Citing the United Nations migration replacement report as evidence of the far-right great replacement theory is a disingenuous tactic that I’ve seen used quite often. The intent is to purposely misinterpret the preamble of the document in an attempt to “prove” the great replacement conspiracy theory, however, the United Nations report does little to support the far-right conspiracy. The report indicates that western nations require immigration due to economic necessity as our projected population will significantly drop off later in the century, but the report also touches upon issues including the rise of social tensions due to cultural differences and goes into detail about the importance of integrating immigrant communities so they understand cultural norms and practices. The report concludes that future policy decisions must take into account the impact on both the host society and countries of origin.
All too often we see those on the far-right conflate the economic necessity of immigration with a racist conspiracy theory that Muslims are going to outbreed native populations and replace them, which is currently statistically improbable even with an increase of immigration from Muslim majority countries. Moreover, the report does not claim Muslim immigrants are required therefore the referral to the migration replacement theory as proof of white genocide is not only disingenuous but nefarious in intention. The conspiracy theory is steeped in misogynistic beliefs including controlling and forcing white women to have more children as they believe feminism is the root cause of declining birth rates. White nationalists believe in the concept of “race realism,” an idea that race is not a construct but a biological category that determines a person’s character. As a student of anthropology, I know that it’s complete and utter racist bullshit.
Race is a social construct as is explicitly outlined by the leading anthropological opinion on the matter according to the American Anthropological Association. Race exists as a social construct as it defines specific groups within a population that often do not share biological similarities. For example, in North America, we often categorize people into “Black,” “White,” Asian,” “Hispanic,” and Native American.” These classifications are deceptive as they attempt to define populations that are not genetically distinct, easily recognizable, or confined to one region. This limited classification does not address racial admixture, ethnicity, or nationality. In a biological context, the traditional social construct of race has very little meaning or use. When we consider these factors ancestry is the more appropriate term when we refer to a specific group of people. Differences between the “races” are manifested through a variety of morphological traits selected by ecological factors. Certain characteristics may reflect geography while some may not. Traits that seemingly distinguish individuals from others are not unique to particular racial groups but occur in every racial group in a wide range of variation. When distinguishing between individuals we refer to their ancestral traits, however due to government agencies devising standards the public is more familiar with the traditional construct of racial categories hence its common usage.
“Race” thus evolved as a worldview, a body of prejudgments that distorts our ideas about human differences and group behavior. Racial beliefs constitute myths about the diversity in the human species and about the abilities and behavior of people homogenized into “racial” categories. The myths fused behavior and physical features together in the public mind, impeding our comprehension of both biological variations and cultural behavior, implying that both are genetically determined. Racial myths bear no relationship to the reality of human capabilities or behavior. Scientists today find that reliance on such folk beliefs about human differences in research has led to countless errors.
At the end of the 20th century, we now understand that human cultural behavior is learned, conditioned into infants beginning at birth, and always subject to modification. No human is born with a built-in culture or language. Our temperaments, dispositions, and personalities, regardless of genetic propensities, are developed within sets of meanings and values that we call “culture.” Studies of infant and early childhood learning and behavior attest to the reality of our cultures in forming who we are.
It is a basic tenet of anthropological knowledge that all normal human beings have the capacity to learn any cultural behavior. The American experience with immigrants from hundreds of different language and cultural backgrounds who have acquired some version of American culture traits and behavior is the clearest evidence of this fact. Moreover, people of all physical variations have learned different cultural behaviors and continue to do so as modern transportation moves millions of immigrants around the world.
How people have been accepted and treated within the context of a given society or culture has a direct impact on how they perform in that society. The “racial” worldview was invented to assign some groups to perpetual low status, while others were permitted access to privilege, power, and wealth. The tragedy in the United States has been that the policies and practices stemming from this worldview succeeded all too well in constructing unequal populations among Europeans, Native Americans, and peoples of African descent. Given what we know about the capacity of normal humans to achieve and function within any culture, we conclude that present-day inequalities between so-called “racial” groups are not consequences of their biological inheritance but products of historical and contemporary social, economic, educational, and political circumstances.
White nationalists believe they are going to be replaced by what they perceive as an “inferior population” and therefore society will regress due to the supposed inferiority of immigrants when there is no scientific evidence that backs such an absurd conspiracy theory.
1) United Nations Development of Economic and Social Affairs – Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?
2) New York Times – ‘Replacement Theory,’ a Racist, Sexist Doctrine, Spreads in Far-Right Circles
3) South China Morning Post – ‘White genocide’ and ‘the great replacement’: a primer on the US alt-right movement
4) American Anthropological Association – AAA Statement on Race
Source: PoppinKREAM on Reddit