NEW YORK (Dagbladet): The mass shooting at a supermarket in the city of Buffalo in New York on Saturday, has shaken the USA. Sunday night local time, US President Joe Biden announces that he will visit the city on Tuesday to honor the victims.
US authorities are investigating the whole thing as a hate crime. 13 people were shot. Ten of them were killed. Eleven of the victims were African Americans, and police believe the perpetrator must have selected victims and an area with many blacks.
The alleged perpetrator is Payton Gendron (18). Before he attacked the supermarket, he is said to have posted a document online stating that he does not belong to any organization or group.
The 180-page document is now being combed by investigators from both the local police and the FBI.
The document outlines Gendron’s racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic views. Among them was the desire to remove all people, who do not come from Europe, from the United States, writes AP.
The document shows that Gendron seems to believe in the conspiracy theory of “the great population change”. The theory, which is chock-full of scientific shortcomings, implies a belief that the white population is about to be replaced by others – including blacks. Therefore, the author of the document believes that black Americans should be killed.
In the parts that appear to be written or composed by Gendron himself, a long, racial ideological justification is given for why all black Americans are part of a “replacement” of the white population and therefore should be killed.
Much of the document is also directly copied from the terrorist Brenton Tarrant. In 2019, he attacked a mosque in New Zealand and killed 51 people. Tarant’s attack was very much inspired by Anders Breivik’s attack on July 22, 2011.
In the document, the author lists ten right-wing extremist terrorists he describes as “freedom fighters”. Among them are Anders Behring Breivik and Philip Manshaus.
The conspiracy theory about “the great population change” is central in right-wing radical and right-wing extremist circles also in Norway, writes Filter.
In the United States, the theory has also gained a foothold in some very right-wing television programs and among some Republican politicians, according to the Washington Post.
– This philosophy no longer exists only on the fringes of the internet and among the most extreme groups. It has become mainstream. You see established politicians in Europe and the USA who promote similar ideas, says extremist researcher at the University of Oslo, Milan Obaidi, to the newspaper.
Among the examples cited is the presenter Tucker Carlson at Fox News.
– I know that the left and all its little doormen on Twitter will literally be hysterical if you use the term “replacement”, if you suggest that the Democratic Party is trying to disappoint the current voters with new people, more obedient voters from the third world. But they get hysterical because that’s what’s actually happening, Carlson said in April 2021.
A spokesman for Fox News did not comment specifically on the statement, but referred to several cases in which Carlson had distanced himself from political violence.
Similar statements have also been made by Republican elected officials.
“For many Americans, it seems that we are replacing people born in the United States to transform the political landscape of this country permanently,” said Congressman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania during a hearing in Congress in April last year.
He has not yet commented on the mass shooting.
According to police, Gendron must have traveled 320 kilometers from his home in Conklin to carry out the mass shooting. Parts of the attack are said to have been streamed on Twitch.
At a jail hearing Saturday night, Gendron pleaded not guilty. He is currently charged with ten murders, but it is expected that the charge can be extended. He also risks a federal charge of hate crime.
Several American media, including the New York Times and the AP, cite politicians who say that Gendron also threatened to carry out a mass shooting last year.
He was then 17 years old and about to graduate from Susquehanna Valley High School. Gendron himself claimed that he was just joking, but he must have been investigated. A hospital is also said to have carried out a psychiatric evaluation, but he was released after a few days.
He then disappeared from the radar of investigators, writes the New York Times.
– An ugly stain
Police say on Sunday that Gendron’s parents have been questioned. A search of the home he shared with them was also carried out.
In Buffalo, emotions were very strong after the incident.
– Hatred is still an ugly stain on the soul of the United States. A lone man, armed with a weapon of war and a hateful soul, shot and killed ten innocent people in cold blood in a grocery store on Saturday. We must all work together to clean out the hatred that continues to be a stain on America’s soul, he added, pointing out that the Justice Department is investigating the incident as “hate crime, a racist act based on white power and violent extremism,” Biden said of the mass shooting. during a ceremony honoring fallen police officers on Sunday.