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RUBEN NAVARRETTE JR.: Buffalo shooting revives memories of earlier massacres

As you know, Mexicans always do the dirty jobs that Americans won’t do.

For this Mexican American, that meant watching the first 15 minutes of Monday night’s edition of Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” so you didn’t have to. You’re welcome. De nada.

This selfless act occurred Monday, two days after yet another young White male — this time, in Buffalo, New York — allegedly grabbed a high-powered rifle and according to reports, went out of his way to hunt and kill nonwhites in order to fight back against the “replacement” of whites.

That’s the paranoid line of thinking that results from surveying a society where most positions of power and influence are held by white people and concludes that the most aggrieved victims in society are … wait for it … white people.

Though it’s plausible that this poisonous diatribe — which is often attributed to the French writer Renaud Camus — may have originated in Fantasyland, it seems to have found a loving home at Fox News.

According to an analysis of his show by The New York Times, Carlson has — since 2016 — mentioned variations on “great replacement theory” in more than 400 episodes. According to the Times, just last year Carlson said on Fox News that migrants from the “Third World” are coming to the United States “to replace the current electorate” and “dilute the political power of the people who live there.”

Decent people might find such language hard to swallow, but Fox viewers eat it up. Life gets easier when you have someone, or something, to blame when things go wrong — well, other than yourself.

Carlson insists that he’s just talking about politics, not race. But it’s clear he’s talking about both — racial politics.

Watching him defend himself, his show and his network, I couldn’t decide which part I liked best. Maybe it was when the cable host who made a fortune by playing up racial and ethnic differences suddenly implored his fellow Americans to be “colorblind.” Or when someone who belongs to a political party that has spent the past 50 years preaching that Americans need to “take responsibility” for our actions did everything he could to try to weasel out of taking responsibility for his own actions.

Meanwhile, if the story out of Buffalo sounds familiar, it should. We’ve seen this horror film before.

When I heard the revolting news that 18-year-old Payton Gendron had been arrested after a massacre at a Tops Friendly Markets in which 10 people were killed and three others were wounded, and where 11 of the 13 people shot were Black, my mind immediately went to El Paso.

It was in “el chuco” — which is considered the Ellis Island of the Southwest, because the city is a major entry point for Mexican migrants entering the United States — that, on Aug. 3, 2019, the great replacement theory put Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the crosshairs.

In the worst anti-Latino massacre in recent U.S. history, 23 people died and another 23 were wounded.

Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old white male, allegedly drove more than 600 miles to El Paso from his home in a largely white suburb of Dallas to fend off what he reportedly described in a manifesto as a “Hispanic invasion.”

It’s important to understand what the massacre of Black people in Buffalo is really about — and what it isn’t about. It’s easy to be distracted when coming to grips with tragedies. The root cause never gets addressed because we lose focus, especially when the truth is so unpleasant that most Americans won’t accept it.

On Monday, “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell — broadcasting from Buffalo — described “a community rocked by senseless violence.”

Wrong, Norah. This violence wasn’t senseless. It makes perfect sense. In fact, there seems to be a pattern.

The Buffalo tragedy is not about guns, or mental illness, or Tucker Carlson — although it is possible that any or all of these things were contributing factors.

This story is about fear of changing demographics, and an evil virus now spreading through the bloodstream of America. Think of it as a variant of the familiar virus of racism that has plagued the country since its founding.

This variant operates on a timetable. In 2042, just 20 years from now, the United States is expected to become “majority minority.” Some people are terrified of how the math pencils out, and they’re determined to change the equation.

They will fail. But in the process, they will — for many years to come — inflict upon this country more violence, more bloodshed and more pain.

America doesn’t deserve that.

Ruben Navarrette’s email address is crimscribe@icloud.com. His podcast, “Ruben in the Center,” is available through every podcast app.

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