Rightwing Militia Creeps Holding Reporters At Gunpoint In Oregon
Left coast rightwingers have been in a bit of a bind over the last few days. There are wildfires everywhere, and wildfires are obviously a bad time for everyone — people are scared, they have to leave their homes (which they may not be able to ever come back to), and it's all happening during an already stressful time when there is a freaking pandemic. The conservative line for many years has been that climate change is not a real thing or a problem and humans can definitely go on destroying the environment for fun and profit for years to come, but experts are saying that these fires that no one likes are caused by climate change! How is that fair?
Now, it's unlikely that the Right is going to suddenly change its tune on climate change. They know their representatives have to rely heavily on money from companies that don't want environmental regulations so they really, really, really do not want the cause of the wildfires to be climate change, which it is. They want it to be something else, something that they feel makes them look good as opposed to something that makes them look bad. So they're going on social media and spreading rumors that actually, the fires are being caused by evil Antifa arsonists who for some reason are very far left and yet do not care very much about the environment.
This tweet, from Paul J. Romero, who recently lost the Republican primary for an open Oregon state Senate seat to equally wacky candidate Jo Rae Perkins, claimed that six "ANTIFA arsonists" were arrested in Douglas County, Oregon.
@DWLee333 @peabodyfmdev @realDonaldTrump @JennaEllisEsq @michaelbeatty3 Oregon is on fire! Pallet Company in Orego… https://t.co/aEDeteADZ8— Paul J. Romero, Jr. for GOV. of OREGON 🤠🇺🇸 (@Paul J. Romero, Jr. for GOV. of OREGON 🤠🇺🇸)1599635711.0
It was included in a QAnon post, which led to a whole bunch of QAnon wackos calling up the Douglas County Sheriff's Office to share their thoughts and feelings about this thing that absolutely did not happen.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office has since had to put out notices on social media telling people that this never happened and begging them to stop calling.
The police in Medford had to issue a similar warning after a fake screengrab made it look as though they had arrested someone for causing the fires.
Not that this has mattered to those who are spreading these rumors.
In what appears to be a response to these rumors, a bunch of armed rightwing militia types have set up their very own checkpoints for the purpose of interrogating people they think might be "Antifa," at gunpoint. Journalists Sergio Olmos, Justin Yau, and Alisa Azar were traveling together to document the fires when all three were accosted by a few of these lunatics and told to get the fuck out, lest they start any forest fires.
“Get the fuck out of here” is what they said https://t.co/SGUsgEVR71— Sergio Olmos (@Sergio Olmos)1599774826.0
We’re safe. It’s scary knowing there are people who legitimately think “antifa liberals” are setting these towns on… https://t.co/aNXYroGWO7— Alissa Azar (@Alissa Azar)1599769065.0
There's a part of me that thinks we may have been slightly better off when the rightwing line was that all natural disasters obviously caused by climate change were actually caused by God being super mad about feminists and gay people existing. At least that appeared to involve fewer guns.
Historically, people believing that the people they are mad at are going around setting fires when those people are not, in fact, setting fires, has not ended well.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse