The shooter who opened fire at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York and killed ten people on Saturday had apparently posted a white supremacy manifesto on social media before the attack.
18-year-old Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York, who is now charged with first-degree murder has pleaded not guilty. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the suspect arrived intending to take “as many black lives as possible.” Of the thirteen people shot, police said eleven were Black Americans.
The manifesto itself is 180 pages, composed partially of racist and antisemitic memes, the shooter’s thoughts on cryptocurrency and environmentalism, photos and descriptions of his extensive weapon collection, and his specific plan for Saturday’s attack, among other things.
Buffalo shooter endorsed white supremacy “Great Replacement Theory”
However, a sizable portion of the manifesto focuses on the far-right “Great Replacement Theory”—a conspiracy theory popularized by French writer Renaud Camus that states that white Europeans are being “replaced,” both demographically and culturally, by non-whites.
As evidence of this, the manifesto uses similar talking points to other peddlers of this theory. For example, the writer references the declining birth rates of white people in majority-white countries alongside increased immigration to the US. This is a common talking point amongst believers in the theory.
Joe Biden, scores of American politicians, and community and civil rights leaders were quick to express their outrage, calling for more to be done to tackle the rise in hate-based crime in the US.
Hate crimes on the rise in the US
The FBI reported last year that hate crimes in the US had risen to the highest level in twelve years, triggered largely by a surge in assaults on Black and Asian Americans.
While mass murders such as those in Buffalo and elsewhere understandably garner the most attention, many thousands of other violent hate-based attacks take place each year, leading attorney general Merrick Garland to make domestic terrorism and racially-based hate crimes “a top priority” for the justice department.
“Hate and racism have no place in America,” Derrick Johnson, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said in a statement following the Buffalo attack.
“We are shattered, extremely angered and praying for the victims’ families and loved ones, as well as the entire community,” Johnson said.