On Saturday night, a white 18-year-old targeted a part of Buffalo with a high black population. He entered a supermarket and shot and killed ten people, most of which were black. He left behind a 180-page manifesto.
The shooter’s complicated beliefs
The shooter described himself as a “left-wing authoritarian.” He hated conservatism. He believed that white people were being systemically eradicated. He was antisemitic and believed Jews were responsible for societal ills (most of the manifesto is antisemitic conspiracy theory). He also believed in extreme environmentalism. He fits nowhere in today’s mainstream political spectrum.
Conservatives are disingenuously blamed.
Tucker Carlson received the most blame for the shooting, along with Donald Trump and regular conservative voters. Left-wing critics claim that Tucker Carlson inspired the shooter’s belief that globalist elites are trying to eradicate white people.
“The Buffalo shooter… subscribed to the Great Replacement theory touted by conservative elites like Tucker Carlson and believed by nearly half of GOP voters,” The Washington Post.
In reality—influential voices like Tucker Carlson have frequently explained that their discussion of the replacement theory has nothing to do with race. Instead, it’s focused on partisan migration and how the influx of new voters disenfranchises existing voters.
To Tucker Carlson, all Americans—no matter what race—are negatively affected by mass immigration which weakens the power of their vote.
To the shooter, all non-whites are invaders seeking to replace whites.
The difference is immense, yet the media wants viewers to believe that half of conservative voters agree with the shooter’s ideology. You can read our debunking of the left’s criticism of the replacement theory here.
Additionally, the manifesto included many names of individuals who inspired the shooter's ideology. There was no mention of Fox News, Tucker Carlson, or any mainstream conservative voices.
The blame game doesn’t go both ways.
Last March, a man went on a mass shooting spree in Atlanta, killing eight. The media blamed the shooting on Trump's coronavirus rhetoric, claiming it was a racist attack. Soon after the media outrage, it became known that the shooter blamed his actions on sex addiction.
The left doesn’t miss an opportunity to create narratives that blame conservatives for mass killings, even when they aren't connected at all. And in cases where their own rhetoric may be responsible, they ignore it.
Regarding critical race theory: Critical race theory is promoted by politicians, the media, and the White House. Questioning it is also highly discouraged. The perpetrators of the Waukesha Massacre, the Alabama shooting spree, and the New York Subway shooting—which collectively injured 95 people—mirrored the same critical race theory rhetoric amplified by the establishment. Read more here.
In fact, the Buffalo shooter had some of the Waukesha victims’ names on his gun and was in part responding to the anti-white crime.
Regarding anti-Republican rhetoric: In 2017, a shooter opened fire on members of the House GOP. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot and almost died, spending six weeks in the hospital. Four others were shot too. The shooter was a committed Democrat who believed that Republicans were “corrupt traitors, fascists, and Kremlin agents.” His favorite cable host was Rachel Maddow.
There was no self-reflection on progressives' rhetoric in both of the above instances, and the stories received little media attention. The events couldn’t be molded to blame conservatives and were therefore useless to the media.