Local expert says rising cases of white supremacy to blame for Buffalo mass shooting

ATLANTA — For the first time, we’re hearing from a local professor specializing in domestic terrorism about the mass shooting that happened over the weekend in Buffalo, New York.

That professor told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington that white supremacy is the biggest threat to the country right now.

Dr. Anthony Lemieux with Georgia State University said what happened in Buffalo over the weekend could happen anywhere.

He said the mass shooting, where an 18-year-old white man shot and killed 10 Black people was a result of a rise in white supremacy in this country.

“He was specifically out to target Black people,” Lemieux said. “This is not a one off. This is not someone with a mental illness. This is a part of a broader movement.”

We saw similar incidents in Charlottesville, Virginia and El Paso, Texas.

“Fringe (is) becoming mainstream, and we need to recognize it as such and call it out when we see it,” Lemieux said.

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Officials are investigating the Buffalo shooting as a hate crime.

They say the suspected shooter expressed a racist conspiracy known as Replacement Theory in his manifesto. Then, according to police, the 18-year-old drove for hours to a predominantly Black neighborhood in east Buffalo and opened fire on mostly Black people inside a grocery store.

Washington asked Lemieux about what Replacement Theory is.

“The population and the culture is being replaced and changed,” is what Lemieux said the theory is about.

Porchse Miller is a DeKalb County social justice activist. She spent some of her childhood in east Buffalo.

“It could have easily been anyone in my family,” Miller said.

She said her heart breaks for the victims.

“My heart is aching and I’m trying to keep my emotions together, but it’s so hard,” Miller said.

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