An 18-year-old white racist’s cold-blooded massacre of 10 people in a Buffalo, N.Y., grocery, most of them Black, is sadly only the latest senseless chapter in a disturbing rise of hate crimes across the country. This surge — at a minimum — has been stoked by fact-free social media posts, reckless right-wing commentators, and shameless, craven Republican political leaders.

The accused killer, armed with an assault-style rifle, drove more than 200 miles from his hometown near Binghamton, N.Y. He is believed to have posted a racist rant praising other mass murderers and endorsing a white supremacist ideology known as replacement theory, which is based on the ludicrous notion that people of color are being brought to this country to “replace” white Americans.

This concept, once confined to the extremist fringe, has moved into mainstream Republican circles and is now routinely promoted on Fox News by Tucker Carlson and a host of public officials, including Rep. Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.), the third-ranking minority leader in the House; J.D. Vance, the Hillbilly Elegy author turned Trump-loving Republican Senate nominee in Ohio; and Pennsylvania’s own insurrectionist Rep. Scott Perry.

» READ MORE: Buffalo shooting a reminder of what happens when white men get radicalized

Other white supremacist killers have been inspired by the same hate that apparently motivated the Buffalo suspect. They found their victims at a Norwegian summer camp in 2011, a Black church in South Carolina in 2015, a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, and a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in 2019.

Add to that list the right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, which turned deadly after torch-bearing white supremacists marched through town chanting, “You will not replace us!” Then-President Donald Trump, who has his own long history of promoting hate and anger, famously said there was “blame on both sides.”

Mass murders are the most extreme data points on a hate-crime spectrum that includes more than 8,000 incidents reported in the United States in 2020, according to the most recent FBI data. Hate crimes in Pennsylvania hit a 14-year high last year, while the 63 reported hate crimes in Philadelphia was a 320% increase from those reported in 2019.

» READ MORE: 10 dead in Buffalo supermarket attack police call hate crime

It is difficult to connect the incidents to a singular event. Rather, they are part of a mass poisoning of the nation’s bloodstream, fueled by the lies, hate, and anger spewed daily on social media, Fox News and other right-wing outlets, and Trump-ignited MAGA followers. Indeed, Rep. Liz Cheney, (R., Wyo.) has accused her own Republican leaders of enabling “white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism.”

Day by day, the fabric of the country is being torn apart by thousands of angry tweets, Facebook posts, and QAnon conspiracy theories. The compound effect is chipping away at our civil society and undermining our democracy. Because there appears to be no bottom for the GOP or Fox & Friends, it is up to voters and responsible leaders in business and government to call out the lies and hate — and work to bring an end to this absurdity.