Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Acknowledges ‘Racist Subculture Exists in America’

Tops grocery store in Buffalo New York after a mass shooting

John Normile/Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal editorial board acknowledged that a “racist subculture exists in America” and called on elected officials to condemn “white replacement theory” in an op-ed decrying the Buffalo mass shooting.

18-year-old Payton Gendron allegedly traveled more than 200 miles to the Tops market in Buffalo in order to carry out the racist massacre in a predominantly Black neighborhood. The shooter shot 13 people, killing ten. 11 of the 13 victims were Black, officials said.

Police said Gendron posted a manifesto online that espoused extremely racist and anti-Semitic views and endorsed the “white replacement” conspiracy theory.

The Journal editorial board wrote on Sunday:

Partisans are already using the massacre to leap to broader political conclusions, as they always do. There’s no doubt that a racist subculture exists in America and is spread on social media. Politicians and media figures have an obligation to condemn it and such conspiratorial notions as “white replacement theory.” But mass shooters have had many motivations in recent years, and mental illness seems to be the most significant common denominator, to the extent there is one.

The most prominent figure to push “white replacement theory” is Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has repeatedly pushed the conspiracy theory that elected officials are important immigrants in order to replace White people in the United States.

The declaration regarding the existence of racism from Rupert Murdoch’s paper also stands in stark contrast to Carlson’s comments about racism in America. After the racist shooting in El Paso — in which the gunman was also motivated by “replacement theory” — the Fox News host called concerns about white supremacy a “hoax.”

In January, he argued it “doesn’t exist.”

“Where exactly is all this criminal white supremacy, this right-wing domestic terrorism that poses, quote, ‘the most lethal terrorist threat in the homeland?’ Of course, it doesn’t exist,” he said. (Carlson has denounced political violence on his show.)

On Sunday, the Journal also called for gun control measures in response to the shooting:

We’ll learn more about the shooter’s motives and mindset, but it’s worth noting a report in the Buffalo News that an official in the school Mr. Gendron attended in Conklin, N.Y., said he had spoken of wanting to go on a shooting spree. He fits the profile of other young men who become mass shooters at an age when mental illness often strikes. Keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill isn’t easy, but it’s one form of gun control that would do some good.

Read the Journal’s full editorial here.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin