In a biting editorial on Monday morning, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal called out politicians and conservative media personalities for promoting the conspiratorial "white replacement theory" that was at the heart of the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, New York on Saturday.
As Yahoo News reports, a manifesto reportedly written by the 18-year-old gunman who murdered ten and wounded three at a grocery store in Buffalo "includes dozens of pages antisemitic and racist memes, repeatedly citing the racist 'great replacement' conspiracy theory frequently pushed by white supremacists, which falsely claims white people are being 'replaced' in America as part of an elaborate Jewish conspiracy theory."
According to the WSJ editors, "We’ll learn more about the shooter’s motives and mindset, but it’s worth noting a report in the Buffalo News that an official in the school Mr. Gendron attended in Conklin, N.Y., said he had spoken of wanting to go on a shooting spree. He fits the profile of other young men who become mass shooters at an age when mental illness often strikes. Keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill isn’t easy, but it’s one form of gun control that would do some good."
Moving past the mental illness element, the editors said blame must also be placed upon those whose words are writings may have influenced the shooter.
Without naming any media personalities or lawmakers, the editors wrote, "There’s no doubt that a racist subculture exists in America and is spread on social media. Politicians and media figures have an obligation to condemn it and such conspiratorial notions as 'white replacement theory.'"
The editors' comments echo conservative CNN commentator S.E. Cupp, who slammed politicians who traffic in conspiracy theories about white Americans being "replaced."
"The next consequence is those people go out and vote for characters who believe in that, folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Lauren Boebert or name your nationalist or anti-Semitic or conspiracy theorist, those people get elevated," she said Monday. "They feel empowered to run because this garbage that was once disqualifying has been so mainstreamed by political leaders and far right-wing media that they are not wearing hoods anymore. They are not hiding in the basement, they are out in the open talking about this, you know, openly as if it's no big deal."