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SIU Sociology Professor explains "Replacement Theory"

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SIU Sociology Professor Darren Sherkat explains "Replacement Theory"

CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Justice Department is considering charging suspected gunman Peyton Gendron with hate crimes and domestic extremism.

Gendron was said to be radicalized online by white supremacists.

New York Kathy Hochul signed an executive order requiring state police to flag people who might be deemed a danger to themselves or others.

She says more cybersecurity is also necessary.

Gendron has pleaded not guilty to a single count of first degree murder.

He's due back in court Thursday.

A big part of the shooter's motive for the mass shooting in Buffalo was explained in his 180 page manifesto.

It was largely based around something called replacement theory.

News Three's Brandon Merano spoke with a Professor of Sociology at SIU who has taught replacement theory and its consequences for more than 30 years.

"It's not a new thing. It's just kind of ballooned into something more popularized than it had been,"

So what is Replacement Theory?

"Replacement Theory is the idea that people who are not considers themselves to be the "in group" are going to be pushed out by people. (People) who are coming here from somewhere else or out birthing them," said SIU Sociology Professor Darren Sherkat.

A big part of the shooter's manifesto was he said he was going to target blacks specifically because they had the highest fertility rate.

"And that's very sad, that's a theme we have seen for 150 years or more actually in the United States," added Sherkat. 

"I mean this is a dangerous set of movements and it intersects with other issues in society and in personality and this is what's truly dangerous about it. When you have an ideology that's been legitimated by cultural institutions like the media, like Tucker Carlson and others like mainstream politicians in the Republican party. When they're legitimating this then people who have psychological instabilities are likely to perform out in a way that is horrific," added Sherkat.

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