Local pastors and activists discuss ‘The Great Replacement’ Theory

ATLANTA — Police said an 18-year-old posted a manifesto online, outlining his views, including what is called “The Great Replacement Theory.”

It explains why he shot up the grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

There have been a lot of people typing the phrase into the Google search bar, wanting to learn more. Google trends over the last 7 days show a recent increase in people searching for information.

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“It’s so heartbreaking, to see, the deliberate, intentional acts of prejudice, racism and hatred, that is still prevalent in our world,” said Pastor E. Dewey Smith Jr.

Smith, pastor of the Greater Travelers Rest Church in Decatur did not holding back, when discussing the recent mass shooting.

At least 10 people died, with a majority of the victims being black.

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“Now you have extremists, whether it be people who are against faith, or people who have issues with African Americans, they try to find people where masses of people assemble,” Smith said.

“My initial reaction is, ‘Oh no, not again,’” said Rabbi Stephen Listfield.

Rabbi Stephen Listfield said he was sick to his stomach, when he heard the news about yet another mass shooting, “The trouble with again is it breeds more of what will happen again the next time,” the rabbi said.

The FBI is calling the shooting a hate crime. Police said the 18-year old shooter posted a 180-page document online, explaining his views, including what is called “The Great Replacement Theory.”

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The National Immigration Forum said this theory is based on a belief that there’s a plot designed to undermine or ‘replace’ the political power and culture of white people living in Western countries.

“The idea of this Great Replacement Theory is the minority people are replacing the rightful owners of this country, which there are no rightful owners of this country,” said Rabbi Listfield.

“It behooves the question that must be asked, even if those who’ve been the majority, become the minority, is that something about, how the minority has been treated that frightens people?” Smith asked.

“Where does this fear come from? What do they think will happen if they aren’t a majority in this country? Do they feel it will feel an overtake or something like that,” said Scotty Smart with the SMART Foundation.

That’s something, Smart said many are wondering but he said there should be a deeper conversation, “The thing about America is that white supremacy and racism is so prevalent and so embedded in America, that when you protest against it, we act like you’re protesting America,” he said.

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