Like Toxic Weeds, The Conspiracy Theory Spreads To Far Right Delight
The smoke had barely cleared after the slaughter of 10 people at a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket, and the right wing conspiracy machine was in full gear, being prominently led by a website that claims to be supported by millions of members of law enforcement.
Within hours of the massacre, the far right conspiracy mill has claimed that the alleged shooter, Payton Gendron, 18, was part of a deep state conspiracy orchestrated by Democrats to smear the Republicans while other claims involve Gendron’s alleged ties to neo-Nazis in Ukraine. The conspiracy claims were ignited after widespread reports that the alleged killer was steeped in the so-called “Mass Replacement Theory,” a belief that the white, christian nation is being systematically replaced by immigrants in a conspiracy led by Democrats and powerful Jewish interests.
The allegations are so convoluted, far fetched and absurd as not to warrant repeating. What is important is that they have strong common threads; that the killings in Buffalo were a “false flag” to deflect the “deep state” involvement; and the groups and individuals spreading the conspiracy claims are all far right, strongly trump supporters. They include Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, a Trump-endorsed member of the far-right Oath Keepers militia; Laura Loomer, a 2020 alt-right candidate for congress from Florida who won the 2020 primary but lost in the general election. She was endorsed by trump who tweeted after her primary win, “Great going Laura. You have a great chance against a Pelosi puppet!” She also received endorsements from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who is under investigation for human trafficking; and former trump adviser Roger Stone, who was convicted of witness tampering and lying in connection with Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation. Trump later pardoned Stone of all charges.
This is how the far right, with trump at the rudder, circulates their lies and foments anger to millions of followers while escaping any direct responsibilities. Once again trump doesn’t need to comment and he escapes responsibility while he lets his far right loudspeakers do his bidding.
One of the main sources of the supposed conspiracy theory is a website called, Ilovetrump.com, a website that claims to be independent of trump. The related, We Love Trump website, was founded anonymously in 2016 to push pro-trump misinformation and disproved conspiracy theories. The website does not identify editors or ownership.
Alex Jones, the discredited host of the InfoWars site, also bloviated about the alleged conspiracy. Jones has been a trumper all the way, having claimed that trump was right about the debunked claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential race.
Another faucet opening for the conspiracy drivel is something called “Law Enforcement Today” with links to https://fundourpolice.com/, a right wing, trump supporting law enforcement site that opposes efforts to reallocate funding for law enforcement in the aftermath of police shootings of Black people.
The fundourpolice website notes that “Crime is exploding across America. Defunding the police is causing even more chaos and increased crime in communities we live, work, and raise our families.”
“Defunding the police strips our officers of much-needed training and resources, such as de-escalation, use of force, and cultural awareness training. Furthermore, the scheme to remove less-lethal options will simply result in more fatal police shootings,” the website notes.
The alleged connection between Gendron and Ukraine is based on photos circulating on the Internet of Gendron wearing a “sunwheel” or “Black Sun” patch, which has been associated with Ukraine’s, Azov battalion. The Azov battalion is a neo-Nazi unit of the National Guard of Ukraine that has been fighting Russian forces. It first saw combat recapturing Mariupol from Russian forces and pro-Russian separatists in June 2014.
The Anti-Defamation League notes on its website “The sonnenrad or sunwheel is one of a number of ancient European symbols appropriated by the Nazis in their attempt to invent an idealized ‘Aryan/Norse’ heritage. In Nazi Germany, the Nazi Party, the SA and the SS all used sonnenrad symbology at times, which has led neo-Nazis and other modern white supremacists to adopt such images.”
The latest column in Law Enforcement Today (LET) is by Jim Patrick, which the column notes is “a pseudonym for a retired police chief, who asks to remain anonymous due to employment and safety concerns. Jim is a 31-year law enforcement professional who is passionate about law enforcement and politics. He is an unabashed Reagan/Trump conservative and loves America.” He signs the column, “Thanks for being a part of the LET family!”
Patrick also recently posted a long column strongly opposing a lawsuit calling for the disbarment of more than 100 lawyers who have been involved in spreading trump’s claims of fraud in the 2020 election, despite numerous investigations and court rulings that have found no widespread fraud.
Law Enforcement Today was started in 2008 by Capt, Robert Greenberg “as a voice for active and retired law enforcement officers, their families, and anyone who supports the men and women who protect and serve,” according to the organization’s website.
Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC), a fact-checking website founded in 2015 by editor Dave M. Van Zandt, noted that Law Enforcement Today is “moderately to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage conservative causes.”
“Law Enforcement Today also publishes editorials that strongly favor the right through negative reporting on immigrants as well as routine denigration of Democrats. This source is also pro-Trump, frequently glorifying Trump supporters who fight back against protesters,” the MBFC determined.
Recent stories include “Gang members ambush and attack Chicago cops who were helping five victims of the latest South Side gun battle”; “Bombshell IRS filings show BLM (Black Lives Matter) co-founders paid baby daddy five times more than was given to Trayvon Martin foundation”; “Black man who was charged with assaulting white elderly patients in nursing home has charges dismissed, found incompetent”; and “Biden at Peace Officer’s Memorial: ‘Heck of a lot harder’ to be a cop; it’s a ‘different world.’ Gee, Democrats, we wonder why?”
The Arizona State Senate, meanwhile, is investigating Sen. Wendy Rogers, a Trump-endorsed member of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, for her claims that the Buffalo shooting was a false flag to cover up a shooting that was actually staged by Democratic, deep state operatives. Rogers, who calls herself a “sweet grandma,” posted her conspiracy theory on the far right social media platform Telegram.
“Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo,” wrote Rogers, who tweeted in March, “I am just a sweet grandma who loves Jesus and America.”
“Fed boy” is street slang for government agents.
The Arizona Senate censured Rogers in March for a speech she gave at a white nationalist conference organized by far-right extremist Nick Fuentes. At the time, Rogers said, “I truly respect Nick because he’s the most persecuted man in America” and that Fuentes was “standing up to tyranny” with his white nationalist group.
Another racist organization intimating a Buffalo conspiracy is VDARE, a far-right website opposed to immigration and associated with white supremacy, white nationalism and neo-Nazism. The organization is listed as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. VDARE didn’t directly respond to the shooting, but posted an article to its Telegram account to deflect blame from the white shooter.
“Whites Responsible For Less Than 3% Of All Mass Shootings In 2022 So Far — But Black Attacks Skyrocket,” the article says, along with a picture of Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James, who is Black.
Loomer, the crazed right winger from Florida, first tried to link the shooting with abortion politics.
“Planned Parenthood has still targeted and killed more black people than the Buffalo supermarket shooter. Facts matter,” Loomer posted on Telegram. She went on to note that “being worried about replacement theory is not a radical stance. The war on White people is VERY REAL.”
The conspiracy theory also has been publicized by USSA News, described by MBFC as having “extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency, and/or is fake news.” USSA News was established in 2010 in opposition to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA-Obamacare). USSA News has published misinformation related to COVID-19, including the false claim that the disease was man-made; and has promoted trump’s stolen election conspiracy theory.
It was no surprise that Alex Jones jumped on the conspiracy bandwagon. In the past, Jones claimed the 2012 mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School never happened; and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the September 11 attacks, and the 1969 Moon landing, were also bogus.
On his Monday show, Jones claimed that the mass shooting in Buffalo was staged.
“It’s going to get a lot worse, folks. I mean, it’s going to get bad, and they’re going to have some more white supremacists go out and do this,” Jones said. “You know it’s going to happen, and they’re going to have some crazy brainwashed black people do the same damn thing, and they’re going to sit here and play us all off against each other while they rape everybody and cut our power off and inflate everything and screw us.”