From 2005-2010, CBS aired the crime drama Numb3rs, a fanciful series wherein one of the leading characters applies mathematics to solve complex crimes as a consultant to the FBI. The use of “3” in the title generated a great deal of media chatter despite its common relationship to computer jargon. The show itself was reasonably popular. What might have been gleaned by the viewing public is the benefit of the application of mathematics to human conflict.
Around the time the series ended, there emerged in France a political doctrine known as the grand replacement or replacement theory, which held that the nation’s white population was undergoing a demographic and cultural transformation by non-European peoples, mainly newcomers from Arab nations, South Asia, and Africa, many of them Muslims. Proponents attributed the transition to declining birth rates among whites and mass migrations from outside French borders
In the past few weeks, luminaires such as Tucker Carlson (who first raised this issue in June 2019) and Matt Gaetz have repeated a replacement plan as one intentionally designed and led by Democrats, including President Biden. In August 2017, the nation was treated to protesters engaged in a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting, “Jews will not replace us.” This echo demonstrates the virulent strength of the replacement conspiracy.
By historical record, the renovated replacement proposition is but a version of earlier, older xenophobic notions from at least the 19th century. These proto-conspiracies outlined a plan by Jews to replace indigenous white people as a component of a grander scheme to establish a global hegemony. The Jewish plot received further attention and amplification in the early 1900s with the dissemination of a false book entitled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Today, the anti-Semitic theme has been coopted by white supremacists, and now Republicans, as a weapon against immigration reform and promoted to sustain its base in red meat. Some proponents utilize the phrase “white genocide” to deliver the message.
Today, the anti-Semitic theme has been coopted by white supremacists, and now Republicans, as a weapon against immigration reform and promoted to sustain its base in red meat. Some proponents utilize the phrase “white genocide” to deliver the message. In April of this year, an elected Pennsylvania Republican characterized his understanding:
For many Americans, what seems to be happening, or what they believe right now is happening is, what appears to them is, we’re replacing national-born Americans – native born Americans, to permanently transform the landscape of this very nation.
As torturous as the words and logic of this statement are, it parrots a Wikipedia notation citing an 1886 sentiment (excerpted here) expressed about the French theory:
To succeed in their attack on Christian civilization, Jews in France had to deceive, lie, and take the disguises of free thinkers. If they had said frankly: “We want to destroy this ancient France, which was so glorious and beautiful, to replace it with the domination of a handful of Hebrews from all countries,” our fathers, who were less softened than us, would not have let themselves be taken in.
Although these words may appear laughable, they are presently being propagated as truth in contemporary America as an element of deconstructing democracy in order to usher in (ironically, to replace) the popular will and popularly elected officials. As the protagonists of Numb3rs might delve into data and math to solve crime, a review of some US census data (in millions) helps dispel the arguments of the replacement fear-mongers and confront the flaws of their assertions.
Year Population Whites Voting
2010 309 223 136.7
2020 331 235.4 158.6
The voting total noted for 2010 is actually that from the 2016 election.
Essentially, the fear-mongers have nothing other than their own unsupported allegations with which to entertain their audiences.
This snapshot shows that the nation’s total population increased by about 22 million over the decade and the white population increased some 12+ million in the same period. Voting increased by about 22 million equaling, coincidently, the population increase. The replacement fears stirred by radical right-wing pundits and officials finds no support in the data, which present a reasonably stable progression. Essentially, the fear-mongers have nothing other than their own unsupported allegations with which to entertain their audiences.
A quote from Tucker Carlson affirms a general criticism that the replacement theory is self-originated:
Now, I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term replacement – if you suggest the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the third world. But they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening, actually. Let’s just say it. That’s true.
This is the very same Tucker Carlson who has acknowledged lying on his broadcasts:
I mean, I lie if I’m really cornered or something. I lie. I really try not to. I try never to lie on TV. I just don’t ― I don’t like lying. I certainly do it, you know, out of weakness or whatever.
It may be concluded that the race to inject race into the dialogue on population serves only the purposes of a few to hold onto political power and maintain a chokehold over a political base of constituents. Their wickedness is not criminal like the fiction of Numb3rs, but the solution to the falsehoods may exist in actual numbers.
There’s no shame in finding inspiration in a TV show to challenge some nonsense that is offered as news or even opinion, especially when a presentation is delivered from a media person who has admitted to lying on the air. When that same speaker must resort to statements self-identifying the thesis of an opinion as “That’s true,” then the red lights are blinking.
It’s merely the rule of reciprocal cursive cognition (not mere connecting of dots but of ideas) that helps the reader integrate knowledge, data, and information. That approach, sadly, is a death knell for the shysters and grifters of conspiracies and false information.