A Republican state lawmaker has suggested that the racially motivated shooting at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket was staged by federal agents. Arizona GOP lawmaker Wendy Rogers claimed a right-wing conspiracy theory on Saturday stating that a government agent was responsible for a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York.
The claim is quite similar to far-right conspiracy theories that mass massacres are government "false flag" conspiracies to justify restricting citizens' rights. At least 10 people were killed and several injured after an 18-year-old Payton Gendron uploaded a racist manifesto before targeting Black people in a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket.
Raising False Flag
Hours after it was revealed that Gendron, a white supremacist, targeted Black people during the mass shooting at the Buffalo supermarket, Rogers cited a right-wing conspiracy theory suggesting that it was carried out by a federal agent.
"Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo," Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers wrote on Telegram. With fiery comments, ardent support for former President Donald Trump, and an embrace of white nationalism, Rogers, a first-term politician, has created a national prominence among far-right extremists.
Authorities say Gendron, the suspect in Buffalo shooting, livestreamed the crime and invoked racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in a manifesto posted online. According to The New York Times, the manifesto was filled with racist ideas and references to the "great replacement" conspiracy theory, which claims that white Americans are being replaced by people of color.
Eleven of the 13 victims were African-American. Following the attack, extremism specialists noted a similarity between mass shooter language and those of elected Republican figures.
Several mass shooters, including the El Paso, Texas, gunman who killed 23 people at a Walmart in 2019 and the New Zealand shooter who massacred 51 people at two Christchurch mosques, have used "great replacement" rhetoric in their online writings.
Rogers now faces an ethics investigation for making the inflammatory statements on Twitter regarding the racist attack at the Buffalo supermarket.
Rogers, the state senator for Arizona's 6th legislative district, has openly endorsed white nationalism. She is a member of the far-right Oath Keepers so-called militia, and while in government, she has been criticized for propagating unfounded far-right conspiracy theories.
"We Americans who love this country are being replaced by people who do not love this country," Rogers tweeted in July. "I will not back down from this statement. Communists & our enemies are using mass immigration, education, big tech, big corporations & other strategies to accomplish this."
She was censured by the Arizona Senate in March after her aggressive remarks received bipartisan condemnation. She addressed the white nationalist America First Political Action Conference in Florida in February. She called Nick Fuentes, a renowned white supremacist and Holocaust denier, a "patriot" during her speech.
Interestingly, Fuentes, a fringe white supremacist, also peddled the baseless idea that the Buffalo shooting was carried out by a federal agent. The APAC white nationalist conference, which Rogers attended via video link in February, was organized by Fuentes.