Just one week after a man shot and killed three Black people in a Florida Dollar General with a rifle he decorated with swastikas, numerous prominent right-wing online influencers seemed to agree: the neo-Nazi groups that demonstrated just two hours south of that murder scene must have been part of a “false flag” operation staged by the federal government to smear their otherwise righteous conservative movements.
At first glance, one might begin to wonder if these clickbait hawks could be onto something. The scenes that played out around Orlando, Florida, on Saturday were almost cartoonish, after all.
Dozens of individuals, most of whom wore face coverings to conceal their identities, marched while waving flags emblazoned with swastikas, throwing up single-arm Nazi salutes, and belting out their affinity for Adolf Hitler and hatred of Jewish people. A similar but separate group of neo-Nazis made scenes at the entrance to Disney World. They had their own swastika flags and pro-Hitler signs, and they made it a point to destroy a LGBTQ+ Pride flag for the people filming them.