A wave of backlash against Rolling Stone erupted after the magazine published an opinion piece Sunday calling the man accused of killing 10 people on Saturday in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, a ”mainstream Republican.”
Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, New York, is charged with murder after traveling more than 200 miles from his home in Broome County to a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo where he shot 13 people, 11 of them Black, two white, killing 10, on Saturday, The Associated Press reported.
According to the report, authorities said the attack was a result of ”racially motivated violent extremism.”
”This was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia told the news outlet. ”It was [a] straight up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community, outside of the City of Good Neighbors … coming into our community and trying to inflict that evil upon us.”
A ”manifesto” circulated online believed to be from Gendron purportedly contains racist, antisemitic and anti-immigrant beliefs that call for people of non-European descent to be driven out of the country.
It was this unconfirmed document that the Rolling Stone opinion piece concentrated on, tying it to the Republican Party.
”The gnawing fear of a minority-white America has utterly consumed conservative politics for the past half-decade, creating a Republican party whose dual obsessions with nativism and white fertility have engendered a suite of policies engineered to change the nature of the body politic,” Talia Lavin wrote in Rolling Stone on Sunday.
”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.”
The assertion in the opinion piece immediately drew a backlash on Twitter.
”So, Rolling Stone is giving a platform to the idiot who falsely accused a handicapped ICE employee of having a Nazi tattoo,” Washington Free Beacon investigative reporter Chuck Ross posted.
So Rolling Stone is giving platform to the idiot who falsely accused a handicapped ICE employee of having a Nazi tattoo https://t.co/O2yeLKlTIr— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) May 15, 2022
The author, Lavin, was let go from The New Yorker in 2018 after three years as a fact-checker, when she tweeted an accusation that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who uses a wheelchair had a Nazi tattoo, which turned out to be a Maltese Cross, frequently worn by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Wrap reported in 2019.
I bet you there are people at ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and Washington Post who KNOW Republicans in their families and neighborhoods who know the right isn't a terrorist organization. But they don't care and will share that NYT or Rolling Stone story.— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 16, 2022