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Monday, December 6, 2021

Charlottesville extremists lost in court, but substitution theory lives on

Tuesday’s jury verdict, in which a dozen white supremacists were responsible for the violence at the Unite Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 was a victory for long-time opposition extremists and a rare example of a hate group. leaders are responsible not only for the language they use, but also for the bloodshed they are accused of committing.

But even though the organizers of the rally lost the civil process and now face the prospect of $ 25 million in damages, their legacy lives on.

Four years after that event, the same ideas that made URB a lightning rod for hate groups are increasingly being repeated, albeit in modulated tones, by prominent figures in the conservative media and politicians. Chief among these is the great replacement theory, which holds that Democrats and other leftists try to drive out white Americans with immigrants and others for their own political gain.

The shift of this ideology from the periphery to the center was one of the leitmotifs of the nearly month-long trial. Its distribution hints at why it was important to bring legal action against the defendants, according to those who helped plan the case. “Precisely because their ideas have become more popular, it underscores why it is so important to bring these extremists to justice,” said Amy Spitalnik, executive director of Integrity First for America, the civil rights group that supported the lawsuit.

The Unite Right Action, which took place in Charlottesville over two days in August 2017, was, as the name suggests, to unite the disparate elements of the right-wing protest culture: clan members and outright neo-Nazis wanted to march with militias, far-right nationalists and simpler supporters. Trump’s show of strength in the early months of his rule.

But the unification project fell through due to feuds before the rally and only got worse after Charlottesville plunged into chaos and violence, which led to street fights and the death of a young woman, Heather Heyer, who was killed when one of the extremists drove by. … car into the crowd of counter-demonstrators.

In the weeks and months that followed, as left-wing protesters began to retreat and lawsuits were filed against the rally leaders, many were marginalized, impoverished, and sometimes rarely heard of them again.

However, their once marginal belief that white people are being attacked in America has now moved closer to the conservative mainstream.

This summer, for example, Newt Gingrich, a former Republican congressman and speaker of the House of Representatives for Georgia, appeared on Fox News and claimed that the left was trying to “drown out” “classic Americans” with people who knew nothing about the history and traditions of their country in the world. … trying to “get rid of the rest of us.” A month later, on his own Fox show, Tucker Carlson said President Biden and the Democrats were committed to increasing immigration “to change the racial makeup of the country” and “to reduce the political power of the people whose ancestors lived here.” (A Fox News spokeswoman did not immediately respond to messages on Wednesday asking for comment on Mr Carlson’s remarks.)

In the spring, Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Scott Perry referred to the substitution theory at an immigration hearing in the House of Representatives. In September, Eliza Stefanik of New York, chair of the House of Representatives Republican conference, released an ad campaign based on a version of this theory. That same month, Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, appeared on Fox News, stating that Biden’s immigration policy was tantamount to “trying to take over our country without firing a shot.”

“Watching things move this way from a pillar of conspirators and paranoid to a topic of conversation for Tucker Carlson and his allies is really scary,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, who tracked and condemned the spread of substitution theory. “It’s a drug that leads to more violent and worrisome extremism.”

Among those who have noticed the shift are people named in a civil suit in Charlottesville.

“The fact that Tucker is making such an argument is a breakthrough,” wrote Mike Peinovich, host of a white nationalist podcast and a defendant in a lawsuit that was ultimately expelled, on social media. “I give him credit for going where no TV presenter has been before.”

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In October, David Duke, the former leader of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and one of the country’s most prominent white supremacists, also backed Mr. Carlson for finally supporting a mock “annihilate the whites” conspiracy. … people “in America and Europe.

The normalization of substitution theory began almost immediately after the Charlottesville violence, when President Donald J. Trump imposed moral equality between far-right protesters marching at an event and large crowds of counter-demonstrators who came to protest against them, Greenblatt said. Over the years in power, Greenblatt said, Trump has repeatedly fueled white discontent by focusing on issues such as his border wall or NFL players kneeling while singing the national anthem, supporting the idea that white people in America are being attacked.

Violent extremists have a similar message.

On two occasions during the Trump presidency, domestic terrorists carried out attacks that were later revealed to be directly related to the theory of substitution. In October 2018, an avowed anti-Semite shot and killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue after posting on the Internet about a Jewish-run refugee organization, which he accused of working to “recruit invaders who are killing our people.” A year later, a young man armed with a powerful rifle killed 23 people at a Walmart store in El Paso after he wrote an article in which he feared white people would be replaced by people of color.

Political violence experts are concerned that as substitution theory continues to gain traction among the right, more ordinary people will also feel threatened and accept threats and threats. The poll already shows that 30 percent of Republicans believe that “true patriots” may have to resort to violence to “save” the country.

Indeed, in recent months, as Republican officials pursued the goal of tackling what they called critical theory of race in schools, there has been an alarming surge in threats against school board officials. Ordinary people have also been implicated in sending hundreds of intimidating messages to officials in at least a dozen states.

Perhaps the best example of how political violence became widespread was the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Although members of extremist groups played a role in the attack, the rioters who acted most violently that day — for example, those who fought the police — were for the most part also the most common. They were Church deacons, deputy teachers, war veterans, and State Department aides.

“Jan. 6 was an inevitable manifestation of this ideology, ”said Ms Spitalnik. “What is Stop Theft if not the idea that the country was stolen from people who supposedly” belonged “and that there was a conspiracy to replace a predominantly white Christian country.”

Robert Pape, a professor at the University of Chicago who tracks political violence, said a version of substitution theory found widespread acceptance among people who believed Mr Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. According to a recent study by Mr. Pape, nearly 25 percent of American adults agreed that “African Americans or Hispanics in our country will ultimately have more rights than whites.” That number rose significantly – to more than 60 percent – among those who also agreed that the violence was justified by attempts to bring Mr. Trump back to the White House.

Mr Pape said he worries that the more an idea such as substitution theory gains acceptance in culture, the more it will stimulate violence in the future – not only attacks by lone wolves, as in Pittsburgh and El Paso, but also collective political attacks such as January 6. If people believe they are being attacked, he said, they are simply more likely to tolerate aggression from others or take up arms themselves.

He compared the situation to conditions conducive to the outbreak of a forest fire.

“We know the area of ​​arid forests is getting bigger,” he said. “The problem is that we can’t always predict which lightning strikes will ignite them.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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