As the world is paralyzed by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), some violent non-state actors have welcomed the global pandemic as an opportunity to push their propaganda and ideology, and perhaps to strike at their perceived foes. White supremacist extremists see the pandemic as confirmation of many of the movement’s preexisting beliefs, and as an opportunity to pursue their violent aims, as the virus induces anxiety related to the economy, immigration, and uncertainty over the future.
A group known as “accelerationists,” in particular, has seized on the pandemic. Online, they have advanced a raft of conspiracy theories, disinformation, and hateful propaganda accusing Jews and migrants of responsibility for starting and spreading the virus, respectively. Accelerationists believe that the social upheaval they promote, which is viewed as a necessary prelude that will usher in the rebuilding of society on the basis of white power, has been made plausible by the scenes of illness and death dominating mainstream news coverage.
Source: The Foreign Policy Research Institute