White supremacists in the US have worried about being replaced by voters of color for a long time. Last week, host Tucker Carlson laid out the conspiracy theory explicitly on Fox News. It involves immigration, Charles Blow writes in a New York Times opinion piece. Suggesting that there's an effort "to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters, from the third world" upsets the forces of the left, Carlson said. "But, they become hysterical because that's what’s happening, actually. Let's just say it: That's true." That's the basis of the "racist, anti-Semitic, patriarchal and conspiratorial 'white replacement theory,'" Blow writes—that nonwhite immigrants are being brought to the US to replace white voters. "Every time they import a new voter," Carlson said, "I become disenfranchised as a current voter."
When Carlson says third world arrivals, Blow writes, he means Hispanic, Asian, and Black people. The fear used to center on Black voters, as it did in the South after the Civil War. Jim Crow voter suppression laws and the movement of Black people out of the South took care of that, ensuring Black voters wouldn't outnumber white voters in any state. The theory peaked at other times, such as around the Voting Rights Act debates of the 1960s. "White" has been defined so narrowly in this country, Blow says, that the white grip on politics is not sustainable. The multiracial, multicultural majority that Carlson fears will assume power at the ballot box at some point. That's a fact, Blow writes. You can tell by the panic. You can read Blow's piece here. (The Anti-Defamation League wants Fox to fire Carlson for the comments.)