In an online screed full of neo-Nazi references, the 18-year-old New Yorker accused of going on a shooting spree this weekend at a Buffalo supermarket connected himself to a slurry of hateful ideologies. He also claimed allegiance to a group of violent killers across six countries responsible for racist murders reaching back more than decade.
That, in essence, was the point of his 180-page post: to “spread awareness” that, in the writer’s baseless view, immigrants to the United States were supplanting the white population, and to “encourage further attacks” in a bid to start a race war.
Experts in far-right extremism have often cautioned that giving too much public attention to writings like the one produced by the suspect, Payton S. Gendron, helps to accomplish their stated aims of promoting vile and dangerous ideas and fomenting violence. Those admonishments, however, need to be balanced against clarifying the important connections among seemingly disparate attacks.
Examining the suspect’s words can also help shed light on the origins of bigoted ideas. That is particularly crucial since beliefs like his have moved in recent years from the most remote fringes of right-wing culture into the mainstream.
boogaloo movement, a loosely organized network of gun-obsessed, antigovernment activists who received renewed attention after the demonstrations triggered by the murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis.