These days, three of the most commonly uttered letters on right-wing radio and TV are not U, S and A, but instead, are C, R and T.
CRT, of course, is short for “critical race theory,” the idea that, according to Brookings, U.S. social institutions, such as the criminal justice system, education system, labor and housing markets, and health care system contain racism embedded in laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that lead to differential outcomes by race.
Republicans want low-information voters to believe, falsely, that CRT is socialist propaganda meant to teach white children that they’re racist. Unfortunately, it’s working – and not just among some parents of schoolchildren. Anti-CRT rhetoric is now pervasive among right-wing extremists. Some who have espoused such rhetoric include North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, FOX News host Tucker Carlson, former President Donald Trump, the Proud Boys organization and many others.
Among those “many others” are at least five men accused of murdering a combined 96 innocent people in the United States and New Zealand since 2018, according to NBC News.
The five mass shooters accused of murdering dozens in attacks at a grocery store, two synagogues, a Walmart and a mosque in New Zealand all referenced anti-CRT rhetoric in their manifestos or statements.
The 18-year-0ld accused of murdering 10 at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket this past weekend cited CRT and Tucker Carlson’s “great replacement theory” in his 180-page manifesto. The great replacement theory is the belief that Democrats are bringing in immigrants to the U.S. in order to get them to vote and oust white people from power.
According to a recently released AP-NORC poll, 33-percent of U.S. adults believe there is an ongoing effort “to replace U.S.-born Americans with immigrants for electoral gains.”
“I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,’ if you suggest for the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World,” Carlson said on his primetime FOX News show in April 2021.
The connection between anti-critical race theory beliefs and homicidal violence could not be more clear – the accused mass murderers literally cited their opposition to the theory as one of their “reasons” for slaughtering innocent people.
Since the connection is so obvious at this point, the question now becomes: how much more violence based on these beliefs will there be before popular right-wing extremists take responsibility for their words?