Alleged shooter Payton Gendron rejects being conservative: “I want no part of it.”
- Payton Gendron (18) reportedly shot and killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York Saturday afternoon, targeting a supermarket, Tops Friendly Market, in the heart of a predominantly Black community.
- Officials said 11 of the 13 people shot by Gendron, whose ages ranged from 20 to 86, were Black.
- “This was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia said the day of the shooting, calling the horrible event a “straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community.”
- A Washington Post op-ed published Monday attempted to align the alleged shooter’s actions with “right-wing rhetoric,” arguing that mainstream Republicans would have agreed with Gendron “at every step until the trigger was pulled” because conservatives support gun rights, strong borders, and election integrity. Rolling Stone likewise called Gendron a “Mainstream Republican.”
- But in his alleged manifesto, Gendron himself rejects conservatism. “Are you a conservative?” Gendron asks himself in the document. “No,” he responds to himself. “Conservatism is corporatism in disguise, I want no part of it.”
- In another section, Gendron explains that when he was 12 years old, he “was deep into communist ideology.” “Talk to anyone from my old highschool and ask about me and you will hear that,” he writes, going on to say that from “age 15 to 18 however, I consistently moved farther to the right. On the political compass I fall in the mild-moderate authoritarian left category, and I would prefer to be called a populist.”
- “I would prefer to call myself a populist,” Gendron reiterates elsewhere. “But you can call me an ethno-nationalist eco-fascist national socialist if you want, I wouldn’t disagree with you.”
- Gendron also writes that he is not a Christian. “Are you a Christian?” Gendron asks himself. “No. I do not ask God for salvation by faith, nor do I confess my sins to Him,” he answers. “I personally believe there is no afterlife. I do however believe in and practice many Christian values.”
NPR WON’T CALL IT A “MANIFESTO”:
- NPR, a U.S. taxpayer-funded news organization, published a piece titled “Why NPR isn’t using the word ‘manifesto’” immediately following the Buffalo shooting. The article explains the media org won’t call Gendron’s 180-page document a “manifesto” because to do so “gives [the document] a level of credibility that furthers the shooter’s aims.” “Not using the word ‘Manifesto’ in no way deprives our audience of information, it helps deprive the shooter of the platform he was looking for,” NPR goes on to say.
- However, Gendron himself refers to his document as a “manifesto” explicitly. “Is this your complete writings and views?” the alleged shooter asks himself of his own document before responding, “My discord transcript should also be available, which is much less formal than this and covers some personal and other information. I would have put a lot more work into this manifesto if I had the time to.”
- The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the shooting “as a hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism,” a statement from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland explains.
- Payton S. Gendron of Conklin, New York, was charged with first degree murder Saturday, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said in a news release. Gendron pleaded not guilty.
- The case is being prosecuted by Chief Gary W. Hackbush of the Homicide Unit and Chief John P. Feroleto of the Major Crimes Unit.