Pastor’s Pen_May 22, 2022

Just when we think we have seen it all, the right-wing, with its QAnon theories, discovers an insidious way to justify murdering Black people. It is called ‘replacement theory.’ Promoted by Tucker Carlson on Fox News, replacement theory has become the right wing’s dog whistle to motivate the Republican party’s far right conspiracy theory. Replacement theory is the idea that the population growth of black and brown people, promoted by the Democrats, ensures that white people will no longer be the majority in this nation. Carlson’s rhetoric falsely claims that native-born white people will be replaced by people of color and immigrants. Of course, we cannot forget our Jewish brothers and sisters who are not a threat to replace white people but remain high on the right wing’s hate list.

The egregious example of replacement theory that occurred last Saturday featured a racist who drove three hours from his home to a neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, to murder Black people. He targeted this community because of its large number of black citizens. So, he drove to Buffalo to kill total strangers intentionally and indiscriminately. He turned a marketplace into a shooting gallery and, in his wake, left 10 people dead and several wounded. He gleefully utilized his newly purchased automatic rifle and body armor like a child on Christmas morning playing war games. The body armor prevented him from being disabled by the security guard, who bravely returned fire, but the body armor protected the shooter and gave him the time to kill the guard.

What can we take away from this tragic account? Many of us have lamented for years that gun violence must end and that there is no need for automatic weapons on the streets of our nation. As much as we sing “Kumbaya” around the campfire and listen to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, hatred is still alive and well. The nation is rife with venomous feelings that originated before the Civil War. We must not sleep through the right wing’s dog whistles of hidden racism. Although we develop political, social, and psychological strategies to combat this evil, when it’s all said and done, the words of the gospel song say it best, “If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now.”

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