On May 14, 2002, eighteen-year-old Payton Gendron walked into a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York and opened fire. He killed ten people and wounded three others, eleven of whom were Black, as he live-streamed his actions.
Prior to the attack, the assailant wrote and released a 180-page manifesto in which he described himself variously as a white supremacist, national socialist, ethno-nationalist, anti-Semite, and ecofascist.
Gendron’s screed primarily promoted the white nationalist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory. It expressed support for previous far-right mass murderers and stated that the attack was “intended to terrorize all nonwhite, non-Christian people and get them to leave the country.”
For today’s show, Thursday host Allen Ruff is joined by Spencer Sunshine, a longtime researcher of right-wing movements, to provide some context for the Buffalo massacre and a glimpse into the ultra-right universe.
Spencer Sunshine holds a PhD in sociology and has studied the far right for nearly twenty years. He is currently finishing a book on the the origins of contemporary neo-Nazi terrorist ideology.