Synagogue shooter echoed a Fox News refrain about immigrant 'invaders' as he prepared to kill
“HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people,” Robert Bowers wrote in his final post on the alt-right social media site Gab before he went to the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and murdered 11 Jewish people. “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” It’s a brutal statement of intent to massacre wrapped in a conspiracy theory about about immigrant “invaders that kill our people.” And that invaders part came straight from Fox News.
On Fox News, the word “invasion” was used in relation to the caravan more than 60 times in October, according to closed captioning transcripts. (This includes repeats of programs.) “Invading” was brought up more than a dozen times.
On Fox Business, the word “invasion” was invoked more than 75 times in October, mostly on Lou Dobbs’ program.
Fox’s Tucker Carlson referenced an “invasion” as early as October 16.
Those are asylum-seekers hundreds of miles away, walking toward the United States, many of them carrying their young children, in the hope that they can legally apply for asylum in this country. To Fox News, they’re “invading.” To Robert Bowers, they’re invading with the help of Jews. At least two Trump-supporting members of Congress, a Fox News host, and the NRA point to George Soros as a possible funder of the migrant group.
Republican hatred of immigrants is rapidly dovetailing with what has traditionally been veiled anti-Semitism, and starting to pull that veil right off. It’s scary times as Republican hatred of everyone who’s not like them is coming together into a unified, violent conspiracy theory.