After the recent mass shooting in a New York grocery store, left-wing magazine Rolling Stone quickly pushed out a story claiming that the shooter is a “mainstream Republican.” But the claim is simply false as is evident by the suspect’s own social media posts and the “manifesto” he wrote detailing his beliefs.
The Rolling Stone piece, written by Talia Lavin, is counterfactually headlined, “The Buffalo Shooter Isn’t a ‘Lone Wolf.’ He’s a Mainstream Republican.”
It contends that all the racist hatred in accused shooter Payton Gendron’s manifesto is widespread among Republican voters.
The Buffalo shooter isn’t a “lone wolf.” He’s a mainstream Republican. https://t.co/1ZdMSWG7Gp
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) May 15, 2022
At the center of her premise, Lavin notes that in his writings, the 18-year-old blasted so-called Great Replacement Theory.
“He was an adherent of what is called Great Replacement Theory, the idea that white people, in the United States and white-majority countries around the world, are being systematically, deliberately outbred and ‘replaced’ by immigrants and ethnic minorities, in a deliberate attempt to rid the world of whiteness,” she wrote.
“It’s a conspiracy theory that has inspired terror attacks in New Zealand and Pittsburgh, San Diego, and El Paso – an ideology that marries demographic panic with the idea of a cunning, nefarious plot,” Lavin said.
“Reading through the document, what struck me hardest, however, was how very close the killer’s ideas were to the American mainstream – the white-hot core of American politics.”
Do you think the suspect’s views are in line with mainstream Republicans’?
Yes: 1% (1 Votes)
No: 99% (126 Votes)
First, Lavin is incorrect to use the word “adherent.” Adherent means “supporter,” and Gendron is the opposite of a supporter of the “Great Replacement Theory.” He is a self-avowed racist who is diametrically opposed to replacing white people with minorities.
Second is the issue of whether it is a “conspiracy theory.” Indeed, it has formed a central component of how Democrats envision the future of America.
For instance, replacing whites with a new wave of Democrat-friendly “brown” voters was precisely the premise of the 2016 book “Brown is the New White: How Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority,” by Steven Phillips. This bestseller was widely touted by the Democratic elite.
If anyone on the right is reacting to this trend, it is because the left has been pushing it for some time.
But the central problem is Lavin’s claim about the accused killer being a “mainstream Republican.”
“What unites murderers like Gendron, and the long list of white supremacist attackers he cited with admiration, with the mainstream of the Republican party is the dream of a white nation,” she wrote.
“But as the era of the white majority nears its end, a revanchist, racist right has treated the facts of demography as an occasion for a sweeping, violent moral panic.”
Lavin said several Republicans have commented that President Joe Biden’s lax border policy is resulting in a flood of Hispanics “replacing” white people. She pointed to Senate candidate J.D. Vance of Ohio, Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene as her prime examples.
Naturally, Lavin also attempted to place blame on former President Donald Trump, claiming he ran a campaign built on “white racial panic” and “his rhetoric directly provoked racist violence.”
Finally, the Rolling Stone writer got to the accused New York supermarket shooter, declaring that Gendron’s “fixations mirror those of the right wing more broadly, from violent transphobia to a loathing of immigration to a preoccupation with the possibility of civil war.”
But all this runs contrary to how Gendron has described himself.
In fact, the accused killer directly derided conservatism (he said it’s “corporatism in disguise, I want no part of it”).
Gendron said he cut his ideological teeth on communist theory.
“When I was 12, I was deep into communist ideology, talk to anyone from my old high school and ask about me and you will hear that,” he wrote in his manifesto. “From age 15 to 18 however, I consistently moved farther to the right.
“On the political compass I fall in the mild-moderate authoritarian left category, and I would prefer to be called a populist.”
The manifesto of the terrorist who killed people today contains the following:
– He did a chart of Jewish people and included me under “troll Jew.”
– Rejection of Christianity.
– An admission that he is is “authoritarian left wing.”
– Hybrid Nazi and “green nationalism.”
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 14, 2022
As to Christianity, the 18-year-old wrote, “Are you a Christian? No. I do not ask God for salvation by faith, nor do I confess my sins to Him. I personally believe there is no afterlife. I do however believe in and practice many Christian values.”
Gendron also described himself as an “ethno-nationalist eco-fascist national socialist.”
Many on social media called out Rolling Stone and Lavin over the story.
Rolling Stone’s “lacrosse team rape” libel judgment wasn’t a terrible mistake. It’s a business model
— Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) May 16, 2022
Ignoring the shooter’s own words in describing himself, in order to cling to your preferred storyline, is certainly one way to go.
— Sparktacular (@TheMainSpark) May 16, 2022
Are you really surprised, given this was the same magazine that did the front page glow-up of the Boston Bomber? Trash publication. pic.twitter.com/0oNpEDGnmZ
— Bill Dumais (@BillDumaisCT) May 16, 2022
you know we all like saw what he posted right? and you can’t just make up something it wasn’t and no one would be the wiser right?
— Jonathon Snyder (@JonathonSnyder) May 16, 2022
Actually, the shooter categorized himself as “authoritarian left” who was once a communist now turned green ethno-nationalist fascist socialist. Just proves white supremacy isn’t only on the right, especially with these younger generations. Also proves Rolling Stone is a joke. https://t.co/b3hCed3v5D
— Kim Iversen (@KimIversenShow) May 15, 2022
It is telling that Lavin didn’t put a single quote from his manifesto in her Rolling Stone article — the screed clearly undermines her central claim that he is a supporter of conservatives and Republicans.
As former Fox News host Megyn Kelly pointed out on Twitter, Lavin has a history of dubious journalism. She is the same writer who was fired by the New Yorker for falsely accusing an immigration officer of having a Nazi tattoo.
This is the same “reporter” whose journalism class (how to report on the “far right”) was cancelled by NYU after only 2 students signed up & who was forced out at the N. Yorker after falsely accusing an ICE agent of having a Nazi tattoo. She worked at Media Matters too. ‘Natch. https://t.co/VPcNTByjfn
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) May 16, 2022
It seems that Lavin sees “Nazis” and “white supremacists” around every corner.