“Demography is destiny.” On May 14th 2022, 18-year old Payton Gendron killed 10 people and injured three others inside a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. Eleven of the thirteen victims either killed or injured were Black. This was not a mere coincidence; earlier, Gendron posted a 180-page manifesto online repeatedly referencing the “great replacement theory” and asserting that white people were intentionally being replaced by non-Whites. This theory has found currency in mainstream discourse and has been peddled by right-wing news outlets and several elected officials. In today’s episode, we speak to Nigel Bromage, an ex-far right member all too familiar with the discourse around white nationalism and anti-immigration. Nigel spent several decades in various extremist organisations, including the British Movement and Combat 18. Today, he helps others escape similar extremist groups through his organisation, Exit Hate UK. Also joining us for this episode is Michael Feola, an associate professor of government and law, on the origins of the Great Replacement Theory and how such hate-infused falsehoods have been injected into public discourse. 

Media Minded explores the bizarre world of misinformation and conspiracies. Following on from the success of the first season in 2019, each episode platforms a different subject who has previously been a victim of, or a willing participant in, a conspiracy theory… but these lines may be more blurred than you think. Ex-cultists, anti-vaxxers and more describe their slow descent into the untrue, and those who experience the brunt of the lies and hatred explain the effect that the proliferation of these ideas has. All the while, industry-leading academics and experts provide theoretical justifications for the actions taken by all parties.

Presented by Matteo Bergamini
Edited and recorded by Sabina Mckenzie Brown.

This podcast is made possible thanks to the kind support and sponsorship of the US embassy in London.