America. The land of the free and home of the brave. Or at least that is what allegedly racist lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key wrote in his epic sonnet “Defence of Fort M’Henry” in 1814, later renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” When Key penned this poem, as is the case with so many fundamental and historical footnotes of American history, the “free” and “the brave” referred implicitly to the White European descendants of the first colonies established on “the land” that was inhabited by the indigenous tribes of the Americas. This “land” was systematically exorcised from the possession of the indigenous peoples already residing on “the land” by way of doublespeak treaties and open-ended legislation. When these methods failed, the so-called “brave” of Key’s sonnet employed domestic terroristic practices and extreme violence to force the indigenous peoples of the Americas off “the land” and onto barren reservations of poor quality which caused massive genocide and extinction. This was done in the interests of furthering the ideology of White supremacy. What is White supremacy? The belief that Whites as a collective comprise a “superior race” and therefore should and have the right to dominate society and non-White races and cultures. This ideology is the cornerstone of what became the United States of America. It is also the roux that attracts all the additives of systemic racism into a big mess of the extremist gumbo that is boiling over into 21st century America.

When 18-year-old White supremacist graduate and “extremist gumbo” lover Payton Gendron exited his vehicle in Buffalo, NY on Saturday, it was with the intent to save “the land” from non-White cultures and races that supposedly threaten the domination and political power of Whites thereby “replacing” them with African Americans, Haitians, other peoples of the African Diaspora, along with Asians and Jews. Ignoring the sentiment that America is “one giant melting pot,” Gendron’s violent dismissal of what this country is attempting to move towards theoretically is another red flag that points at the reality toward which America is slowly, yet progressively teetering.

This is not the first time a White individual, overwhelmingly a White male, has armed himself to the teeth as if he’s entering a war zone or dangerous enemy territory, and unloaded his weaponry on unsuspecting victims. In this country, mass shootings are a fiendish way of life that we have somehow managed to live with. This year, there has been 198 so far. In 2021 there were 693. There is no denying that America has a gun violence issue. But it is not by any chance a new phenomenon. America has always been quick to pick up a weapon and enforce its will upon its subjects and those it would like to subject. Historically (the same history that Gov. Ron DeSantis is attempting to “white-wash” to Floridia children), White Americans have used mass shootings and massacres to keep enslaved Africans and their descendants in their “place,” which legislatively is 3/5ths of a human being, or subhuman entities as some prominent 18th and late 19th century American scientists theorized based on White supremacy laced academia. The same techniques of domestic terrorism applied against the indigenous peoples were employed towards the African enslaved and their descendants, but in more insidious and diabolical ways. To be gunned down as mere cattle with no regard for the soul and humanity of a living, breathing, thinking, loving individual in order to perpetuate a White nationalistic agenda is nothing new to African Americans. This country is seeped in the blood of the enslaved African and their descendants. What is new is the way in which young Whites are being radicalized to lead the charge of extremist violence against non-Whites, and more importantly, those of African descent.

In Gendron’s manuscript outlining his plans and reasonings behind stalking and hunting Black human beings in a Black neighborhood grocery store with the intent to slaughter them, also called by some “a manifesto,” he confessed to doing “research” during the pandemic shutdown, and it is from this that the bases of his radicalization occurred. Gendron was 16 years old at that time. The “research” that he perused is known as White Replacement Theory or “Great Replacement Theory,” which harkens to its European origins. The theory is the belief that due to low birth rates among Whites in America and across the globe, non-Whites or People of Color, Asians and of course Africans and Blacks will surge in population and therefore in effect threaten White dominance and power. This was first theorized in a fictional work titled “The Camp of Saints” by French novelist Jean Raspail in 1973. In it, Raspail paints the story of the destruction of the White race due to non-White immigrants. Inspired by “The Camp of Saints,” French author Renaud Camus in 2012 wrote “The Great Replacement” in which he suggests that Black and people of color immigrants will force the eventual extinction of Whites. This European fictionalized doomsday storytelling has gripped the minds of American-born White supremacists and created fearmongering that has mobilized American political rhetoric and theater. The cries of “You will not replace us” were heard during a White nationalists rally that became deadly in Charlottesville, SC in 2017. The great replacement theory was implied by former President Donald Trump in America’s House after he complained about the immigration of Africans and Haitians to America, calling Africa a continent of “sh*thole countries,” and then went on to mention that he would prefer “more people from Norway” to immigrate to America. Fox News host Tucker Carlson is in love with the theory making it a regular topic on his various media platforms. Politicians on Capitol Hill such as Rep. Elise Stefanik espouse that Democrats want to turn immigrants into liberal votes that will upset the electorate balance. And with the Supreme Court leak that suggests that the majority conservative bench will overturn the landmark Roe v Wade decision next month, adherents of the theory are salivating because this decision, which has so many tentacles and moving parts of potential fallout, would almost certainly guarantee more White babies will be born to replenish the White American population.

So much supremacist information consumed by a then 16-year-old White male on the Internet along with the twisted rhetoric and alternative facts spewed by the White nationalist media. This is the genesis and the formation of the latest generation of America’s “brave.” Dylann Roof, who walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in 2015 and murdered nine African American congregants, was 21 years old when he wrote that after doing some “research” on the Internet, he realized that “someone has to have the bravery” to eliminate African Americans. Over the weekend, video surfaced of a 10-year-old White male pounding on the Houston, Texas door of an African American family, hitting it with a swinging horse whip, requesting that the young African American girl in residence come outside. When the girl’s parents confronted the boy’s father about the incident, the father fired shots at them. Is more shocking and startling evidence needed that the next generation of White supremacist theorists are already in training? If Black leaders continue to slumber at the wheel only to awaken when public tragedies occur, only to fall back asleep until the next intentional mass killing of Black souls, we can be assured that it will not be White America facing “replacement.” It will be through the barrel of the weaponry held in the hands of radicalized White domestic terrorists that will pick off the population of Black America. One grocery store at a time.