The far-right murderer who planned and carried out a mass shooting at an outlet mall near Dallas, Texas, fits the profile of many other far-right domestic terrorists of the past three decades. He posted manifestos on social media, covered himself with unabashedly Nazi-themed tattoos, was a frothing antisemite and misogynist, had an Army background—the bare beginnings of one, anyway, as he was discharged before even completing basic training. He expressed admiration for prior mass murderers, hung around "incel" communities, had an admitted severe mental illness, and appears to have specifically intended his attack as a means of promoting white supremacist and neo-Nazi "accelerationist" plans meant to bring about enough violence to cause a societal collapse, after which white supremacist dirtbags believe they would seize control and govern America as their own new paradise.
Of course, he also had an AR-15 assault rifle, of the sort now featured on the lapels of Republican lawmakers where flag pins might usually be placed, and appears to have intentionally focused on using it to murder children, killing at least three and wounding another, as well as people he perceived as nonwhite.
None of this is even remotely unusual among the lists of far-right and anti-government domestic terrorists who have sought to kill innocent Americans. It is rote. What is unusual is that the shooter was not white, by the standards of the far-right; he was Latino. And a Latino man who thought himself part of the white supremacist movement was all his fellow travelers needed to proclaim that no, this was all a fake, a false-flag operation—or "psyops," in the language of online conspiracy cranks—and that actually he wasn't a member of the far right at all.
Because America is a decaying nation owned and run by the performatively ignorant, Elon F--king Musk features prominently among the far-right figures claiming that the murderer with Nazi tattoos who was lavish in his praise for far-right figures was, somehow, a trick. The explanation for why the ever-stupid Elon was drawn to this explanation is immediately self-evident.
Here is how it unfolded. Bellingcat researcher Aric Toler posted a long thread highlighting the murderer's social media posts. They are abhorrent, and seemingly obsessively so. A long list of admiring posts featuring Nazi supporters and Nazi dress up, interspersed with extremely disturbing far-right rants against Jews, women, trans Americans and others. None of that is anything Musk and the online far right—much less Texas Republican lawmakers—give a shit about, of course. More uncomfortable was that the terrorist was a fan of several of the same far-right and hate accounts that Elon Musk himself keeps promoting.
The blue-check replies to that Ben Collins tweet are a storm of conservative racists and conspiracy cranks declaring that no no, it's a trick to discredit the right; "It is almost like it was written to perfectly match the boogeyman," is one representative response.
The online right seized on the news that the murderer felt "inspired" by anti-trans hate account Libs of TikTok and by influencer(?) Tim Pool, who is apparently a big cheese in the Musk-backed right. That was all it took for conservatism to launch a new conspiracy that the stupidest billionaire in history could latch on to.
Mind you, there is literally no question as to the murderer's ideologies. He wrote them all out, repeatedly, ad nauseam. There is no particular surprise in his knowing of and approving of the "Libs of TikTok" Twitter account, whose author is responsible for inspiring numerous bomb and death threats against trans Americans and the doctors who support them. If the Allen, Texas, mass shooter is more familiar with the illiterati of the online right than most people, then none of us can act very surprised. That is, of course, the conservative argument: The terrorist fits the profile of a far-right domestic terrorist too closely. So closely that, according to Elon, it "gets weirder by the moment."
Musk has repeatedly come to the defense of Libs of TikTok after that account's history of inspiring bomb and death threats. His relationship with Tim Pool appears to be more sycophantic than anything else; Pool himself came forward to burp a new theory that the murder of eight Americans by an avowedly pro-Nazi violent accelerationist was "PSYOP", all while suggesting that "it's multiculturalism" that's responsible for such violence.
Soon enough, Musk himself was suggesting that the researchers had, somehow, perhaps made the story up.
He is a very, very stupid man. This is true of nearly all conspiracy theorists, but he is a special case. In his defense, he continues to surround himself with stupid and misleading people and he seems very upset if these people do not pay attention to him, so here we are.
As for the supposed discrepancies that suggest, to the far-right conspiracy cranks, that this other far-right conspiracy crank who so admired them was not really one of them, none of it is nearly as surprising as they are pretending it to be. The Nazi-backing murderer posted much of his hate to a Russia-based social media site, ok.ru. Given the content of his posts, the Russian site was likely chosen in an attempt to thwart social media rules that would have banned such content nearly anywhere else. The violent American far right has continually embraced and praised Russia. A member of the 4chan-ish violent right gravitating to such a site is no less believable than it is when those in the CPAC right wing express admiration for Russian kleptocrat Vladimir Putin's viciousness toward LGBTQ Russians.
The main supposed proof from the conspiracy crowd, in claiming that someone who they don't think is white couldn't possibly be a Nazi-backing white supremacist himself, is the killer's race. This, too, might be unusual, but such associations are far from unprecedented.
The murderer himself appears to have gotten pleasure out of the status.
The issue of race and racism in the Latino community is long and convoluted; for the roughest of explanations, this thread by historian Kathleen Belew gives an overview, but in particular:
This sort of racism is commonplace in, for example, Mexico, where "white" might most properly mean "can trace their ancestry back to Europe" and those who thus identify as "white" can be viciously discriminatory toward those with native ancestry. This is because white is as bullshit-laden a term among South and Central American racists as it is everywhere else; through most of United States history, Irish immigrants, Italian immigrants, eastern Europeans, Greeks, and other groups did not count as white, and the "white" Americans who met them with hostility were apoplectic at the thought that any of those unpleasant people were deserving of rights or might be allowed to live in their neighborhoods.
Each of those groups became "white" only over the resulting decades, and only after they had been around long enough for their supposed cultural differences to have faded into the greater American cultural lump, and if you were Catholic it took longer. And as each of those groups assimilated, becoming "white," they latched on to the same racist tropes to declare that every group newer than theirs wasn't really "white," even if they themselves were.
It's a game, not a science. It's a method of oppression that twists however it needs to in order to protect the in-groups and punish the out-groups. There are countless, countless American white supremacists who have last names that would not have passed muster as "white" 50 or 100 years ago. It doesn't stop them, and it's not going to stop Latino-surnamed racists from pitching in either.
So no, having a name like "Garcia" doesn't make a person immune to far-right ideology, not for someone who is far more obsessed with anti-Black bigotry, anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, anti-trans eliminationism, incel-premised vitriol against women, Nazi fetishism, and the other linchpins of the far right. This newest far-right terrorist latched onto all of it as premise for his violence while smugly acknowledging, on video, the discrepancy that now has Musk and other white nationalists vowing that he couldn't possibly be one of them.
If you were wondering where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Republican lawmakers are as yet another mass murder in their state makes national news, the answer is that none of them give a single damn.. They do not care. They did not care after Uvalde, and they do not care now. After this new mass murder, a Texas House committee has pushed forward a proposal to raise the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to 21, up from 18, but there's little expectation that the bill would be rushed through the House, Senate, and to Abbott's desk in the scant time remaining in the current legislative session; the last day for it to pass the House would be this Thursday. The move instead appears to have been hastily orchestrated so that state Democrats could not use a parliamentary move to force the proposal to the House floor, daring Republicans to vote against it.
But the proposal does indicate that Republicans can distinguish between semiautomatic rifles and other guns if they damn well want to, which is a distinction gun fetishists have insisted can't possibly be made. It turns out that "semi-automatic rifle with detachable magazine" is a very easy distinction after all, and that AR-15-style weapons of the sort that removed the entire face of one child the most recent murderer targeted could be taken out of the hands of at least some potential future killers if the Republican Party cared enough to even try. Don't hold your breath.
As for Musk and his collection of far-right extremists who explain to mentally unstable aspirational killers in Texas and other states that immigrants, Black Americans, LGBTQ Americans, schoolteachers, doctors, university professors, scientists, Democrats, and others are enemies all allied in conspiratorial schemes to silence them, there is even less hope there. Musk blew $44 billion of his money and his entire scaly reputation in an attempt to protect and promote such conspiracies; he does not give a shit about the resulting violence. If he did, he wouldn't be reinstating the previously banned accounts of violence-peddling white supremacists to begin with.
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