How the “White Replacement” Conspiracy Theory Spread Around the Globe

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Somali immigrants coming in the small Minnesota town of St. Cloud are being met with hostility from some of the area’s white citizens. While some residents have embraced their new neighbors, others are actively fighting against them, in part due to a racist conspiracy belief known as “white replacement.”

The non-white population of the 77,000-person town has increased from 2% to 18% in the last 30 years. This influx is primarily made up of East African migrants, including a high number of predominately Muslim Somali refugees. “I think of America as a rubber band, but with this—we’re reaching the breaking point,” the general counsel of a conservative Minnesota think group told the Times. “Let’s put it this way: they aren’t folks from Norway. These individuals are highly noticeable.”

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This fear that an influx of non-white, “highly visible” immigrants would eventually overwhelm and displace white people in America is a strong motivator for the American far-right. And it is frequently fatal. The gunman who killed 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, which collaborates with HIAS, formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, to help and resettle immigrants, stated online that he felt they were attempting to “bring invaders in that slaughter our people.”

In Christchurch, New Zealand, the man responsible for the deaths of more than 50 people at two mosques saw immigration as a problem “”This is an ethnic replacement,” he said in a manifesto, referring to the “attack on the European people.” This is cultural substitution. This is racial substitution. This is known as WHITE GENOCIDE.”

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