“In the United States, the notion of ‘great replacement’ has clearly been trivialized in right-wing political discourse and in the media”

EAnother mass shooting by an American white supremacist. Another ten people of color savagely murdered by a white man, armed like a soldier with a bulletproof vest and a Bushmaster XM-15 semi-automatic rifle. The massacre in Buffalo, New York, on May 14 has the same characteristics as those that previously hit Norway, New Zealand and American cities, such as El Paso in 2019. This terrorist, like those before him, imagined himself to be a soldier in times of race war. He believed that the United States was irremediably replacing the white population with non-white minorities and his goal, like, probably, that of the perpetrators of these mass killings, was to start a real race war to prevent the ” white genocide”.

The conspiratorial writings of Renaud Camus were very quickly recognized as the source of inspiration for a large number of far-right groups. M. Camus’ thesis according to which the European populations would be gradually supplanted finds a broad echo within these groups. Especially since, in the United States, the notion of “great replacement” has clearly been trivialized in the political discourse of the right and in current affairs programs, such as that of Tucker Carlson on Fox News. Despite this, Renaud Camus remains largely unknown in the United States – his work largely untranslated into English. However, if his ideas (or variants) circulate within white supremacist groups through social networks, it must be said that his fear of seeing Western white populations threatened is not original.

Read the survey: Article reserved for our subscribers The “great replacement”, genealogy of a chameleon conspiracy

Much has been made of the terms chosen by Renaud Camus – “great replacement” –, even though American political discourse has been marked since the second half of the 19and century, by the notions of racial degeneration and suicide. The ideas of racial difference and hierarchy structure the American political imagination, obsessed with the question of belonging, full or not, of its members. In the aftermath of the Civil War, and after the failure of Reconstruction, racial segregation was implemented to prevent racial degeneration through miscegenation. The intermixing that sex between people of different races could engender was increasingly seen as a death threat to American civilization based on white homes.

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