There’s been thousands of miles of destruction all across the west coast. And as agitated and polarized as we are, political narratives have emerged—the wildfire being a fresh setting for a well known story.
Backgrounded by a year of riots, protest, Molotov cocktails, and destruction plenty, the right-wing story is that Antifa have began setting forest fires. Of course, if you’ve been watching clips of rioters throwing firebombs all summer, that’s not a particular difficult story to believe. In fact, that would make perfect sense. This tweet about sums it up:
The left wing story, on the other hand, is that there are swaths of right-wing QAnon conspiracists terrorizing the community (either out of malice, stupidity, or both).
something non-Oregonians might not know is that white militias are setting up “checkpoints” along evacuation routes to look for “antifa” who they believe are setting the fires— bletchley punk (@alicegoldfuss) September 12, 2020
we have layers of terror over here https://t.co/07noUhC3v3
Part of the story I’m seeing on the left is that the right-wingers are poor whites who buy into this because they’re gullible and/or uneducated. The New York Times’characterization of one such person shows this frame quite clearly:
“I’m protecting my city,” Troy McNeeley said as he stood in front of the 900-square foot home he shares with his son, his son’s partner and several cats. “If I see people doing crap, I’m going to hurt them.”
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It’s not my place to take any normative position with this project, but I think this wildfire disaster is, in reality, a non-partisan tragedy. So you’re so inclined, here’s a link to where you can donate to the relief fund.