Less frequently, blacks,[18] Hispanics,[19] and Muslims[20] are blamed, but merely as more fertile immigrants,[21] invaders,[22] or violent aggressors,[23] rather than masterminds of a secret plot.[24]

White genocide is a myth,[25][26] based on pseudoscience, pseudohistory, and hatred,[27] driven by a psychological panic often termed white extinction anxiety.[28][19] There is no evidence that white people are dying out or that they will die out, or that anyone is trying to exterminate them as a race.[29][30] The purpose of the conspiracy theory is to scare white people,[29] and justify a commitment to a white nationalist agenda[31] in support of increasingly successful calls to violence.[32][23][22] Conspiracists have shot or bombed at least 186 people to death since 2000 in increasingly frequent incidents, injuring at least 322 others.[citation needed]

The theory was popularized by white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and convicted felon David Lane around 1995, and has been leveraged as propaganda in Europe, North America, South Africa, and Australia. Similar conspiracy theories were prevalent in Nazi Germany[33] and have been used in present-day interchangeably with,[34] and as a broader and more extreme version of, Renaud Camus's 2012 The Great Replacement, focusing on the white Christian population of France.[35][36] Since the 2019 Christchurch and El Paso shootings, of which the shooters' manifestos decried a "white replacement" and have named The Great Replacement; author Bat Ye'or's 2002 Eurabia concept,[37] Camus's 2012 Great Replacement fallacy (often called replacement theory or population replacement),[38] and Gerd Honsik's resurgent 1970s myth of a Kalergi plan,[34] have all been used synonymously with "white genocide" and are increasingly referred to as variations of the conspiracy theory.

In August 2018, US President Donald Trump was accused of endorsing the conspiracy theory in a foreign policy tweet instructing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate South African "land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers",[39][40][41] claiming that the "South African government is now seizing land from white farmers".[42] The often critical narrative derived from farm attacks, and land reform, is an established subset theme of the broader conspiracy theory,[29] portrayed in media as a form of gateway or proxy issue to "white genocide" within the wider context of the Western world.[43][42] The topic in relation to South Africa and Zimbabwe is also simply used interchangeably with the subject,[44] as well as being used by white nationalists as a parabolic concept, or cautionary tale,[45] to justify policies to retain or increase white majorities in nation-states, or otherwise maintain their vision of white supremacy.[46][42]

History

The idea of a distinct white human race began with German physician and anthropologist Johann Blumenbach, who in 1775 claimed that there were five such races, Caucasian, Mongolian, Malayan, Ethiopian (or Negroid), and American Indian.[47] Previously, François Bernier had in 1684 published a four-page essay postscript which posited five races, combining Europeans ("except for part of Muscovy") with inhabitants of the Northern coastal regions of Africa, and Arabia, Persia, Mongolia, India, and parts of China, Sumatra, Bantam, and Borneo, and described skin color as "merely accidental."[48] Prior distinctions of ethnicity and culture were narrower and more mutable through antiquity, drawing distinctions closer to those of tribal and familial groups, and were based on environmental factors such as geography and climate as well as appearance, physiology, and learned behaviors such as language and diet.[49] Present-day racial and ethnic distinctions are only loosely correlated with genetic ancestry, with which they are being replaced in medical science.[50][51]

Eugenics

The conspiracy theory had precursors in early 20th-century eugenics theories,[52] which were popular in British colonies where it was feared that the majority non-white races would eventually supplant the white ones.[53]

Madison Grant

In 1916, the American eugenicist and lawyer Madison Grant wrote a book entitled The Passing of the Great Race which, while largely ignored when it first appeared, went through four editions, becoming part of popular culture in 1920s America and, in the process, spawned the ideology that the founding-stock of the United States, the so-called Nordic race, were under extinction threats from assimilation with non-whites. Grant wrote of it:

Neither the black, nor the brown, nor the yellow, nor the red will conquer the white in battle. But if the valuable elements in the Nordic race mix with inferior strains or die out through race suicide, then the citadel of civilization will fall for mere lack of defenders.[25]

The Harvard Gazette described Grant's assertion that the race which "built" America was in danger of extinction unless the US reined in immigration of Jews and others.[54] Author F. Scott Fitzgerald made a lightly disguised reference to Grant in The Great Gatsby, in which the character Tom Buchanan was reading a book called The Rise of the Colored Empires by "this man Goddard", a combination of Grant and his colleague Lothrop Stoddard. (Grant wrote the introduction to Stoddard's book The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy.) "Everybody ought to read it", Buchanan explained. "The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be – will be utterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved."[55]

Nazi Germany

Adolf Hitler wrote to Grant to thank him for writing The Passing of the Great Race, calling it "my Bible."[56] Nazis employed the conspiracy theory widely as propaganda, as exemplified in a 1934 pamphlet written for the "Research Department for the Jewish question" of Walter Frank's "Reich Institute" with the title "Are the White Nations Dying? The Future of the White and the Colored Nations in the Light of Biological Statistics."[33] Nazis used the conspiracy theory as a call to arms in a bid to gain power through cultural hegemony and scapegoating Jews by leveraging long-running historical prejudices.[57][58]

Prior to Nazis coming to power, German eugenicists including Jewish medical and psychiatric professionals did consider Jews distinct from white Europeans, but not so "degenerate" or unfit as to require anything more than guidance avoiding heritable disease via marriage counseling and, as early as 1918, screening for Jews wishing to emigrate to Palestine.[59]

Rhodesian scare tactics

Ian Smith c. 1954

In 1966, Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith was described as having convinced white Rhodesians that their only alternative to his government's Rhodesian Bush War was "dictatorship and white genocide" by communist-backed black nationalist guerrillas.[60][61]

White supremacists are described as being obsessed with the treatment of the formerly dominant white minorities in Zimbabwe and South Africa by the black majorities where "the diminished stature of whites is presented as an ongoing genocide that must be fought."[61] In particular, the story of Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was formerly known, ruled by a predominately-white government, holds a particular fascination for white supremacists. Zimbabwe's disastrous economic collapse under the leadership of its second black president, Robert Mugabe, together with the Mugabe government's policies towards the white minority has been cited by white supremacists as evidence of both the inferiority of blacks and a case of genocide against whites.[61] In alt-right and white supremacist groups, there is much nostalgia for Rhodesia, which is seen as a state that fought valiantly for white supremacy in Africa in the 1960–1970s until it was betrayed.[62]

Neo-Nazis' accusations against Jews

The conspiracy theory can be traced back to post-war European neo-Nazi circles, especially René Binet's 1950 book Théorie du Racisme.[63][64] The latter influenced French 1960s far-right movements such as Europe-Action, which argued that "systematic race mixing [was] nothing more than a slow genocide".[65][66]

The term "white genocide" appeared sporadically in the American Nazi Party's White Power newspaper as early as 1972[67] and was used by the White Aryan Resistance[68] in the 1970s and 1980s, where it primarily referred to contraception and abortion. The conspiracy theory was developed by the neo-Nazi David Lane in his White Genocide Manifesto (c. 1995, origin of the later use of the term),[69][70][71][67] where he made the claim that the government policies of many Western countries had the intent of destroying white European culture and making white people an "extinct species".[72] Lane—a founding member of the organization The Order—criticized miscegenation, abortion, homosexuality, Jewish control of the media, "multi-racial sports," the legal repercussions against those who "resist genocide", and the "Zionist Occupation Government" that he said controls the United States and the other majority-white countries and which encourages "white genocide".[72][73]

Shortly after Lane's Manifesto, the Aryan Nations published their 1996 Declaration of Independence stating that the Zionist Occupation Government sought "the eradication of the white race and its culture" as "one of its foremost purposes." It accused such Jews of subverting the constitutional rule of law; responsibility for post-Civil War Reconstruction; subverting the monetary system with the Federal Reserve System, confiscating land and property; limiting freedoms of speech, religion, and gun ownership; murdering, kidnapping and imprisoning patriots; abdicating national sovereignty to the United Nations; political repression; wasteful bureaucracy; loosening restrictions on immigration and drug trafficking; raising taxes; polluting the environment; commandeering the military, mercenaries, and police; denying Aryan cultural heritage; and inciting immigrant insurrections.[74][75][76][77][undue weight? ] Of these accusations, only passage of the Federal Reserve Act, ratification of the Charter of the United Nations, and imprisonment of members of The Order were cited as specific instances.

Another strand developed in Europe in the 1970s by Austrian neo-Nazi Gerd Honsik, who distorted the early 20th century writings of Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi with his invention of the Kalergi plan conspiracy theory, which was popularized in a 2005 book.[78][79]

Alt-right

David Duke

In 2008, the conspiracy theory spread beyond its explicit neo-Nazi and white nationalist origins, to be embraced by the newly founded alt-right movement. Discussion threads on the white nationalist Internet forum Stormfront often center around the theme of white people being subjected to genocidal policies by their governments.[72] The concept has also been popularized by the alt-right and alt-lite movements in the United States.[80][81] The notion of racial purity, homogeneity or "racial hygiene" is an underlying theme of the white genocide discourse and it has been used by people with neo-Nazi and white supremacist backgrounds.[82][83]

While individual iterations of the conspiracy theory vary on who is assigned blame, Jewish influence, people who hate whites,[82] and liberal political forces are commonly cited by white supremacists as being the main factors leading to a white genocide.[17][84][85][72] This view is held by prominent figures such as David Duke, who cites Jews and "liberal political ideals" as the main causes.[86][72] White nationalist Robert Whitaker, who coined the phrase "anti-racist is a code word for anti-white" in a widely circulated 2006 piece seeking to popularize the white genocide concept online, used "anti-White" to describe those he believed are responsible for the genocide of white people, and continued to view it as a Jewish conspiracy while emphasizing that others also supported the "anti-White" cause.[87][88][89][90][91][92][93][69] However, the view that Jews are responsible for a white genocide is contested by other white supremacist figures, such as Jared Taylor.[94][95][96][97][98]

The Great Replacement

Renaud Camus, progenitor of the Great Replacement theory. March 2019

Starting with French author Renaud Camus and his 2012 book Le Grand Remplacement; the conspiracy theory of a Great Replacement occurring, first in France, which focused on a displacement of French Catholics by predominantly Muslims, then becoming a pan-European concept which spread across most major European countries' politics on the continent. This also drew from the European Islamophobic strain of Bat Ye'or's 2002 Eurabia conspiracy theory,[38] and that was also was expressed by Anders Behring Breivik, perpetrator of the 22 July attacks in Norway, in his 2083: A European Declaration of Independence manifesto, which was widely compared with the "white genocide" myth.[37] By 2018, the concept of a large population replacement of white people, and the term Great Replacement itself, was being compared increasingly with the white genocide conspiracy theory and presented as simply a localized version of the same ideology.[34][35] After the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, where the shooter named his manifesto The Great Replacement, the French-originated phrase is widely established as synonymous with "white genocide", used by mainstream Western media interchangeably, and is largely responsible for the emerging term of "white replacement".[20][8]

By 2017, at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, white nationalists were referencing the conspiracy theory as tiki torch-wielding protestors, who yelled "You will not replace us!" and "Jews will not replace us!". This was seen widely as a reference to the Great Replacement theory, variant on the "white genocide" narrative.[99][100][101]

White extinction anxiety

"White genocide anxiety,"[102] "white displacement anxiety,"[103] and, the most commonly referred to, "white extinction anxiety" or panic,[28] is said to be one of the key driving forces behind the conspiracy theory and its supporters' adherence to it. The thesis, often cited as an explanation for some sections of white society's resistance to racial diversity,[104] is reported as virtually inseparable from the conspiracy theory itself.[19][105][106]

Former diplomat and scholar Alfredo Toro Hardy, who credits journalist Charles M. Blow with the term "white extinction anxiety", has outlined how "the anxieties related to the changing racial landscape of the United States" were at the heart of the concept, and propelled policies such as the Trump administration's "extreme measures against Southern immigrants".[107] In this regard, Trump has been accused of capitalizing on "white genocide anxiety" with claims that immigration had "changed the fabric of Europe", and empowering his supporters in media, such as Laura Ingraham, to stoke fears of "massive demographic changes" within the US[102] Science journalist Ronald Bailey proposes that Trump is merely "the latest demagogue to rise to power by stoking white folks' ethnic fears", and that "white extinction panics" have historically occurred in the US each time the foreign-born population reached above 13 percent.[28]

Pat Buchanan in 2008

Blow has defined "white extinction anxiety" as the fear that white people will become a minority, stripped of their race-based privilege.[108] Analyzing the concept, he examined Pat Buchanan's rhetoric (described by Bailey as a form of blood and soil mantra);[28] of whether the nations of Europe and North America had the "will and capacity to halt the invasion of the countries" before immigration altered the "political, social, racial, ethnic - character of the country entirely." Addressing Buchanan's arguably ethnic nationalist conclusions that "You cannot stop these sentiments of people who want to live together with their own and they want their borders protected", Blow said, "Make no mistake here, Buchanan is talking about protecting white dominance, white culture, white majorities and white power".[106]

Anti-racism activist Jane Elliott has suggested that this anxiety, or "Fear of White Genetic Annihilation", is so great that political leaders will resort to any measures in order to prevent the white extinction event that they believe is unfolding, including measures such as the Alabama abortion ban.[109] Anders Breivik's core ideology, and motivations behind his white supremacist attacks, has been described as white extinction anxiety.[110] He had written: "This crisis of mass immigration and sub-replacement fertility is an assault on the European people that, if not combated, will ultimately result in the complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people".

According to professor Alexandra Minna Stern, who has detailed the connection between the conspiracy theory and the anxiety-framed concept, factions of the alt-right are distorting fertility statistics into a "conspiratorial campaign of white extinction" which is being fueled by a looming "white extinction anxiety". This phenomenon is driving alt-right strategies such as encouraging couples of Western and Northern European ethnicity to have up to eight children.[105]

Fox News era

Tucker Carlson in 2018

The American news channel Fox News is increasingly described by multiple mainstream media sources as aligned with the concept and narrative of the white genocide conspiracy theory and using its prominence to bring rhetoric of demographic threats to white Americans further into the center of US discourse. For example, Salon has stated that the news channel's default ideology is "strikingly similar" to "fascistic replacement theory" and "white genocide". They report that this is especially the case for their prime-time commentators, such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.[111] Paste magazine has argued that "far-right" Great Replacement rhetoric is not only a nightly fixture of Tucker Carlson Tonight, but a "foundational" principle of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.[112]

GQ has reported that Fox News' "popular primetime" shows are an important pipeline to President Donald Trump's political positions, such as the investigation into land reform in South Africa, and that Carlson's show in particular dedicates segments to "'great replacement' propaganda".[8] The warnings delivered by "conservative pundits on Fox News" are driving fears of an "existential threat" of a white genocide, according to The Atlantic, who particularly analyzed Laura Ingraham's nativist remarks, such as "massive demographic changes" apparently being inflicted upon white Americans against their will.[55] While the New York Times have identified Carlson as engaging in replacement theory fear-mongering, in relation to family birthrates in the US,[113] ThinkProgress accused him of using the popularity of Fox News, as a platform, to push fears of demographic change through immigration and feminism, causing a so-called "genocide" of American white men.[114]

In domestic terrorism mass murders, 1995 to present

Year Location Killed Injured
1995 Oklahoma* 168 680
2000 Pittsburgh 5 1
2011 Norway 77 209
2014 Kansas 3 0
2015 Charleston 9 1
2017 Charlottesville 1 28
2018 Pittsburgh 11 7
2019 Christchurch 51 49
2019 San Diego 1 3
2019 El Paso 22 24
Total: 348 1,002

The main perpetrator of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 and injured more than 680, carried pages from The Turner Diaries, a fictional account of white supremacists who ignite a revolution by blowing up the FBI headquarters with a truck bomb.[115] The book was greatly influential in shaping white nationalism and in the later development of white genocide conspiracy theory.[116][117] Although the bomber didn't attribute his motives to the white nationalist movement, he frequently cited The Turner Diaries and had been reprimanded in the Army for wearing a "white power" t-shirt purchased at a Ku Klux Klan rally.[118]

The perpetrator of a 2000 killing spree in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who killed 5 people and injured 1, complained that European Americans are being outnumbered by minorities and immigrants, calling on a website for "an end to non-white immigration" because "almost all" present day immigration "is non-European."[119][120]

The 2011 Oslo bombing killed eight people and injured at least 209. The attacker shot and killed 69 others, all but 14 of whom were teenagers, a few hours later.[121]

The 2011 Norway attacks perpetrator had participated for years in debates on Internet forums and spoken against Islam and immigration.[121] He wrote a 1,518-page compendium including frequent mentions of alleged ongoing genocide against white Europeans.[72][122] Analysts described him as having Islamophobic views and a hatred of Islam,[123][124] and as someone who considered himself as a knight dedicated to stemming the tide of Muslim immigration into Europe.[125][126] The text copies sections of the Unabomber manifesto, without giving credit, while substituting the words "cultural Marxists" for "leftists" and "Muslims" for "black people."[127] The New York Times described American influences in the writings, noting that the compendium mentions the anti-Islamist American Robert Spencer 64 times and cites Spencer's works at great length.[128] The work of Bat Ye'or[129] is cited dozens of times.[130] It regards Islam and "cultural Marxism" as the enemy and argues for the annihilation of "Eurabia" and multiculturalism, to preserve a Christian Europe.[131][132][133]

In April 2014, the white supremacist perpetrator of the Overland Park Jewish Community Center shooting, who shot and killed three people at a Jewish community center and retirement home in a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas, had supported the slogan: "Diversity is code for white genocide."[134] He stated that the "systematic genocide of white people by Jews" was his motive,[135] and that he, "had a patriotic intent to stop genocide against my people".[136] On Easter Sunday, the day after the shooting, white supremacists delivered "white genocide" themed Easter eggs to several houses in Henrico County, Virginia, repeating the "Diversity = white genocide" mantra.[137][138]

The perpetrator of the 2015 Charleston church shooting in South Carolina, who killed nine people and injured one, included a photo on his Facebook page of his wearing a jacket decorated with two emblems that are popular among American white supremacists: the flag of the former Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) and the flag of apartheid-era South Africa.[139][140][141] He had been blogging on a website called "The Last Rhodesian" (www.lastrhodesian.com) registered on February 9, 2015,[142][143][144] which included an unsigned manifesto containing his opinions of "Blacks", "Jews", "Hispanics" and "East Asians."[145][146] Saying he became "racially aware" as a result of the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, he wrote that because he kept hearing people talk about the incident, he "decided to look him up" and read the Wikipedia article about it. He concluded that George Zimmerman had been in the right, and was unable to comprehend why the case had gained national attention. He said he then searched for black on white crime on Google and found the website of the Council of Conservative Citizens, where he read "pages upon pages" of cases involving black people murdering white people, stating that he had "never been the same since that day."[144] For these reasons, Federal prosecutors said he was "self-radicalized" online, instead of adopting his white supremacist ideology through personal associations or experiences with white supremacists.[147]

The driver responsible for the Charlottesville car attack against protestors of Virginia's August 12, 2017 Unite the Right rally had previously espoused neo-Nazi and white supremacist beliefs.[148][149] He had driven from Ohio to join the rally in which participants chanted, "Jews will not replace us."[150] He killed one person and injured 28.

Memorials to victims of the mass shooting outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 4, 2018

The 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting perpetrator who killed eleven and injured seven Jewish worshipers, wrote "Jews are the children of Satan" in his social media profile, using neo-Nazi and white supremacist symbolism associated with David Lane, along with the Nazi slogan, "Heil Hitler."[151] He supported white genocide conspiracy theories, writing in one instance, "Daily Reminder: Diversity means chasing down the last white person."[152] He also wrote diatribes against white women who have relationships with black men.[153] In the weeks before the shooting, Bowers made anti-Semitic posts directed at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society[154][155] who sponsor the National Refugee Shabbat.[156] Shortly before the attack, in an apparent reference to immigrants to the United States, he posted on Gab that "HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in."[157][158]

The March 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings suspect, who killed 51 and injured 49 in New Zealand, explained in a manifesto that he carried out the attack to fight ongoing "white genocide" by foreign "invaders."[159] He had forwarded stories about white women's low fertility rates on his social media accounts. Photographs from his initial court appearance showed him making the "OK" symbol appropriated by white supremacists with his fingers.[160]

In April 2019, the shooter who killed one person and injured three in the Poway synagogue shooting north of San Diego, California, blamed Jews for white genocide in what he described as the "meticulously planned genocide of the European race" in his manifesto.[161][162]

The August 2019 El Paso shooting attacker, who killed 22 and injured 24 people at a Walmart store in Texas, had published a manifesto expressing support for the Christchurch mosque shooter and his manifesto, saying the El Paso attack was in response to a "Hispanic invasion of Texas ... defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement.... the Hispanic community was not my target before I read The Great Replacement."[163] Several commentators noted that the manifesto echoed themes in Donald Trump's campaign stump speeches, including repeated claims of a Hispanic invasion along with general extremism and hateful language, whose proponents have been emboldened and mobilized by Trump's rhetoric[23][164][165] and increasingly frequent talking points in right-wing media outlets.[22] Trump, in turn, called for, "strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform," which some commentators said blamed immigration for the massacre.[166]

Advocacy and spread

The white genocide conspiracy theory has continuously recurred among the far-right in a variety of forms, all centered around a core theme of white populations being replaced, removed, or simply killed.[46]

Africa

South Africa

Steve Hofmeyr

Far-right and alt-right figures, such as singer Steve Hofmeyr, have claimed that a "white genocide" is taking place in South Africa.[167] The South African singer, songwriter, political activist, actor, and TV presenter supports and promotes the conspiracy theory.[35][168][26] The Conversation has credited Hofmeyr with popularizing the concept.[167] In January 2017, media reported that Hofmeyr was set to meet US President-elect Donald Trump to discuss "white genocide" in South Africa.[169][170] Hofmeyr later thanked Trump when the latter shared a tweet asking "Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers."[171]

The manifesto of far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, devotes an entire section to an alleged "genocide" against Afrikaners. It also contains several other references to alleged persecution of whites in South Africa and the attacks on white farmers.[167] Mike Cernovich, an American alt-right commentator, has previously stated that "white genocide in South Africa is real".[172] The survivalist group the Suidlanders has claimed credit for internationally publicizing the risks of a race war and ethnic cleansing against whites.[173][46]

Africa Check, a fact-checking organisation, has rejected these claims as false: "In fact, whites are less likely to be murdered than any other race group." Africa Check reported that while whites account for nearly 9% of the South African population they represent just 1.8% of murder victims. Lizette Lancaster from the Institute for Security Studies has said that "Whites are far less likely to be murdered than their black or coloured counterparts."[174][175][176] British journalist Joe Walsh reported that the murder rates in the mainly white suburbs of Johannesburg were far lower than in the black townships of Johannesburg, leading him to conclude: "If there was any kind of genocide being carried out against white people in the country then the safest areas of the continent's most dangerous city would not be predominately white."[45]

South African journalist Lynsey Chutel reported in 2018: "After a peak in 2001/2002, the number of farm attacks—rape, robbery and other forms of violent crime short of murder—has decreased to about half. Similarly, the number of murders on farms peaked in 1997/1998 at 153, but today that number is below 50."[45][177] Chutel stated that although some of the murders of white farmers may indeed be racially motivated, South Africa is a country with a high violent crime rate and white farmers are "isolated and believed to be wealthy".[45][177] In the period July 2017 to July 2018, 47 farmers of all races were killed in South Africa, down from 66 murdered between July 2016 and July 2017.[178] The worst year for farm murders in South Africa was 1998, when 153 farmers were killed. Between April 2016 and March 2017, there were a total of 19,016 murders in South Africa, suggesting that farmers are not especially likely to be killed in South Africa.[178] Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch has condemned the misuse of his groups' reports of the threat of polarization in South Africa to further the idea of "white genocide".[179]

Much of the white genocide claims in South Africa rest on a misrepresentation of the Afrikaner people as conforming to the popular Boer stereotype as hard-working, devoutly Calvinist, gun-loving farmers. In 1989, the British journalist Patrick Brogan noted that the Afrikaners once called themselves Boers (lit. farmers) because that was what they were, but the term Boer fell out of use in the 20th century as most of the Afrikaners moved to urban areas, making the term Boer highly anachronistic.[180] Brogan concluded the popular Boer stereotype does not accurately describe the majority of the Afrikaners, whose way of life is very similar to that of middle-class people in other Western nations.[180]

William F. Buckley, Jr. at the second inauguration of US President Ronald Reagan in 1985

Even mainstream American conservatives who often championed the causes of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa, seeing both regimes as having supposedly more enlightened policies towards black people than the policy of integration in the United States, embraced the variants of the white genocide theory as part of the defense of Rhodesia and South Africa.[181] In 2015, the Canadian journalist Jeet Heer wrote: "The idea that whites in America have a natural affinity with white colonialists in Africa did not spring from the neo-Nazi far-right, but rather the conservative movement that coalesced around National Review in the 1950s."[181] In 1957, the American journalist William F. Buckley wrote in National Review in defense of white supremacy around the world: "The question, as far as the White community is concerned, is whether the claims of civilization supersede those of universal suffrage. The British believe they do, and acted accordingly, in Kenya, where the choice was dramatically one between civilization and barbarism, and elsewhere; the South, where the conflict is by no means dramatic, as in Kenya, nevertheless perceives important qualitative differences between its culture and the Negroes', and intends to assert its own."[181] The "choice" that Britain faced "between civilization and barbarism" in Kenya that Buckley was referring to was the Kenya Emergency where the Kikuyu people and Freedom Army, better known as the Mau Mau, fought for independence in the Mau Mau Uprising, and in the process the British Armed Forces killed approximately 10,000-20,000 Kikuyu to put down the rebellion. The Mau Mau were depicted in the 1950s as savages who killed white British settlers, which justified British atrocities against the Kikuyu, and by linking the American civil rights movement with the Mau Mau, Buckley was suggesting that civil rights for African-Americans would lead to atrocities against white Americans.[181]

Heer wrote that Buckley's equation of whiteness with "civilization" and blackness with "barbarism" led him to support racist regimes in both South Africa and Rhodesia, to paint the possibility of majority rule in both places in the darkest of colors, and his writings on the subject from the 1950s to the 1990s show a strong emotional identification with the whites of Rhodesia and South Africa.[181] Buckley and other American conservatives consistently portrayed apartheid era South Africa in a favorable light, and warned that majority rule would cause a disaster for whites.[182] On 23 April 1960 in the aftermath of the Sharpeville massacre of March 1960, National Review ran an editorial stating "the whites are entitled, we believe, to pre-eminence in South Africa."[182] Russell Kirk in a column in National Review on 9 March 1965 warned that letting African-Americans vote in the US "will work mischief—much injuring, rather than fulfilling, the responsible democracy for which Tocqueville hoped," but in the case of South Africa "this degradation of the democratic dogma, if applied, would bring anarchy and the collapse of civilization."[182] Kirk stated apartheid was just because South African whites were racially superior and "Bantu political domination would be domination by witch doctors (still numerous and powerful) and reckless demagogues."[182] On 13 April 1979, Buckley in a column gave an account of South African history very sympathetic to Afrikaner nationalists, suggesting that their concerns about black rule were rational and "their fears are understandable."[182] In an editorial on 14 March 1986, National Review asked "To what extent, is the vast majority of South African blacks intellectually and practically prepared to assume the social, economic, and political leadership in a highly industrialized country?"[182] In the July 1988 edition of Commentary, David Roberts, Jr compared Nelson Mandela to Pol Pot and the African National Congress (ANC), the now ruling party in South Africa, to the Khmer Rouge, implying that the ANC would exterminate South African whites if it came to power.[182] Shortly before his death in 2005 Samuel T. Francis, the former editor of the conservative Washington Times, warned about the possibility of a "white genocide" in South Africa.[181]

Simon Roche, an Afrikaner nationalist from South Africa and a spokesman for the survivalist group, the Suidlanders, that exists in his words "to prepare a Protestant Christian South African Minority for a coming violent revolution," visited the US in 2017 to promote the thesis that the white minority in South Africa is faced with the threat of ethnic cleansing.[46] Roche stated he went to the US to "raise awareness of and support for the Caucasian Christian conservative volk [people] of South Africa ... There's a natural affinity with conservative white Americans."[62]

The Afrikaner group AfriForum's deputy director Ernst Roets has been linked to claims of white genocide,[183] and South African government authorization of uncompensated seizures of land from white farmers.[184] Roets' 2018 book Kill the Boer argues that the government is also complicit in attacks on white farmers,[185] and characterizes the events as ethnic cleansing.[186] Another South African, Willem Petzer, appeared as a guest on Gavin McInnes's podcast, accusing the ANC government of planning genocide.[46]

Europe

France

Figures on the right of French politics, such as Renaud Camus, have claimed that a "white genocide" or "Great Replacement" is occurring in France.[187] Camus's definition, which focuses largely on the white Christian population in France, has been used in media interchangeably with white genocide,[188][34] and described as a narrower, less extreme and more nationally focused version of the broader conspiracy theory.[35][36] Despite his focus on the specific demographics of France, Camus also believes all Western countries are facing a form of "ethnic and civilizational substitution".[189]

François Lafargue in 2006

In September 2016, François Lafargue, a senior lecturer at the Paris School of Business, claimed that the Boer white minority of South Africa (referring to them as "Europeans") will experience "the same fate as the French of Algeria or the British of Southern Rhodesia". Invoking the themes of both white Rhodesians and the French-Algerian colonist population; Lafargue stated that around 400,000 white South Africans lived in poverty, "grouped together in makeshift encampments to better protect themselves", and that thousands had been violently murdered since 2000, claiming that the country's apparently increased "crime fuels the fear of a white genocide".[190] White genocide was used as a slogan by anti-immigrant/refugee protesters in Calais during the European migrant crisis.

In June 2017, Senator Stéphane Ravier's aide, running as one of the National Front's candidates, endorsed the conspiracy theory.[191][192] Publishing a blonde girl's photograph with the words "Say no to white genocide"; days before the 2017 French legislative election, Ravier's assistant gave a political ultimatum "the National Front or the invasion".[193]

Germany

The 2015 New Year's Eve attacks in Cologne resulted in accusations that the federal government and media were deliberately avoiding public interest reporting on 1,200 sexual assaults by thousands of young male Muslim immigrants. Apologies for hesitancy by public television channel ZDF strengthened claims of a Lügenpresse (lying press) by populist and far-right parties as evidence for widespread conspiracy by German institutions. The unprecedented scale of border crossings during 2015 and 2016 compelled Chancellor Angela Merkel to impose "temporary restrictions" on transit across the border with Austria. The alt-right conspiracy website Zero Hedge listed statistics on migrant crime in Germany alongside statements from politicians and news articles, presented as "contradictions confirming a deep-state level of conspiracy ... to push through a pro-immigration policy in Germany". During the 2017 German election campaign, the far-right Alternative for Germany party ran advertisements featuring a pregnant woman's abdomen with the slogan, "New Germans? We'll make them ourselves."[78]

Hungary

Viktor Orbán

A state-sponsored campaign led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has employed a wide range of historical anti-Semitic tropes to accuse philanthropist George Soros of engaging in conspiracies to support and deceive the public about nonwhite immigrants. Orbán has accused Soros, a Jew whose family survived hostile conditions during Hungary's Nazi occupation, of being a Nazi himself, and has introduced legislation known as the "Stop Soros law" to criminalize organized support of immigrants. These fabrications have become popular with the alt-right in Europe and the US.[78] Orbán's 2018 campaign slogan was, "Christianity is Europe's last hope",[194] saying, "our worst nightmares can come true. The West falls as it fails to see Europe being overrun."[195]

Poland

Hundreds of Polish Facebook groups such as "Stop White Genocide" have produced and disseminated images depicting African and Middle eastern people as belonging to separate "primitive" species, lacking the human intelligence of white Europeans. Websites such as "Conspiracy Files" have fabricated allegations of political compacts to bolster nonwhite immigration against popular will, such as agreements signed by EU leaders and African nations to increase Europe's African population to 300 million by 2068, making native whites, "minorities within their own homeland".[78]

Russia

Much of the theory that South African whites are faced with the threat of "genocide" originates with internet rumors started by the Government of Russia. Russia-24, a television channel owned by the Russian government, aired a segment in the summer of 2018 about Afrikaner farmers wanting to immigrate to Russia as "brothers in faith". The present government in Russia led by Vladimir Putin often attacks the ideology of liberalism for putting the individual before the collective, and promotes "white genocide" stories both as a way of showing the failure of liberalism and to promote the thesis that group identities matter far more than individual identities. The ideology of the Russian state is that the interests of the collective take precedence over the individual, and evidence of alleged failures of liberalism abroad are extensively covered by the Russian media.[13] The Australian historian Mark Edele stated: "There is definitely an attempt [by Russia] to support alt-right views and extreme right organisations outside of Russia ... Russia supports groups that will undermine liberal views. That's the logic of sponsorship of alt-right groups by Russia ... There is a longstanding anxiety among Russia's nationalists that Russians are dying out because of falling birth rates compared to non-Slavic peoples. It reverberates with white genocide fears."

The Canadian alt-right personality Lauren Southern had a sympathetic interview with the Russian Eurasianist thinker Aleksandr Dugin, who told her "liberalism denies the existence of any collective identities" and that "liberalism is based on the absence of any form of collective identity". Dugin used the case of white South African farmers allegedly threatened with genocide as proof of the failure of liberalism, for putting the individual ahead of the collective. After the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa was presented as the "rainbow nation" where henceforward people, regardless of their skin color, would be judged only as individuals. From the viewpoint of the Russian state, presenting liberalism in South Africa as a blood‑soaked disaster is a way of discrediting liberalism in general.[13]

United Kingdom

Anne Marie Waters

In a 2015 Breitbart News article, the anti-Islamic For Britain party founder and leader Anne Marie Waters described white genocide as "part of a broad-ranging, virulent, and vicious hatred of white Western people" and claimed that European leaders aimed to "extinguish Western culture".[78]

In December 2015, former EDL leader Tommy Robinson endorsed the white genocide myth.[196] In his 2015 book Enemy of the State, Robinson explained how previously white British majority areas of his hometown, Luton, had suffered "ethnic cleansing" and claimed that the United Kingdom was "sleepwalking" its "way towards a Muslim takeover".[197]

A few weeks before the 2016 Brexit referendum, an unemployed gardener with links to far-right organisations murdered Member of Parliament Jo Cox because of her support of the European Union and work in support of immigrants, saying she was part of a left-wing conspiracy perpetuated by the mainstream media and a traitor to the white race.[78] A March 2016 survey ahead of the referendum found 41% of Britons thought their government was concealing the true number of immigrants.[78]

In March 2018, journalist Rod Liddle was reported to have promoted the conspiracy theory. According to Vice, he pushed the narrative of "white genocide", after publishing an article in The Spectator which suggested that the apparent genocide that Lauren Southern had exposed in her documentary in South Africa would have been rewarded with professional acclaim had it been "any other brand of genocide".[198]

Katie Hopkins, an English media personality, has made a documentary supporting the conspiracy theory of an ongoing genocide against white farmers in South Africa.[198][199] She has also promoted the idea that both immigration and multiculturalism are intended to cause white genocide.[200] Yahoo! News reported that while traveling for the documentary, "her intention was to 'expose' the white genocide" happening to farmers in South Africa.[201][202]

In September 2018, with the arrest of some Neo-Nazi members of National Action, the counter-terrorist Prevent programme identified the white supremacist group as subscribing to the white extinction conspiracy theory. A governmental co-ordinator stated that the organization "sees the extinction of white people as a very real and likely possibility".[203]

In March 2019, Catherine Blaiklock resigned as leader of The Brexit Party after she shared a photo on social media of a multi-racial primary school in England with the caption "This is a British school. This is white genocide".[204] Another shared post of Blaiklock's claimed that multiculturalism amounted to "the replacement of the indigenous European people".[204] In April 2019, a Conservative Party candidate for local elections was revealed to have promoted the conspiracy theory after endorsing online material which claimed that the "destruction of the white race" was being brought about by non-white immigrants who were "flooding" Europe "disguised as so-called 'refugees'" in an alleged plot to "enforce miscegenation" on white Europeans. He was subsequently suspended from his party but remained on the ballot for the election.[205]

The identitarian movement Generation Identity party leader and neo-Nazi Mark Collett has been actively promoting the conspiracy theory on Twitter and YouTube.[206][207]

North America

Canada

Gavin McInnes

In June 2017, far-right political commentator Faith Goldy endorsed the conspiracy theory. Publishing a video for The Rebel Media called "White Genocide in Canada?",[208] Goldy compared the shifting demographics of Canada and its immigration policies to "white genocide".[209][210] Goldy has been described by GQ magazine as "one of Canada's most prominent propagandists" for the theory.[211] Later that month, Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, promoted the conspiracy theory, after stating that white women having abortions and immigration is "leading to white genocide in the West". He also claimed "white genocide" was "much more intense" in South Africa.[212][213][214] McInnes is one of the main leaders of the far-right factions that believe in the conspiracy theory.[214]

In December 2017, YouTuber Stefan Molyneux pushed the conspiracy theory, claiming there was a "demographic decline among the whites that is happening in Europe and in North America", that supposedly predicted a "quasi-extinction" of white people.[215] Molyneux, a well known advocate of the theory,[216] in February 2018 published a video regarding the concept, titled "White Farmers Slaughtered in South Africa", which interviewed fellow white genocide conspiracy theorist Lauren Southern.[198] Southern, a far-right activist, has frequently pushed white genocide rhetoric, using it as an argument against immigration.[217][218][219] She has advocated for European countries to refuse refugees from Africa and Asia, saying that immigration would lead to white genocide,[218] and has been labelled in media as a "booster" for the conspiracy at large.[13] In 2018, Southern produced a documentary called Farmlands about post-Apartheid farm violence in South Africa.[220]

In March 2019, white supremacist Paul Fromm was reported to have endorsed the "white genocide" themed (The Great Replacement) manifesto of the Christchurch mosque shooting perpetrator.[221] Referring to it as "cogent" and a "historical document", Fromm republished the manifesto on his website, stating that he agreed with its analysis.[222]

United States

As early as 2007, conservative Ann Coulter described non-white immigration to the United States as "white genocide" in her article titled "Bush's America: Roach Motel."[223][224][225] Vox has reported on Coulter as one of many providing a platform for "the 'white genocide' myth".[25] She has been described as a "champion" of the ideas behind the conspiracy theory following a book she wrote on the subject.[226] She has also claimed that "a genocide" is occurring against white South African farmers.[13]

In October 2014, white nationalist Greg Johnson promoted the white extinction conspiracy theory, suggesting that "the organized Jewish community" were responsible for "every attempt to halt and reverse white extinction". Johnson concluded, "One cannot defeat an enemy one will not name. Therefore, White nationalism is inescapably anti-Semitic."[227]

In December 2014, Ku Klux Klan leader Thomas Robb proposed in an interview with Al Jazeera that a white genocide was occurring due to the immigration and high birth-rates of non-whites. He claimed that demographic change was affecting the economic, racial and social landscape of Harrison, Arkansas and the US at large, and that this amounted to "white genocide being committed against our people".[228] Around that time, the concept appeared on billboards in the United States near Birmingham, Alabama,[229] and Harrison, Arkansas.[230]

2016 US presidential election campaigns
Mike Cernovich in August 2018

In October 2015, Mike Cernovich, a social media personality, published the renowned white nationalist catchphrase "diversity is code for white genocide", claiming that his discovery of the concept had caused him to cease being a libertarian and instead become an alt-right activist.[231][232][233] Days later, he invoked the conspiracy theory again, warning that "white genocide will sweep up the SJWs"; a prediction that Muslims would murder what he labelled social justice warriors in the United States.[234] In November 2015, Cernovich insisted that "white genocide is real" in relation to South Africa.[235] After a public backlash, he went on to deleted several tweets referring to the conspiracy theory.[236][237][178]

During the 2016 US presidential election, there were allegations that aspects of the conspiracy theory had been adopted as dog-whistling by some mainstream conservative political figures. In January 2016, Donald Trump garnered controversy after retweeting Twitter user @WhiteGenocideTM,[238] and @EustaceFash, whose Twitter header image at the time also included the term "white genocide."[239] A 2016 analysis of his Twitter feed during the Republican presidential primaries showed that 62% of those that he chose to retweet in an average week followed multiple accounts which discussed the conspiracy theory, and 21% followed prominent white nationalists online.[240]

By March 2016, Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., had been accused by mainstream media of being an advocate of the conspiracy theory,[241] or pretending to be an advocate for political gain,[242] after his interview with white supremacist James Edwards during the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.[243] The following month, Jack Posobiec, a leading alt-right Trump activist and, at the time, US naval intelligence officer with military security clearance, began frequently tweeting about white genocide.[244]

While Donald Trump supporters on the Reddit discussion forum /r/The Donald generally agree that white genocide is occurring, they disagree about the responsible parties. "Tea Party conservatives characterize it as a scheme by Democrats to gain voters. For the white nationalists, the main villain is 'international Jewry.' Infowars fans blame 'globalists'—a label that is often interchangeable with 'Jews'—seeking to dumb down Western populations with 'low-IQ migrants' who are more easily controlled." In August 2017, at least 330 /r/The_Donald posts referred to the "Kalergi plan," a purported conspiracy to replace the European population with African migrants.[34]

Richard B. Spencer in 2016

The month before the US presidential election, white supremacist Richard B. Spencer declared that whatever the upcoming result, that he would be "profoundly grateful to Donald Trump for the rest of my life". Invoking "white genocide" in the same interview, he labelled anti-discrimination laws "the enemy of all tradition, not just the Anglo-Saxon American society it has helped destroy", and Martin Luther King Jr as "the god of white dispossession".[245] The same month, William Daniel Johnson, leader of the American Freedom Party, was pushing the theory in support of Trump for president; denouncing "the death of the white race, caused by the concepts of diversity and multiculturalism", he said that America needed a "strong leader" like Trump, likening the Republican candidate favorably with Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte.[246]

By early November, one week before the election, KKK leader Thomas Robb was invoking the conspiracy theory in support of Trump's Make America Great Again message, claiming that the concept was inextricably linked with the restoration of white power in the US[247] In February 2017, it was reported that neo-confederate activist Michael Hill was using Rhodesia to reference and warn against an apparent "racial genocide" of whites in the United States.[248] Hill, a co-founder of the League of the South, equates multiculturalism within the country as part of an ongoing white genocide.[249]

By March 2017, Republican congressman Steve King was using rhetoric that Mother Jones and Paste writers described as invoking the conspiracy theory, saying that "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies" and using the phrase "cultural suicide".[250] Vox and The New Republic have described him as an adherent of the theory that immigration and other forms of population shift represent a slow genocide against white populations.[25][251] In the same month, white supremacist David Duke, a former Republican Louisiana State Representative, posted YouTube videos stating that Jews are "organizing white genocide."[252][253][254][255][256] The former Grand Wizard of the KKK also accused Anthony Bourdain of wanting a genocide of white people.[257][258]

Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville
Jason Kessler c. 2017

In August 2017, a white supremacist protest named the Unite the Right rally was held in Charlottesville, Virginia, largely driven by the ideology of the "white genocide" narrative. The protest was ostensibly centered around the impending removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, who was the commander of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. The night before the rally, leaflets were distributed en masse in the city, bearing the recurrent slogan "Diversity is a code word for white genocide".[101]

Speaking at the event in Charlottesville, Jason Kessler, the primary organizer behind the rally and a white nationalist blogger, claimed that "the first and foremost reason that we're having this rally, is for that park and for that statue. It's about white genocide. It's about the replacement of our people, culturally and ethnically".[100] Kessler has repeatedly promoted the conspiracy theory, using his website to criticize what he called "white genocide" and an "attack on white history".[259][260][261]

Other prominent white nationalists also tied the conspiracy theory to the motivations behind Unite the Right. Giving a speech at the rally, Neo-nazi Mike Enoch said "We're here to talk about white genocide, the deliberate and intentional displacement of the white race".[262]

Trump administration foreign policy on South Africa

In the fall of 2017, it was reported how renowned conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his fake news media organization InfoWars had began promoting the white genocide myth, after they invited the Suidlanders (a völkisch group crucial to the spread of the conspiracy theory in South Africa) onto their platform on multiple occasions.[98] Around the same period, Jones also claimed white genocide was a serious threat in the US; on a cultural front, with what he claimed were black NFL players advocating for "white genocide" by refusing to stand for the national anthem, and the apparent physical threat of Democrats and communists plotting genocidal attacks specifically against white Americans.[263]

Alex Jones in 2017

Jones has been described as particularly instrumental in the American spread of conspiracy theories about white genocide in Africa,[98][264] while his long-time political ally, radio host Michael Savage, has devoted an episode of his show to conspiracy theories about white genocide in the region.[46]

In August 2018, US President Donald Trump brought the concept of "white genocide" in relation to South Africa significantly further into mainstream media discourse, after he publicly instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate South African farm attacks,[40] an instruction which was broadly portrayed in media as the Trump and his administration advocating for an unfounded conspiracy theory.[44][265][266][267]

Trump had apparently gotten his information from Tucker Carlson, a conservative political commentator for Fox News, who has been described as playing a key role in bringing the conspiracy theory of an ongoing "white genocide" in South Africa into the mainstream after a piece about the topic on his show caught the attention of president.[268][269][46][270][271] Vox described him as having "taken up the cause" of the "virulent, racist conspiracy theory" of white genocide.[45] Amanda Marcotte in Salon has said that while Carlson avoids using the specific phrase "white genocide," but that "its basic premise is embedded throughout his show."[268] The SPLC has accused his website, The Daily Caller, of promoting the theory in relation to South African farm attacks.[272][46] Carlson asserted he was shocked his statements could be considered an appeal to white nationalists, dismissing questions about his show's high support among them as "stupid" and saying he knew nothing about them.[269]

New York magazine had claimed Trump was attempting to "change the conversation – to one about 'white genocide' in South Africa";[42] Esquire reported that the "President of the United States is now openly promoting an international racist conspiracy theory as the official foreign policy of the United States."[273] According to the SPLC, Trump had "tweeted out his intention to put the full force of the US State Department behind a white nationalist conspiracy theory."[274]

Reaction to US-South Africa policy

In August 2018, many politicians and public figures responded critically to US President Donald Trump's foreign policy initiative to investigate the seizure of land from white farmers and apparent evoking of the conspiracy theory. These included multiple members of the South African Parliament and RSA Deputy President David Mabuza, who rejected the conspiracy theory, calling it "far from the truth." He stated that "we would like to discourage those who are using this sensitive and emotive issue of land to divide us as South Africans by distorting our land reform measures to the international community and spreading falsehoods that our 'white farmers' are facing the onslaught from their own government."[41]

Julius Malema MP reacted, saying "there is no white genocide in South Africa",[275] that Trump's intervention into their ongoing land reform issues "only made them more determined ... to expropriate our land without compensation",[276][41] and that there is a black genocide in the US[276] Jeremy Cronin MP stated that the South African government needed to "send a signal to the courts‚ to Trump‚ to Fox News Agency" over the issue. The deputy Minister of Public Works spoke against the conspiracy theory; in a committee meeting in the South African parliament, he indicated that land expropriation without compensation should not be viewed as a white genocide.[277] Whereas Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, claimed that his foreign policy tweet was "regrettable" and "based on false information",[178] and that the conspiracy theory in general was "a right-wing ideology, and it is very unfortunate."[278]

In the US, former US Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard, and American media personalities Chris Cuomo, Mika Brzezinski and Al Sharpton spoke out against the US President on the issue. Labelling Trump's actions as "dangerous and poisoned",[41] Gaspard opposed the concept, claiming the conspiracy theory was "trafficking in a white supremacist story line,"[279] and that the concept is a "white-supremacist meme from the darkest place."[41]

Cuomo, a television journalist, while stating that "like all conspiracy tripe, there's a kernel of truth" to the theory (in relation to land reform in South Africa) but concluded that the concept was a "bogus cause that white nationalists are selling."[280][281] He rejected what he said was Donald Trump, and his administration, claiming "white farmers" were "being hunted down and killed and having their land stolen".[281]

With a substantive response, American anti-racism activist, Tim Wise, critically analyzed the conspiracy theory further; stating that it was a form of negrophobia, being directed politically to "scare white Americans" about non-whites within the US[282] Wise has proposed that the paranoia around the conspiracy theory dates back to the Haitian Revolution and North American slave rebellions, but that changing demographics of the United States have heightened existing anxiety, stating that "the reason it is amplified today is that in the recent past the cultural norm of the country was still dominantly white."[30]

Stephen Miller in 2016

While Mika Brzezinski, co-host of Morning Joe, spoke out against the concept,[283] labelling it as a "a racist conspiracy theory",[284] American civil rights activist, Al Sharpton joined Brzezinski in her opposition, labelling it as "neo-Nazi propaganda." Discussing the issue on an MSNBC segment with Katy Tur and foreign correspondent Greg Myre, Sharpton stated that it's "not true" that "white farmers are being killed in South Africa" for racial reasons.[285][286] A year later, Trump administration speechwriter Stephen Miller claimed US citizens were facing the same threat, saying that nonwhite congresswomen want to, "destroy America with open borders,” even if "American citizens lose their jobs, lose their homes, lose their livelihoods, lose their health coverage, and lose their very lives."[287]

Subsequent events

In November 2018, Matthew Heimbach, former leader of the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker Party, led a protest in Little Rock, Arkansas over an alleged white genocide occurring in South Africa.[18] He called on the US government to sanction South Africa for the "violation of international law" in its treatment of white South Africans.[196] In January 2019, the KKK distributed business cards in Philadelphia with various racist slogans such as "White People are a World Wide minority and there are programs of Genocide against white children",[249] in what appeared to be deliberately targeting African-American neighborhoods with material which promoted the conspiracy theory.[288]

Three independent analyses of Trump re-election campaign advertisements shown in 2019 found 2,200 ads warning of an "invasion" by immigrants. In asking for help to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border, the ads included all-caps warnings of a "state of emergency," saying, "America's safety is at risk," and that it is "critical that we stop the invasion."[289] Other ads said Trump has, "taken multiple trips to the border to show the true invasion happening but the Democrats and the Fake News Media just won't listen."[290] In remarks in the Oval Office in March 2019, Trump said immigrants were trying to, "rush our borders.... People hate the word 'invasion,' but that's what it is. It's an invasion of drugs and criminals and people." In a June 6 interview, Trump told Fox News, "I told Mexico, if you don't stop this onslaught, this invasion -- people get angry when I use the word 'invasion' -- people like Nancy Pelosi that honestly they don't know what the hell they're talking about."[291]

Oceania

Australia

American Neo-Nazi literature such as The Turner Diaries and Lane's White Genocide Manifesto have spread online to right wing groups in Australia. An influential collection of writings called Siege by James Mason was cited as an inspiration by some of the twenty-two neo-Nazis who infiltrated the New South Wales Young Nationals party from which they were banned for life for trying to advance the creation of an ethno-state.[116] Themes of the "defense of Western civilization" and the achievements of ethnic Whites have become racist dog whistles for groups advancing theories of an impending white genocide.[292]

In March 2018, several Australian tabloids owned by the News Corporation ran articles alleging that South African whites were faced with genocide and which led the Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton to promise fast-track visas for any South African white wishing to emigrate to Australia.[46] Dutton is known for his anti-immigrant and anti-refugee stance, which led to questions about his willingness to accept South African whites into Australia as refugees, since he normally opposes Australia accepting refugees.[13] One News Corp columnist, Miranda Devine, wrote about the ties as she saw them between the Australian people and "our oppressed white, Christian, industrious, rugby and cricket-playing Commonwealth cousins" threatened by South African blacks whom she promised would integrate "seamlessly" into Australia as opposed to immigration from Third World countries.[293]

Another Australian News Corporation columnist, Caroline Marcus, connected the alleged plight of South African whites to what she saw as a broader attack on whites across the world, writing "the truth is, there are versions of this anti-white, vengeance theme swirling in movements around the western world, from Black Lives Matter in the US to Invasion Day protests back home."[293] The British journalist Jason Wilson noted that the News Corporation run by the Australian media magnate Rupert Murdoch also owns Fox News, which has aired stories portraying South African whites as a persecuted minority, leading him to accuse the News Corporation of promoting this narrative around the world.[46]

Pauline Hanson in 2017

In 2018 resolution declaring "It's OK to be white", and decrying "the deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on the Western civilization," was introduced in the Australian Senate by Pauline Hanson, an anti-immigrant Senator who leads the One Nation Party. The motion was narrowly defeated.[294] The same slogan, which is associated with white supremacist rhetoric, was also depicted on a short worn by the far-right Canadian youtuber Lauren Southern during a visit to Australia.[116][294]

After Australian white-genocide conspiracy theorist Brenton Tarrant carried out the March 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, Queensland Senator Fraser Anning released a statement saying the cause of the attacks was "the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place". Anning has called for a "final solution" to nonwhite immigration to Australia,[295] and frequently issues calls to stop white genocide on social media.[296] Other politicians such as Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton have helped propel the idea of white genocide into the mainstream.[292]

New Zealand

The accused perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque shootings alluded to "white genocide" and ethnic and racial "replacement" in a 74-page manifesto posted shortly before the attacks.[297]

South African expatriates in New Zealand have been spreading white genocide myths on Facebook and by demonstrating in marches.[292]

Criticism and resistance

White genocide is a myth,[25][26] said by journalist Eli Saslow to be based on false science, false history, and hatred.[27] There is no evidence that white people are dying out or will die out, or that anyone is trying to kill them as a race or ethnicity.[27][29][30] White supremacists claim that ethnic diversity is equivalent to white genocide.[30] Scholars describe white supremacists as fabricating paranoid claims that their survival as a race is threatened, for example by, "individualism, celibacy, feminism and other forms of sex-role confusion, misplaced environmentalism, and white demonization and guilt," all of which are claimed to promote reproductive failure.[298]

Timothy McVeigh

The purpose of the white genocide conspiracy theory is to scare white people in countries that are diversifying and justify a commitment to a white nationalist agenda,[29] using evidence of a declining birth rate in support of their extremist views and calls to violence.[299] White supremacists are successfully constructing false narratives of genocide to incite violence at an increasing rate.[32] Literature propounding the white genocide conspiracy theory has incited violence; The Turner Diaries, for instance, is responsible for inciting many violent crimes, including those of Timothy McVeigh.[297][117][29] The US Republican Party as led by Donald Trump has repeatedly and openly courted white supremacists and endorsed the falsehoods they promote, including those of white genocide.[31]

In October 2016, Sanjiv Bhattacharya analyzed the belief in the conspiracy theory amongst the alt-right. While considering the prospect that non-Hispanic whites will be less than 50% of the US population by 2044; Bhattacharya, a British journalist, pointed out the racist hypocrisy in the statement "Diversity equals white genocide", discussing how the "alt right loves to evoke genocide while harbouring Holocaust deniers".[300]

Around the Christmas period of 2016, George Ciccariello-Maher, an American political scientist, satirically tweeted "All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide". As a result of the stunt, losing his job as an associate professor of politics and global studies at Drexel University, Ciccariello-Maher continued to strongly oppose the conspiracy theory, claiming that it was "invented by white supremacists and used to denounce everything from inter-racial relationships to multicultural policies."[301] He has labelled the concept as a "figment of the racist imagination" and claimed that "it should be mocked."[302]

Derek Black, an American former white supremacist and godson of David Duke, after initially supporting and helping to popularize the concept,[303][304] has renounced and opposed the white genocide conspiracy theory.[305] Black has claimed that the concept was about pushing white nationalists into a false and overt paranoia about demographics of the United States.[29] Eli Saslow, an American journalist who worked with Black on his 2018 book Rising out of hatred, has spoken against the conspiracy theory, labelling it as a "really effective" form of propaganda or indoctrination. He stated that "unfortunately, in part because it's built upon a very real and dark truth in American history—which is that white supremacy has always been a big part of what this country is—white nationalists were able to start capitalizing on that."[306] Saslow has claimed the conspiracy theory is a way to "sanitize" white America's history of racism and violence, by focusing on the "ways that white people are under attack in this country," including "white genocide" and "building a wall."[304]

In January 2019, Democratic Philadelphia City Council member Kenyatta Johnson labelled the Ku Klux Klan's distribution of "white genocide" promotional material in black neighborhoods of Philadelphia as an "upsetting and disgusting" act.[288] In June 2019, Canadian author Naomi Klein addressed the narrative of "white genocide", criticizing the concept as an attack on women's reproductive freedom, in that it wished to deny abortion rights to white women having white children, while seeking to suppress non-white immigrant birthrates.[307] The following month, critical theorist Bernard Harcourt detailed how the American New Right was seeking to orient its political message around the fear of a white genocide occurring. He proposed that "neo-fascist, white supremacist, revolutionary language" was becoming mainstream and was in effect "starting to change the way people are willing to express themselves", including President Trump.[308]

In March 2019, journalist Adam Serwer suggested that the conspiracy theory did not sincerely refer to "mass murder, ethnic cleansing, or even violence," but rather to a perceived "loss of political and cultural hegemony in countries that white supremacists think should belong to white people by law." Serwer proposed that the conspiracy was "a kind of projection, a paranoia that the past genocide, colonialism, and ethnic cleansing forced on the West's former subjects will be visited upon it."[57][58] The same month, Farhad Manjoo detailed how "white-extinction theory" was nonsense. Proposing that the "white genocide" label had "failed to take off", proving ineffective for conspiracy theorists attempting to push the narrative. Manjoo, an American journalist, suggested that the "Great Replacement" (which the Christchurch mosque shooter used for a manifesto title) was a softer reinvention, being to the white genocide conspiracy theory what the term Identitarian is to "white supremacist."[309]

Thilo Sarrazin in 2009

In April 2019, British academic Elif Shafak detailed how Renaud Camus' theory of the Great Replacement has created an ideological worldview for the far-right to amplify into a "white genocide" narrative in the West. Shafak argues that the conspiracy theory is also embedded in the works of Thilo Sarrazin, such as Germany Abolishes Itself and 2018's Hostile Takeover.[310] Later that month, Jonathan Freedland and Mehdi Hasan released a joint analysis of far-right extremism and the ideology behind "white genocide". Discussing Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, Robert Gregory Bowers, and his rhetoric; Freeland and Hasan, both political journalists, labelled the conspiracy theory as racist and unhinged and argued that it had both the Muslim and Jewish "communities in its murderous sights". They concluded that both groups should "stand and fight it together".[311]

In May 2019, political commentator Nick Cohen analyzed how "white genocide" narratives created anti-immigrant and societal sexual tension. He argued that the conspiracy theory was an effective form of racism and propaganda, which had penetrated Viktor Orbán's Hungarian government, but revealed a far-right paranoia that European men were not virile enough.[312] In June 2019, professor of economics Jonathan Portes, while describing the concept as a "lunatic" conspiracy theory, detailed how more respectable versions of "white genocide" were being promoted by academic and media figures, and therefore pushing the idea further into mainstream discourse.[313]

See also

References

  1. ^ "How Deeply Has Germany's Murderous Far Right Penetrated the Security Forces?". The Daily Beast. June 19, 2019. Andre S. (Hannibal) has views that echo the white extinction conspiracy that the Christchurch shooter propagated: when officials went to his barracks in 2017 to question him, he told them that "Islam will be the No. 1 state religion in the Netherlands in 10 years time."
  2. ^ "Alabama's Abortion Bill Is Great News For White Supremacists". HuffPost. May 15, 2019. Many white supremacists subscribe to the bogus conspiracy theory that white people are going extinct due to immigration and falling birthrates among white women.
  3. ^ "Hateful graffiti turns up in Winnipeg, alarming residents, Jewish group". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. August 16, 2017. The words under 'Soros' in the graffiti are 'white extinction,' and this refers to a conspiracy theory that is common on the far right. One might even say on the alt-right, and among white supremacists and neo-Nazis, that George Soros is the frontman for some sort of Jewish plot to exterminate the white race.
  4. ^ "US higher ed: A system of meritocracy that never was". Mail & Guardian. March 27, 2019. The Trump administration – supported by many adherents to the white supremacist conspiracy theory that whites are threatened with extinction due to an assault by inferior people of colour through immigration, affirmative action and demographic changes
  5. ^ "Far right groups have Winnipeg supporters and must be opposed, says activist, former professor". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. August 17, 2017. One of the graffiti here mentions Soros and then spoke about white extinction, and that's a very interesting trope which is being used by a number of far-right groups these days, to claim that there is a so-called white genocide that is being orchestrated by the government through immigration policies, by anti-racists, human rights activists and so on.
  6. ^ "'These People Aren't Coming From Norway': Refugees in a Minnesota City Face a Backlash". New York Times. June 20, 2019. But for others, the changes have fueled talk about "white replacement," a racist conspiracy theory tied to the declining birthrates of white Americans that has spread in far-right circles and online chat rooms and is now surfacing in some communities.
  7. ^ "A splintered movement: How the far-right found a foothold on campus". The Ubyssey. April 20, 2019. 'White replacement' does not just refer to a demographic change. It is a conspiracy theory spread by white supremacists who believe international governments are intentionally 'replacing' white people with non-white immigrants through liberal immigration policies.
  8. ^ a b c "How the "White Replacement" Conspiracy Theory Spread Around the Globe". GQ. June 21, 2019. The "great replacement," also known as "white genocide," is summed up by its name: a secretive cabal of elites, often Jewish, is trying to deliberately destroy the white race through demographic change in importing immigrants and refugees.
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