Conspiracy Theory – Sekt Info Fri, 20 May 2022 14:55:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Conspiracy Theory – Sekt Info 32 32 The Republican embrace of the ‘great replacement’ theory | The report Fri, 20 May 2022 09:09:41 +0000

No one was harder on Republicans’ lack of awareness of minority communities, and the party’s accompanying losses at the polls, than the GOP itself. In a brutally candid self-examination, the party concluded in 100 pages “autopsyof the 2012 election that he focused too much attention on white, Christian, and straight Americans, ignoring demographic shifts that threatened to render an unchanged GOP irrelevant.

“If Hispanic Americans hear that the GOP doesn’t want them in the United States, they won’t pay attention to our next sentence. No matter what we say about education, jobs, or the economy,” warned the 2013 report. “If Hispanics think we don’t want them here, they’ll turn a blind eye to our policies. Essentially, Hispanic voters are telling us that our party’s stance on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we meet with a welcome mat or a closed door.”

Nine years later, the dialogue has taken a much uglier turn, with substantial numbers of Americans embracing the “great replacement” theory, the discredited argument that welcoming immigrant policies are a disguise for a plot to “replace” native-born (and usually white) Americans with minority groups. In its most extreme and violent form, the alternative grand conspiracy theory was cited by racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and in an online screed that authorities say was written by the shooter who killed 10 black people in a Buffalo supermarket last Saturday. .

The ‘great replacement’ is similar to the premise of 19th century ‘racial suicide’, the concern that Catholics coming from Ireland would overwhelm the Protestant population with higher birth rates, says Travis Foster, a professor at the ‘Villanova University, author of the book “Gender and White Supremacy in the Post-Emancipation United States.”

“It’s a different version of what we see today – this idea that the Democrats are going to open the border, and so it will lead to South and Central Americans becoming the dominant race in the United States,” said Foster.

A far cry from the racist “separate but equal” policies of the mid-20th century (which were endorsed by conservative Southern Democrats), proponents of the replacement theory don’t want separate lives for minorities, experts say. They want to completely exclude non-whites from the country.

Photos: Buffalo mourns the victims of the shooting

“They are ready to act against what they see as a threat to the white supremacist world, what they see as a traditional world,” he adds.

In Republican politics, the idea — if not the exact language — of the “great replacement” has been woven into campaigns against the Democrats.

Several GOP candidates have used the word “replace” when talking about immigration and demographic shifts, while elected officials have been more circumspect, warning of the threat of unchecked immigration while refusing to denounce, in particular, the concept of the “great replacement” theory.

JD Vance, the Republican Senate nominee from Ohio, told Fox News that Democrats “have decided that they cannot be reelected in 2022 unless they bring in a large number of new voters to replace voters who are already there”. In Arizona, GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters said Democrats want to increase immigration “to change the demographics of our country.” Republican Missouri State Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is running for the Senate, also accused Democrats of “fundamentally trying to change the country” through immigration.

These remarks were all made before the shooting in Buffalo.

Since the attack at the Tops supermarket in a heavily black Buffalo neighborhood, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has been asked by Capitol Hill reporters if he was speaking out against the theory. McConnell condemned racism in general and called the shooter a “deranged young man”, but refused to explicitly dismiss the concept of a “great replacement”.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Republican from New York who is on the GOP House leadership team, also came under fire for buying Facebook ads accusing Democrats of encouraging illegal immigration to ‘upset our electorate. current”.

Representative Elise Stefanik, center, speaks to reporters near the US-Mexico border as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and others look on.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The advertisements and comments do not call for any violence and do not specifically refer to the “great replacement”. But it taps into fear of immigrants and “others,” political analysts and social scientists say, running completely counter to the GOP’s own course-correcting document.

“It’s so much easier to get people to identify with who they are not than who they are – pointing fingers at others and saying, ‘We don’t want to be them’ is the easiest thing to do,” said the Republican. strategist Rick Tyler, who served as communications director for Senator Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign.

But that strategy is ultimately doomed for the GOP, Tyler notes.

“The irony is that the whole idea of ​​replacement theory is that other groups will treat you as badly as you treated them when they’re in the majority,” he says.

Echoing the big replacement themes “doesn’t make political sense. It’s just pure racism, that’s all. It’s fear of loss of identity, loss of privilege, fear of loss of dominance. It’s incredibly un-American,” says Republican consultant Mike Madrid, who is working on a book on the Latinization of America.

Republicans are appealing to this part of the electorate – aggrieved white voters who feel subsumed by other cultures and races – “because it works. It works,” Madrid says, referring to Donald Trump’s election in 2016 and the success of like-minded Republicans in some primaries this year.

A AP/NORC poll earlier this month, 32% of adults believe a group of people are trying to replace native Americans with immigrants for election gains. This group is more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, NORC spokeswoman Jennifer Benz said, and this group is also more likely to get its information from right-wing sources.

On paper, directing a political message to exploit the fears of a group of white voters doesn’t add up. The country should become majority-minority by 2044, the Census Bureau projectsand — as the GOP autopsy revealed — a party that fails to adapt to these demographic shifts will lose.

In the long run, the GOP risks alienating the groups of voters it will need to win the election, Tyler says. But for now, whipping that element of the blank vote — increasing turnout in key races — can make a short-term difference.

GOP candidates “can win elections by making people realize who they are not,” Tyler says. “The answer is always the same,” he says. “It’s (what works) this cycle.”

Future election cycles will almost certainly include more voters of color. But for now, it’s the Democrats who look set to be replaced this fall — by Republicans.

Why do so many people believe in conspiracy theories? Wed, 18 May 2022 10:02:36 +0000
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Ten black Americans were reportedly killed in a Buffalo supermarket by a white gunman promoting a racist conspiracy theory. A congressional candidate who supports QAnon has won a Republican primary. Pennsylvania Senate primary candidate Kathy Barnette has repeatedly spread the conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama is a Muslim. Tucker Carlson and Glenn Greenwald spread the lie that the United States is secretly funding biological weapons research in Ukraine, part of a wider campaign to spread misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic.

Conspiracy theories play an outsized role in American politics.

In the past, such theories simmered in fringe movements. Today, many elected officials, media personalities, and political candidates have embraced these theories in their campaigning and outreach. And a growing number of Americans agree with some or more of these seemingly outlandish ideas.

Why is the United States seeing such a growing acceptance of conspiracy theories? Social science research suggests that extreme polarization, political anxiety and a rapidly changing media environment may help explain the rapid spread.

QAnon and the “Great Replacement” Plot

QAnon first appeared in late 2017 on a website called 4chan, known as a breeding ground for conspiratorial and violent rhetoric. Someone who claimed to be a government employee with a special security clearance called “Q Clearance Patriot” and vowed to expose a “deep state” cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who allegedly control the US government.

The cabal is said to be made up of prominent liberal celebrities and Democratic politicians who capture children to sell them for sex trafficking. Former President Donald Trump was supposed to be his messiah figure, rescuing children and publicly executing their captors.

QAnon believers have tried to use its basic framework to explain the pandemic, 5G technology and the “Big Lie” election conspiracy theory. QAnon is what some scholars call a “big tent” conspiracy theory, meaning it seeks to continually expand and absorb all related sub-theories. QAnon’s false claims have coalesced into an extremist ideology that has radicalized its followers. He incited violence and criminal acts, and the FBI has designated him as a domestic terrorism threat.

The “great replacement” theory similarly claims that a powerful cabal seeks to “replace” white Americans by bringing in non-white immigrants and manipulating birth rates. The theory has been touted by Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Arizona), among others. These shared beliefs are what researchers who study conspiracy theories have called “monological” belief systems, meaning that if people believe in conspiracy theories at all, they are likely to believe in more than one.

Why aren’t Americans more alarmed by white supremacist violence?

How polarization and political anxiety fuel the spread of conspiracy theories

Political polarization is not new to the United States. This means that fewer Americans hold moderate political views; Americans are more generally less willing to listen to the other side’s ideas. But beginning in the 2000s, researchers found that many Americans were beginning to experience what’s called “emotional polarization,” in which mainstream Republicans and Democrats disliked and distrusted anyone who identified with the other party, their party identity becoming more personal and tribal.

This results in an extreme in-group/out-group bias, where supporters are more likely to believe conspiracy theories about “the other” group. With such extreme dislike, some people are beginning to feel justified in doing anything, including resorting to violence, to supposedly protect their perceived community — as the accused Buffalo shooter did.

Finally, affective polarization also works with political anxiety, or intense and persistent worry about political topics, to fuel the spread of conspiracy theories. Political scientists Bethany Albertson and Shana Kushner Gadarian find that political anxiety makes people want to know more about politics, but causes them to pay close attention to threatening or frightening information. In the Buffalo suspect’s screed, for example, he claims he was drawn to these conspiracy theories while browsing the internet during the covid-19 shutdowns.

Social networks facilitate the spread of conspiracy theories

In the 18th and 19th centuries, conspiracy theories spread mainly through the print media. That changed in the late 1920s, when Catholic priest Charles Coughlin used his popular radio show to spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and promote fascist politicians. Some argue that Fox News host Carlson is the modern-day Coughlin.

However, print media, radio, and cable television generally only allow information to flow in one direction, from the source to the audience. Internet and social media platforms have dramatically changed that. QAnon believers discuss their conspiracy theories on Twitter, Gab, Facebook, YouTube, and Telegram, among other platforms. The Buffalo shooting was streamed live on Twitch, a popular video game streaming platform, and the suspect posted his screed on 4chan.

Interactive media helps users cultivate a sense of community and belonging, more than just reading an article or watching a show. While an article can elicit an emotion or push someone to seek more information, social media and emotional polarization can elicit feelings of being on the same team.

Some say the United States is heading for civil war. History suggests something colder.

“Gamification” further spreads conspiracy theories

My thesis research on QAnon builds on the growing field of gaming and extremism research and investigates how QAnon has “gamified” conspiracy theories. Researchers use the term “gamification” to refer to everyday systems designed to motivate users and shape their behavior, using the types of rewards you get for playing a game. For example, Starbucks has a rewards program that uses games and challenges to entice customers to keep buying their products, offering chances to win discounts or free products.

The Buffalo suspect may have felt a sense of community and responsibility to white supremacist digital communities where he first learned of the ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory and where he discussed his alleged plans. He sought recognition and reassurance that his alleged actions would serve his “team”. While he reportedly live-streamed his shooting, he was likely performing for his viewers, as has happened in previous racially charged attacks.

In the past, theorists like historian Richard Hofstadter, who wrote the influential essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” have treated conspiracy theories as pathological, leading some policymakers to dismiss them. But more recently, political scientists J. Eric Oliver and Thomas J. Wood have argued that conspiracy theories should be treated as part of public opinion.

Conspiracy theories, fueled by extreme political polarization and anxiety, have found a new stronghold in our digital media ecosystem. Until we understand how these platforms work, we are likely to see more heartbreaking tragedies.

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Margaret Appleby is a PhD student at Virginia Tech studying conspiracy theories, white nationalism and extremism.

]]> Liz Cheney Slams House GOP Leaders, Says They ‘Enabled White Nationalism’ Mon, 16 May 2022 17:37:30 +0000

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney on Monday accused her party’s leaders of enabling “white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism” days after a gunman killed 10 people and injured three others in the incident. which authorities called a racist attack targeting a community in Buffalo, NY, for its predominantly black population.

Cheney’s comments come as Republican party members have been slammed for echoing the racist ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory that the suspect allegedly cited in an online document. Authorities said they were still working to confirm the authenticity of the racist 180-page document allegedly written by 18-year-old Payton Gendron.

Cheney, a representative from Wyoming and a frequent critic of members of her own party, said on Twitter on Monday that “House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends up much worse. [GOP] leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who defend them.

Officials said Gendron, who has been charged with first-degree murder, allegedly researched the demographics of the area where he carried out the shooting in an act of “racially motivated violent extremism.” Of the 13 people killed On Saturday at Buffalo’s Tops Friendly Market, 11 were black.

Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, the No. 3 Republican in the House, has been criticized by the Democratic National Committee for peddling baseless conspiracy theory themes in campaign ads. A Facebook ad posted in September 2021 by Stefanik’s campaign committee falsely claimed that “radical Democrats” were planning a “PERMANENT ELECTION UPRISING,” according to the Washington Post. The ad showed President Biden wearing sunglasses with migrants in the reflection and said, “Their amnesty plan for 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.”

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who has also been a vocal critic of his own party members, drew attention to Stefanik’s ads on Twitter on Saturday and called out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. to answer.

“Did you know: [Stefanik] Does White Replacement Theory Drive? The No. 3 in the House GOP. [Cheney] was fired for demanding the truth. [McCarthy] should be asked about it,” the tweet read. It included a link to a Newsweek article from September 2021 describing the blistering response from The Albany Times Union editorial board to his campaign announcement.

In a Monday press release, Stefanik said, “Our nation is heartbroken and saddened to hear the tragic news and horrific loss of life in Buffalo, NY.” But the statement was titled “Statement on Shameful, Dishonest and Dangerous Media Defamation”.

A senior adviser to Stefanik, Alex De Grasse, said in the same statement that Stefanik “has never taken a racist position or made a racist statement.”

The racist conspiracy theory has also been peddled by Fox News personalities like Tucker Carlson. An analysis by The New York Times found that Carlson mentioned versions of the theory in more than 400 episodes of his top-rated Fox show.

Amanda Kaufman can be contacted at Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1.

10 Killed in Buffalo Shooting: ‘Racially Motivated Hate Crime’ Sat, 14 May 2022 22:15:50 +0000

Updated at 10:50 p.m. ET

Ten people were killed and three others injured on Saturday in a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, which the FBI called “a case of racially motivated violent extremism.”

The shooter – identified by The Associated Press as Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, New York – was arrested by police after the shooting at Tops Friendly Market, where Gendron fired approximately 60 shots from a handgun. military quality. .

Gendron wore military-style clothing, a bulletproof vest and helmet, and was armed with a high-powered rifle. He had apparently traveled more than 200 miles to attack the supermarket, located in a predominantly black neighborhood. Eleven of the 13 people shot were black, officials said, while the other two were white.

“The shooter was not from this community,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said Saturday. “In fact, the shooter traveled hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime against the people of Buffalo.”

The Associated Press reports that the supermarket was located in a predominantly black neighborhood outside of downtown Buffalo. Three of the victims were shot and killed in the parking lot in front of the store, the Buffalo News reported, before Gendron entered Tops and opened fire. After leaving the supermarket, he encountered officers.

When the police arrived, Gendron first threatened to kill himself. “He was standing there in his military gear with his gun to his chin, looking like he was going to blow his head off,” witness Braedyn Kaphart told the Buffalo News. “We weren’t sure what was going on. As he continued to do this, he fell to his knees, always looking ready to shoot himself. Police eventually handcuffed Gendron and was questioned by the FBI on Saturday evening.

Gendron reportedly posted an ugly and unbalanced manifesto online, even for an alleged mass murderer. In it, he talks about becoming radicalized after reading a 4chan forum in his “extreme boredom” during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. “I was not born racist nor raised to be racist. I just became a racist after learning the truth.

The document touts past racist killings and pushes the conspiracy theory that white people are facing extinction and are being “replaced” by immigrants and people of color. It’s a baseless notion that’s been widely promoted on far-right fringes, from neo-Nazi Charlottesville marchers to Tucker Carlson’s Fox News shows.

“It was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said at a news conference. “It was [a] a racially motivated hate crime by someone outside of our community… coming into our community and trying to inflict this harm on us.

The New York Times reports that Gendron pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and was held without bond in a brief arraignment Saturday night. “I understand my accusations,” he said. The next hearing is scheduled for Thursday, May 19.

“Our hearts are with the community and all those affected by this terrible tragedy,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “Hate and racism have no place in America. We are shocked, extremely angry and praying for the families and loved ones of the victims.”

“I’m watching the grocery store shooting in Buffalo closely,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a native of Buffalo. tweeted Saturday. “We offered assistance to the local authorities. If you are in Buffalo, please avoid the area and follow the advice of law enforcement and local authorities.

President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland were also briefed on the shooting, the New York Times reported, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was at the scene of the shooting. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that President Biden “will continue to receive updates throughout [Saturday] tonight and tomorrow as new information develops. The President and First Lady pray for those who have been lost and for their loved ones.

In a statement, Garland said the Justice Department is “investigating this matter as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism.”

Tops Friendly Markets said in a statement: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”

According to Twitch, Gendron live-streamed the mass shooting on the platform – police said he had a camera attached to his helmet during the attack – and left behind a “manifesto” touting the theories of the conspiracy of white supremacy. Buffalo police did not confirm the reports, but said they were investigating to see if the attack was racially motivated. Twitch said in A declaration that Gendron’s purported “user” account has been suspended and that they are working to ensure the live stream is not rebroadcast.

“Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works quickly to respond to all incidents,” the company said.

The Buffalo shooting is the latest racially motivated mass murder inspired by white supremacy theories. In November 2018, 46-year-old Robert Gregory Bowers entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 people. In March 2019, Brenton Tarrant visited two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, shooting dead 51 people and injuring 40 others. Like Gendron, Tarrant live-streamed the massacre and wrote a white supremacy-themed manifesto. The 74-page document was called The Great Replacement, a reference to the right-wing conspiracy theory that non-European populations replace white people. Five months later, a 21-year-old far-right gunman named Patrick Wood Crusius killed 23 people and injured 23 others at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Among the “deplorable” set – those for whom this “grand replacement theory” has genuine cultural value – Saturday’s mass shooting draws a mixture of defensiveness, denial and deflection.

Nick Fuentes — the young white supremacist who laments the “white genocide”; leads the Groyper movement online; and organizes the annual America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) – took on his Telegram channel as news of the killings broke immediately (and without proof) insisted it was a “false flag” offensive.

Laura Loomer — the alt-right troll running for Congress from Florida — initially made a tenuous attempt to link the shooting to current abortion politics, write on Telegram“Planned Parenthood still targeted and killed more black people than the Buffalo supermarket shooter. Facts matter.

In a later post, Loomer, who is Jewish, then attempted to counter the shooter’s apparent anti-Semitism: “Anyone who hates Jews just to hate Jews is stupid and has a low IQ,” she wrote. “There is no reason to blindly hate Jews.” With that disclaimer out of the way, Loomer then launched into a defense of the big substitution panic that would have motivated the shooter. “Worrying about replacement theory is not a radical position either,” Loomer wrote, insisting: “The war on white people is VERY REAL.”

VDARE, the virulently anti-immigrant organization designated a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, did not directly respond to the shooting, but post on his Telegram account an article clearly intended as a diversion, titled: “Whites are responsible for less than 3% of all mass shootings in 2022 so far, but black attacks are soaring”, filled with a photo of Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James.

Rising GOP candidate Kathy Barnette has a long history of bigoted statements against gays and Muslims Thu, 12 May 2022 22:50:00 +0000 In a speech uploaded to YouTube in 2015, Barnette forcefully argued that it was acceptable to discriminate against Muslims and likened rejection of Islam to “…rejection of Hitler’s or Stalin’s worldviews “. In comments on her radio show, she said accepting homosexuality would lead to accepting incest and paedophilia. An article she wrote called a transgender person “deformed” and “demonic”.
Barnette surged in recent polls in Pennsylvania’s upcoming Republican U.S. Senate primary, putting her in a stalemate between former Donald Trump-backed TV star Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund manager David McCormick. The Pennsylvania Senate seat is one of the best pick-up opportunities for Democrats in November, and Barnette’s sudden and rapid rise has Trump allies worried.
Barnette has seen a rapid and unexpected rise in the polls ahead of next Tuesday’s primary. She is best known as an Army Reserve veteran and conservative political commentator who appeared regularly on Fox, and previously was the host of a Christian radio show called “Truth Exchange”, which also had a website on which she sometimes blogged. She previously ran for Congress in 2020 in Pennsylvania’s 4th congressional district, but lost to Democratic Representative Madeleine Dean.

Barnette’s campaign did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

anti-gay comments

In posts and comments on his radio show, Barnette has frequently condemned being gay and transgender.

“Two men sleeping together, two men holding hands, two men caressing each other, that’s not normal,” she said on her radio show in July 2015, when a Supreme Court ruling paved the way for same-sex marriage.

On the same show, Barnette argued that accepting same-sex marriage would lead to a “slippery slope” of accepting incest and pedophilia, in an episode that was removed from his SoundCloud page after KFile’s CNN has reached out to the Barnette campaign for comment.

“If love is the litmus test, who are we to say, well, your love is legitimate love, same-sex couples, but your love, father and daughter, is not legitimate. Or your love, a man and three women, is not legitimate, or an older man and a 12-year-old child If love is the litmus test, it becomes a very slippery slope. let’s meet today.

In a 2015 article, Barnette attacked former transgender reality star and Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner as “distorted” and “demonic”, while attacking what she called a “dam to normalize sexual perversion”. . In comments to the same article, Barnette warned of a “takeover” by the “gay agenda.”
In another show from around the same time, Barnette hosted “two ex-gays” to show “the real story behind all those happy ‘gay’ pictures we see, and God’s redeeming story in both of their lives”. A conversation featured the president of “Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX)”. In a 2010 article, Barnette wrote that the “homosexual AGENDA” seeks “dominance”. In a 2013 article, Barnette said America could not coexist with the “gay agenda”.

“The gay-aggressive agenda is coming soon to a kitchen table near you,” she wrote.

Anti-Muslim views

In tweet and messages, Barnette frequently targeted Islam and Muslims. In a post, on his website, Barnette shared an obviously doctored image of a Muslim man holding up a sign in front of the wreckage of the World Trade Center that read, “Vote Democrat! We need your help to kill you.”
Speaking in December 2015, in a speech posted online, Barnette argued that it was acceptable to discriminate against Muslims and Islam, likening it to rejecting the worldviews of Stalin and Hitler, leaders who systematically discriminated against and ordered the murder of millions of people, including Jews, people with disabilities, Slavs and homosexuals.

“You are not racist if you reject Islam, or if you reject Muslims, because they are not a race of people. They have a particular vision. They are people who have a particular vision of the world , and we have the right to discriminate against worldviews,” she said. It was a worldview. That’s how he saw the world around him. And we discriminated against him. We rejected it? Because it’s a particular view of the world that we don’t agree with.”

“We have the right to discriminate between worldviews because not all worldviews are morally equal,” she added. “Not all views are equal. So we have every right to reject it. And let me just say that I reject the way Muslims see the world.”

She tweeted in 2015, “There is nothing rational in Islam.” In other she wrote“Pedophilia is a cornerstone of Islam.”

In 2019, Barnette attacked Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan for comments she made about Trump, tweeting that she was a “Muslim” in all caps.

“Aren’t you all so happy to have voted for the first ‘open’ Palestinian Muslim? (Sarcasm for those who don’t understand sarcasm)” wrote Barnette.

Spreading Conspiracy Theories Obama Was Muslim

Barrette too frequently shared the conspiracy theory that Obama, who is a Christian, was a Muslim. Tweet derided Obama as “Muslim or from another country”.

On his radio show and in his speeches, Barnette frequently referred to Obama by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, ostensibly to imply that he was a Muslim.

“We have a president in office right now, Barack Hussein Obama,” she said in a 2015 speech. “I try to mention his name as much as possible. Thinking that at some point a light bulb is going to go off in someone’s head.”
“We don’t understand? Obama is a Muslim!” read a tweet in January 2016.
“Obama is a Muslim. Make Muslims like THINGS! » read a tweet from 2016. A tweet from 2015 called him “Muslim Obama”.

The number of Americans who say they won’t get a COVID shot hasn’t budged in a year Tue, 10 May 2022 19:15:00 +0000

West Hansen drives his muddy Subaru through the industrial landscape of Southeast Texas where he grew up – past Bible churches, donut shops and the silver industrial towers of refineries. The longtime social worker says he’s given up on explaining to his clients how safe COVID-19 vaccines are.

“I got tired of it,” he says. “I realized that there is no way to convince someone once they have made up their mind.”

He stops in the neatly trimmed courtyard of a townhouse where Donna and Danny Downes are waiting for him in their living room. She is a work from home administrator for a fencing contractor; he is a retired insurance salesman who is legally blind. They are devout Baptists.

“We don’t like vaccines because we feel like if we live healthy…we have more immunity,” she says. “And if we get it, we feel like it’s God’s will, and so we just leave it in his hands.” The virus killed Donna’s sister and sent her husband to the hospital, but they remain opposed to getting vaccinated.

“We just think it’s a big government thing where they’re trying to control the public,” Danny says.

About 66% of Americans are fully vaccinated. But as the United States approaches one million deaths from COVID-19, the death rate from the virus is mostly due to unvaccinated people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, about one in six Americans say they “definitely won’t get the vaccine,” according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“One thing that’s been really consistent across all of our surveys is the size of the group that says they’re definitely not getting vaccinated,” says Liz Hamel, vice president and director of public policy and survey research at the KFF. “It hasn’t moved for over a year.”

“Those who were most likely to say they definitely won’t get vaccinated are Republicans and people living in rural areas, as well as white evangelical Christians,” she says.

Kaiser’s survey data shows that 20% of those who say they will never get a vaccine identify as Democrats or politically independents, and 28% live in cities or suburbs.

Hansen, a 60-year-old social worker who has done this job for nearly half his life, says his clients are often elderly people who need help with their daily lives. Its role is to inform them of the government benefits and services they can access, including free vaccines.

“This reluctance to get vaccinated goes against the fact that family members have died from COVID,” he says. “They openly say, ‘Yes, my brother died of COVID,’ or ‘My mother died of COVID,’ and they still won’t get the vaccine knowing full well that’s a possibility for them.”

On another call that day, Hansen parks in front of a dilapidated house at the end of an unpaved wooded road. Inside the rooms are overrun with cats and littered with garbage. A husband and his wife, in bathrobes, stretched out in armchairs in front of a television are waiting for her.

The woman, a 57-year-old retired graphic designer named Faye, is asking that her surname not be used as she was disabled by a stroke last year and wants her medical confidentiality.

“Yes, we had polio vaccination years and years ago and it worked well,” she says. “The measles vaccine worked well. But I don’t know how long it took to get those vaccines… I felt the vaccination came out too quickly after COVID came in.”

Faye says she grounded due to a stroke last October. She was in hospital earlier this year due to complications from COVID.

“To find out months later, after people get vaccinated, they still get COVID,” she says, “So what’s the point? I just don’t believe in vaccination. fear.”

Later that week, Hansen visits Betty and Mike Spencer, a retired teacher and truck driver who live in the countryside near the San Marcos River in central Texas. The Spencers candidly admit that they believe in conspiracy theories. Mike says he watches Alex Jones’ Infowars and is wary of accepted accounts of the Kennedy assassination and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“You know,” he said with a wry smile, “there are several people who say the only difference between a conspiracy theory and the truth is six to eight months.”

As for the vaccine, Mike says he thinks it was designed as “a tool for depopulation”.

“I think there are malicious things in there that have to do with nanotechnology and transhumanism and the Internet of Things making people – possibly with 6G coming after 5G – where you’re biologically connected to the Internet at any time” he says.

For the record, COVID-19 vaccines are FDA-approved and CDC-recommended because they are safe and effective in preventing severe or fatal cases of the virus.

Not all Hansen customers are needle-averse. Elizabeth Yahr is a 78-year-old retired hairdresser who has been vaccinated. When the social worker arrives, she’s slumped over her La-Z-Boy watching TV with her family.

“I’ve seen too many people die from COVID. So it seems stupid to me not to want to get vaccinated,” she insists.

According to recent data from KFF’s COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, partisanship and political ideology play a much larger role than scientific evidence in vaccination decisions. In the survey, 56% of Republicans and 92% of Democrats said they had been vaccinated. The unvaccinated people quoted in this story all say they voted Republican in the last election. During the pandemic, misinformation about vaccines has become widespread. More and more people are wary of mainstream media and choosing their own sources of truth, according to a separate report from KFF.

“I mean, they’re mainstream,” says Faye, the retired graphic designer. “They’ll just say what the government wants them to say. I’m not an idiot.”

When asked where she got her news, Donna Downes replied, “I don’t really watch a news program,” she said. “I just do a lot of research, and people I trust, who feel the same way I do, I follow.”

When vaccines became available a year ago, Hansen thought they were a godsend because many of his clients were older, with pre-existing medical conditions. But as vaccines became increasingly politicized, he watched his clients reject them one by one.

“It’s just shocking,” Hansen says. “I mean, you offer a hand to a drowning person and they slap them and they doubt you can bring them back to shore. It’s very confusing.”

Hansen’s frustration is matched by that of Kenneth Coleman, director of Beaumont’s public health department. He says that in Jefferson County — where Beaumont is the largest city — just over half the residents are fully vaccinated, a rate that tracks state and nation. His office pleaded with people to get vaccinated.

“Beaumont is not a very big city,” says Coleman. “So nowhere is too far in Beaumont. For those who want it, (they) got it. And for those who didn’t get it, (they) just don’t want it.”

In his 30 years with the department, Coleman says he’s never seen people so opposed to common sense health practices. Today, he worries not only about another deadly variant of COVID, but also about the fundamental loss of trust in public health services.

What happens, he postulates, in the event of an epidemic of measles, meningitis or tuberculosis?

“I have people calling me,” he continues, “Well, I don’t trust anything the CDC says,” I say, “Well, when it comes to public health, there’s nothing left no one to trust anymore because the CDC is the bible of public health.'”

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Poll shows one in three adults think immigrants influence US elections Mon, 09 May 2022 18:31:06 +0000

As anti-immigrant rhetoric simmers ahead of this year’s critical midterm elections, about 1 in 3 American adults believe an effort is underway to replace native Americans with immigrants for electoral gains .

FILE – A migrant waits on the Mexican side of the border after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers detained two migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on the beach in Tijuana, Mexico on January 26 2022. About 3 in 10 also fear that increased immigration will cause native Americans to lose economic, political and cultural influence, according to a poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

Marco Ugarte/AP

About 3 in 10 people also fear that increased immigration will cause native Americans to lose economic, political and cultural influence, according to a poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to fear losing influence because of immigration, 36% to 27%.

These views reflect growing anti-immigrant sentiment embraced on social media and cable television, with conservative commentators like Tucker Carlson exploiting fears that newcomers could undermine native-born citizens.

In their most extreme manifestation, these increasingly public views in the United States and Europe tap into a decades-old conspiracy theory known as the “great replacement,” a false claim that people born in the country are being overrun by non-white immigrants who are eroding, and will eventually erase, their culture and values. The once taboo term has become the mantra of a losing conservative candidate in the recent French presidential election.

“I strongly believe that Democrats — from Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, all the way down — want to bring illegal immigrants in here and give them the right to vote immediately,” said Sally Gansz, 80. In fact, only US citizens can vote. in state and federal elections, and obtaining citizenship usually takes years.

A white Republican, Gansz has lived her entire life in Trinidad, Colorado, where about half of the population of 8,300 identify as Hispanic, with most having roots dating back centuries to Spanish settlers in the area.

“Isn’t it obvious I’m watching Fox?” joked Gansz, who said she watches the conservative channel almost daily, including the Fox News Channel show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” a leading proponent of such ideas.

“Demographic change is key to the political ambitions of the Democratic Party,” Carlson said on the show last year. “In order to gain and retain power, Democrats plan to change the nation’s population.”

These views aren’t shared by a majority of Americans — in fact, two-thirds believe the country’s diverse population makes the United States stronger, and far more supportive than opposed to a path to legal status for immigrants. smuggled into the United States as children. But the deep concerns expressed by some Americans explain how the issue energizes opponents of immigration.

“I don’t feel like immigration really affects me or undermines American values,” said Daniel Valdes, 43, a registered Democrat who works in finance for an aviation company on Space. Coast of Florida. “I’m pretty indifferent to it all.”

Valdes’ maternal grandparents came from Mexico to the United States, and he said he had “tons” of relatives in the border town of El Paso, Texas. He has Puerto Rican roots on his father’s side.

While Republicans worry more about immigration than Democrats, the most intense anxiety was for people with the greatest conspiratorial thinking tendencies. This is defined as those who are most likely to agree with a range of statements, such as much of people’s lives being “controlled by conspiracies hatched in secret places” and “big events like wars, recessions and election results are controlled by small groups of people who work in secret against the rest of us.

A total of 17% of Americans believe both that native Americans are losing influence due to the growing immigrant population and that a group of people in the United States are trying to replace native Americans with immigrants who agree with their political views. That number rises to 42% among the quarter of Americans most likely to espouse other conspiracy theories.

Alex Hoxeng, 37, a white Republican from Midland, Texas, said he finds these more extreme versions of immigration plots “a bit far-fetched” but thinks immigration could reduce American influence of strain.

“I feel like if we’re inundated with illegal immigrants, it can dilute our culture,” Hoxeng said.

Teresa Covarrubias, 62, rejects the idea that immigrants undermine the values ​​or culture of native Americans or that they are driven to strengthen the Democratic electoral base. She is registered on the electoral lists but is not aligned with any party.

“Most of the immigrants I’ve seen have a good work ethic, they pay taxes and have a strong sense of family,” said Covarrubias, a second-grade teacher in Los Angeles whose four grandparents are from Mexico to the United States. “They help our country.”

Republican leaders, including Border Governors Doug Ducey of Arizona and Greg Abbott of Texas – who is up for re-election this year – have increasingly decried what they call an “invasion”, with politicians conservatives traveling to the US-Mexico border to pose for photos next to former President Donald Trump’s border wall.

Vulnerable Democratic senators in elections this year in Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire and Nevada have joined many Republicans in calling on the Biden administration to wait until the known coronavirus-era public health rule is lifted. as Title 42 which denies migrants a chance to seek asylum. They fear this will attract more immigrants to the border than the authorities can handle.

US authorities arrested migrants more than 221,000 times at the Mexican border in March, the highest in 22 years, creating a difficult political landscape for Democrats as the Biden administration prepares to lift Title 42 authority on May 23. Pandemic powers have been used to deport migrants more than 1.8 million times since it was invoked in March 2020 on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Newly arrived immigrants are barred from voting in federal elections because they are not citizens, and obtaining citizenship is an arduous process that can take a decade or more – if successful. In most cases, they must first obtain permanent residency and then wait another five years before they can apply for citizenship.

Investigations have failed to find evidence of widespread voting by people who are ineligible, including non-citizens. For example, a Georgia audit of its voter rolls completed this year found fewer than 2,000 cases of non-citizens attempting to register and vote over the past 25 years, none of which were successful.

Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters is among the Republican candidates running for office this year who have played on concerns about the changing population.

“What the left really wants to do is change the demographics of this country,” he said in a video recorded in October. “They want to do this so they can consolidate power so they never lose another election.”


The AP-NORC survey of 4,173 adults was conducted December 1-23, 2021, using a combined sample of interviews from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the American population, and interviews online opt-in panels. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 1.96 percentage points. The AmeriSpeak panel is randomly recruited using address-based sampling methods, and respondents were then interviewed online or by telephone.

In Arizona, a Swing State turns to the far right Thu, 05 May 2022 17:14:05 +0000

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. — Kari Lake has a strategy to get elected in 2022.

Keep talking about 2020.

Minutes into her presentation at the Republican seat in Cochise County, Arizona’s southern suburbs, Ms Lake focused on the presidential election 18 months ago, calling it ‘twisted’ and “corrupt”. She claimed nearly a dozen times in a single hour that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald J. Trump, a lie the public — some of whom wore red hats reading “Trump Won” — was eager to tell. ‘hear. Ms Lake, a former local Fox presenter who won Mr Trump’s endorsement while campaigning to become Arizona’s next governor, sees the 2020 election as a key motivator in her decision to participate in the race.

“We need people with a backbone to stand up for this country – we’ve had our elections stolen from us,” Ms. Lake said in an interview after the Cochise County event in March, adding: “I don’t know if it’s a winning question. , but it’s a winning question when it comes to saving this country.

Republicans in many states are growing weary of the Stop the Steal movement and Mr. Trump’s push to reward Holocaust deniers and punish those who accept President Biden’s victory. At a time when Mr Biden’s approval ratings are plummeting, party leaders are urging candidates to focus on the economy, inflation and other kitchen table issues instead.

But 12 weeks before its Republican primary in August, Arizona is showing how firm Mr. Trump and his electoral conspiracy theories still are at all levels of the party, from local activists to top candidates statewide. . And this week’s victory for JD Vance, the author of “Hillbilly Elegy” who received the former president’s endorsement in the Republican primary for an Ohio Senate seat, shows that loyalty to Trumpism goes far in the battleground states.