Environment

‘Eco-fascist’ violence targets old scapegoats for new fears

by Zack BudrykThe Hill

Mass shooting suspects, including the man arrested for the recent Buffalo, N.Y., grocery store massacre, are increasingly invoking the so-called eco-fascist movement, which launders racist and anti-immigrant conspiracy theories through the lens of environmentalism.

The Buffalo suspect, who has been charged with the murder of 10 predominantly Black shoppers at a grocery store, identified as an eco-fascist. Similar sentiments can be found in the writings of shooters in New Zealand and El Paso, Texas, who targeted Muslims and Latinos, respectively.

As the climate crisis intensifies and leads to increased migration and political instability, experts say the problem is likely to get worse.

In practice, the term refers to “a kind of political ideology that combines fascism with some kind of environmental or ecological focus,” said Matthew Lyons, author of “Insurgent Supremacists: The U.S. Far Right’s Challenge to State and Empire” and co-author with Chip Berlet of “Right-Wing Populism in America.”

Typically, Lyons said, this equates to scapegoating groups like immigrants and nonwhites for the climate crisis, environmental degradation and the depletion of natural resources.

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Categories: Environment

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