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The story of how British citizenship developed and why this matters for questions of race, migration and belonging in 'Global Britain'

Hosted and produced by Michaela Benson.

Cover Art: George Kalivis

Production and post-production: Art of Podcast 

Jun 10, 2022

Mass shooting in the US have been headlines news over the past month. The pattern? White gunmen opening fire in supermarkets, schools and public spaces, killing and injuring black, brown and hispanic people going about their daily business. Journalists, commentators and politicians have rallied to try and explain these horrific incidents, identifying the role of the ‘Great Replacement’ theory in motivating the actions of lone shooters. But what do these explanations overlook and shield from view? 

In this episode of Beyond the Headlines, Michaela Benson and Ala Sirriyeh are joined by Aaron Winter, who researches racism, hate crime, the far right and right-wing extremism and terrorism, to take a close up look at the headlines reporting on shootings in Buffalo, where a white man opened fire in a supermarket in a predominantly black neighbourhood murdering 10 people. We discuss the history of the ‘Great Replacement’ theory and related white supremacist conspiracy theories as they plays out in different historical and political contexts. The problems with the narrative of the ‘lone, white, gunman’. And we consider the relationship between these horrific incidents, structural and institutional racism, and the mainstreaming of illiberal approaches to migration in the US and UK, including thinking about Brexit and the Hostile Environment. 

You can access the full transcripts for each episode over on the Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit website.


In this episode we cover …

1 Mass shootings as racist violence

2 The ‘Great Replacement Theory’ and white supremacy

3 Mainstreaming the far right and illiberal political approaches to migration



Why do they never call it terrorism when white people do it? Well they do. They often do to remove it to compartmentalise it and to remove it from all the mainstream systemic and institutional white supremacy that needs to keep going.

  • Aaron Winter


Where can you find out more about the topics in today’s episode?

Find Aaron on Twitter or Google Scholar

If you want to find out more about mainstreaming the far right, we recommend his book Reactionary Democracy co-authored with Aurelien Mondon

Our headline Great Replacement: The Conspiracy Theory racist violence by Jillian Kestler-D’Amours was published in Al Jazeera 18 May 2022

You might also be interested in Michaela’s writing on Brexit focussed on the question what’s wrong with the narrative of the left behind

And we also wanted to give some love to this excellent paper by Maria Cecilia Hwang and Rhacel Salazar Parreñas about the Atlanta shooting where eight people, predominantly Asian women, were murdered.


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