White supremacist “accelerationists” have seized on the standoff as the potential beginning of a civil war that will destroy the United States and allow them to build a white nation in its ruins, according to Alex Friedfeld, a researcher at the Anti-Defamation League.
“The story they’re telling is that the Jews and immigrants are responsible for turning Virginia blue, and they’re coming to take your guns,” Friedfeld said. (Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire philanthropist and presidential candidate, is Jewish, and the gun violence prevention advocacy group he founded touted an investment of $2.5m in Virginia’s 2019 elections to back local lawmakers who support gun control.)
To white supremacists, Virginia looks like a perfect example of their ideology: “You’ve got white replacement. You’ve got what they’re calling Jewish gun grabbers, and the people rising up, saying the government is illegitimate.”