Following racist Buffalo shooting, Chuck Schumer attacks Fox News

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday called on Fox News executives to stop amplifying the racist “great replacement” theory cited by the man accused of killing people this weekend at a grocery store in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo. New York.

“I write to urge you to immediately cease the reckless amplification of the so-called ‘Great Replacement’ theory on your network’s broadcasts,” Schumer wrote in an open letter to News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch.

Fox News has devoted considerable airtime to promoting the “great replacement” theory, the idea that elites are attempting to replace white Americans with non-whites. Fox News host Tucker Carlson paid particular attention: he promoted the conspiracy theory in more than 400 episodes, according to a recent New York Times analysis.

It has also become common among some Republican politicians, who often nod to this theory in their anti-undocumented immigrant remarks.

The conspiracy theory has had deadly consequences, as Schumer notes in his letter.

In 2018, a mass shooting that killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue blamed Jews for letting “invaders” into the United States. The following year, a man who complained about the “Hispanic invasion of Texas” killed 23 people at an El Paso Walmart. .

And over the weekend, a white man shot and killed 13 people in Buffalo. The accused shooter, Payton Gendron, allegedly published a 180-page racist speech citing replacement theory.

“In a manifesto posted online, the individual responsible for this heinous murder wrote that the buyers came from a culture that sought to ‘ethnically replace my own people,'” Schumer wrote in his letter to Fox News.

In his first episode since the Buffalo shooting, Carlson denied any guilt for spreading the racist theory. “The document is neither left nor right,” Carlson said Monday. “It’s not really political at all.”

In response to a question about Schumer’s letter, a Fox spokesperson referred HuffPost to Carlson’s remarks on his show.

“There is only one answer to rising racial tensions: defuse the situation and do what we have done and tried to do for hundreds of years, which is to work for ‘a colorblind meritocracy and treating people as human beings created by God, rather than human beings. anonymous members of interest groups who could benefit one political party or another,” Carlson said.

There is no doubt that the idea of ​​a migrant invasion, organized by shadowy elites to marginalize white people, has become a Republican talking point in recent years. On Monday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), called House GOP leaders for enabling “white nationalism” within the Republican conference, in an apparent reference to replacement-themed rhetoric from lawmakers like Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).

Schumer also blasted Fox News in a Senate speech Monday, saying the “great replacement” theory was previously limited to “deranged minds” and fringe chat rooms on the Internet, but it is increasingly appearing in the news by cable.

“In a cowardly quest for viewers and audiences, organizations like Fox News have spent years perfecting the art of stoking cultural grievances and political resentment that eerily mirror the messages found in replacement theory,” he said. Schumer said.

Schumer’s attacks on Fox represent something of a shift in strategy, since Democrats in years past have typically responded to mass shootings by lamenting the scourge of gun violence and advocating increased background checks for gun buyers .

Later Tuesday, Schumer tweeted that Carlson invited him onto his show to discuss the letter. Schumer said no.

This article was originally published on HuffPost and has been updated.