In an op-ed for Rolling Stone, Talia Lavin argued that the Republican Party catered to people with racial beliefs like Gendron’s, according to his alleged manifesto, as well as those willing to take similar action over changing racial demographics.
Gendron allegedly entered a Tops Friendly Market grocery store on Saturday and killed 10 people while injuring three others. Eleven of the victims were Black while the remaining two were White.
“There’s no such thing as a lone wolf … There are only those people who, fed a steady diet of violent propaganda and stochastic terror, take annihilatory rhetoric to its logical conclusion,” Lavin wrote before detailing the shooting and Gendron’s alleged manifesto.
She wrote that Gendron was an adherent to the “Great Replacement Theory,” or the idea that White people in the U.S. and around the world were being systematically replaced by non-White populations through outbreeding and immigration.
“Reading through the document, what struck me hardest, however, was how very close the killer’s ideas were to the American mainstream – the white-hot core of American politics,” Lavin wrote. “While Gendron’s choice to engage in mass slaughter puts him on the radical fringe of those who enforce their beliefs with bullets, and his overt antisemitism differs slightly from vaguer blame of ‘elites,’ ‘Democrats’ and ‘globalists.'”
She added that Gendron’s “fixation” on the birthrates of White people and demographic changes were “neither fringe nor particularly unusual.”
“The gnawing fear of a minority-white America has utterly consumed conservative politics for the past half-decade, creating a Republican Party whose dual obsessions with nativism and white fertility have engendered a suite of policies engineered to change the nature of the body politic,” Lavin wrote.
“What unites murderers like Gendron, and the long list of white supremacist attackers he cited with admiration, with the mainstream of the Republican party is the dream of a white nation,” she added.
Lavin claimed that a “racist” right was using demographic change within the U.S. “as an occasion for a sweeping, violent moral panic,” and that the election of former President Donald Trump was “a key marker of the force of white racial panic.”
She argued that, although Trump was no longer in office, Republican members of Congress and congressional candidates embodied that same force.
“The Republican Party’s embrace of nativism has been more of a full-on dash than a slow slide,” Lavin wrote. “Once you understand an obsession with racial composition and white fertility to be the driving engine of Republican politics, a number of seemingly disparate movements begin to fit together into an ugly whole.”
Lavin went on to claim that the “anti-immigration movement,” gerrymandering, “antidemocratic” voting laws, and opposing transgender rights were some of those aspects.
“The Republican Party caters chiefly now to those who claim that to be born the wrong color is an act of genocide, and act with appropriate fervor,” she wrote. “There has never been a lone wolf when it comes to racist terror in the United States; it suffuses every aspect of our politics and policy, and in latter years the mass howl of fear at change comes from a jaw that drips with blood.”
“As long as we fail to recognize the wellspring of racial animus that animates the right wing in this country, the corpses will continue to accrue,” she concluded.
Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.