On Aug. 11, 2017 a crowd of torch-wielding white nationalists marched across the University of Virginia campus, chanting slogans like “blood and soil” and “you will not replace us,” before attacking a small group of counter-demonstrators. While the organizers of that march and the next day’s “Unite the Right” rally were recently made to pay for their racist violence, the beliefs that animated them are now being spread by conservative pundits.
And some of those white nationalists are taking notice.
On the Apr. 8, 2021 episode of Fox News Primetime, host Tucker Carlson lent credibility to the “great replacement” — a conspiracy theory coined by French white nationalist Renaud Camus. According to this conspiracy, there is a deliberate plot to systematically “replace” white people with immigrants of color. This conspiracy has motivated mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, El Paso, TX, and elsewhere.
It was also what the white nationalists in Charlottesville meant when they shouted “you will not replace us.”
Without specifically calling it the “great replacement,” Carlson remarked that “the Left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,’ if you suggest that 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.”
“But they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening actually. Let’s just say it: That’s true,” Carlson added.
In an Apr. 23, 2021 video, white nationalist and antisemite Vincent James Foxx told his audience that there was a reason to be hopeful. Foxx, who promoted the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally on his Red Elephants website, said, “Look at what Tucker Carlson is saying on his show nowadays, talking about the ADL, talking about replacement theory. You know this is what I was talking about in 2016.”
Foxx then highlighted a tweet by TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk which accused “the left” of engaging in “modern cultural warfare” which has “done more damage to America in 4 years than the conservative boogeyman of ‘socialism’ has ever done in the lifetime of our nation.”
In 2019, events held by TPUSA were crashed by Foxx and fellow white nationalists Nick Fuentes, Patrick Casey, and Dave Reilly. Their supporters, whom they referred to as their “Groyper Army,” heckled TPUSA speakers like Kirk, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, and even Donald Trump Jr. — asking racist, antisemitic, and homophobic questions.
“And it’s very interesting how these people are beginning to talk like us,” Foxx boasted. “Not just with Charlie Kirk but many other people as well. They’re beginning to talk like us. They’re beginning to sound like us. Their message is beginning to look the same.”
After stating that Kirk is still untrustworthy, he turned to a tweet by Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh.
Foxx juxtaposed a tweet where Walsh expressed support for white pride with one by Nick Fuentes. Walsh complained that “white people are the only humans on Earth who aren’t allowed to be proud of their identity and history,” while Fuentes wrote that white people “founded America” and “are under attack in America.”
“So it’s very interesting how a lot of their language is beginning to change,” Foxx said. “How they’re beginning to sound a lot more like us. How the messaging is becoming more and more similar.” He added that this was the “inevitable conclusion of what happens” in “this ever-diversifying racial jungle that we’ve created in America,” and predicted that “white liberals” would eventually adopt these views as well.
Months later Tucker Carlson would once again promote the “great replacement” — this time by name.
During the Sept. 22, 2021 episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson claimed that President Biden’s immigration policy is designed to “change the racial mix of the country.” He went on to say that “In political terms, this policy is called the ‘great replacement,’ the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries.”
But Carlson wasn’t the only right-wing voice amplifying this belief. The next day, Charlie Kirk stated on his radio show that allowing Haitian migrants into the country was about “bringing in voters” and “diminishing and decreasing white demographics in America.” “We’re going to say that part out loud, as so many people in the corporate media are afraid to talk about it,” he added.
On Sept. 25, 2021, in response to an Anti-Defamation League statement calling for Tucker Carlson’s firing, Rep. Matt Gaetz tweeted that Carlson “is CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America.” Gaetz added that “The ADL is a racist organization.” Two days later he tweeted that Democrats were “importing new voters.”
During the Sept. 23, 2021 episode of his America First show, Holocaust-denying white nationalist podcaster Nick Fuentes — who attended the “Unite the Right” rally — expressed surprise at Charlie Kirk’s apparent embrace of the “great replacement.” And he suggested that Kirk only adopted this position because of Tucker Carlson’s show the night before.
“Now that Tucker Carlson said it last night, now it’s okay to say,” Fuentes said. “Now it’s okay to talk about the white demographic being diminished. It’s okay to talk about the significance of that. That it’s happening at all. That it matters. That it’s intentional. That there is a racial dimension to the immigration question. Now he feels comfortable saying it.”
Fuentes lashed out at Kirk for having “led the inquisition — the crusade — against anybody that would say that” before changing his position on immigration and boasting about his own bravery. He said that there were a “lotta good people” who “sacrificed a lot to change this conversation” on immigration, including white nationalist organizations and figures like American Renaissance and Sam Francis.
Nevertheless, Fuentes called it a positive development.
“So, you know, here’s the thing: On the one hand, I welcome the development,” he told viewers. “I welcome the development that these issues are being talked about in the mainstream. I’m glad that on the prime time show on Fox News, they’re talking about white replacement, because it is real, and it is happening, and it is the truth. Better late than never.”
“And honestly, why they’re saying it now really doesn’t matter,” he continued. “It matters that the white racial consciousness is being raised. It matters that a mainstream audience of three to five million people is hearing that from someone with credibility like Tucker Carlson. And I will never — I will never — say that that’s a bad thing.”
Fuentes also boasted that the “GOP is now the Groyper Party.”
On the same day as Fuentes’ show, white supremacist — and fellow “Unite the Right” attendee — Patrick Casey lauded Carlson on his show, Restoring Order. Casey, who was once the leader of the defunct hate group Identity Evropa and its spin-off, American Identity Movement, played footage of Carlson claiming that the “great replacement” was being used to replace “legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries.”
Casey paid special attention to Carlson’s use of the phrase “legacy Americans” to refer to white people. The phrase “legacy Americans” has been frequently used by white nationalists, particularly at VDARE — a hate group whose founder once claimed there “is no quote-unquote ‘diverse America.’ There’s only white America.” Casey pointed out that Carlson “could’ve said ‘white Americans'” but said he was unsure if “they would let him get away with that.”
Casey said he was “optimistic” about the fact that “we are having discussions like this on Fox News.”
“I’ll tell you guys, I’ve been involved in Dissident Right stuff, you know, kind of in a real world level and online since, I dunno, late 2015,” he said. “And before that I got largely red-pilled in 2012. And I never thought I would see the day where on Fox News this kind of stuff would be discussed. So the fact that Tucker is talking about our issues every night means that the Dissident Right has largely succeeded and I think the only thing that the Dissident Right, at least realistically, could’ve hoped to accomplish.”
Casey claimed that people who work on Tucker Carlson’s show are “clearly paying attention to niche neo-reactionary accounts” online — citing a guest appearance on Carlson’s show by racist, monarchist blogger Curtis Yarvin. And he praised Carlson for opting to use the phrase “great replacement” as opposed to “white genocide” — a term that refers to a similar white supremacist conspiracy theory.
“And I think it’s a good thing that we have decided on the ‘great replacement.’ Other terms — white genocide — I mean realistically white genocide, barring like a huge change, is … probably not gonna be the kind of term that people on Fox News, people with huge platforms, politicians can pay lip service to,” he said.
He added that the term “great replacement” is good because it’s easier to get their underlying point across — that the “proportion of white Europeans in America, in Europe itself, the Anglosphere — Canada, Australia — is decreasing,” and that this decrease is by design. And he concluded that the best way forward for white nationalists is to continue to smuggle their beliefs into the mainstream by “networking” with people “involved…at the policy level” and in “mainstream conservative media.”