Nearly 1 in 3 Veterans Agree with Racist Great Replacement Theory, Rand Study Finds

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A new study by Rand Corp. has found a much smaller number of veterans, compared to the general population, say they believe in white supremacy, the QAnon conspiracy theory and left-wing extremism.

But nearly 18% of veterans did agree with the idea that Americans may have to resort to violence because the country has gone in a direction they don’t support, according to a survey of about 1,000. The think tank also found that 28% agreed with the Great Replacement Theory, a cornerstone of racist ideology that claims powerful elites are trying to replace native-born Americans with immigrants and people of color who share their political beliefs.

The theory is also referenced by the far-right as “white genocide.”

The data from Rand highlights a troubling trend among veterans, who in recent years have often been involved in domestic terrorism and other far right-related crimes. The study found that veterans might be slightly less likely to align with radical viewpoints when compared to polls done on the general public, though the data on the subject is minimal and not directly comparable.

Extremist groups such as the Oath Keepers — the group’s former leader and members were convicted of seditious conspiracy for their role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — have also preyed on troops and those who leave the service, hoping to benefit from their status and military know-how.

“My biggest concern is this study provides a lot of data but stimulates a lot of questions. What we’re focused on is the transition; the research shows that’s a vulnerable period for substance abuse, homelessness and other issues,” Rajeev Ramchand, a researcher who wrote the report, told “This highlights there are other groups who are bad actors trying to recruit into their groups. If a group comes to them and offers camaraderie, that to me is concerning.”

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