Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Truther/Birther Convergence

I've often wondered why there hasn't been more of an overlap between the Truthers and the Birthers (aside from, say, Phil Berg). If you're crazy enough to fall for one conspiracy theory, you're probably crazy enough to fall for another. Well, we now have another member of the Truther/Birther club, the Reverend James David Manning. As you can see, Manning is that rare type of Truther: the anti-Muslim Truther. Yep, he's worried about the Islamization of America, but he doesn't think they did 9-11.

Manning spreads his lunacy around. According to the New York Times, he advocates boycotting businesses in Harlem (presumably not including his church).

Mr. Manning, 61, has become an annoyance not only to shopkeepers, but to Harlem’s political, cultural and religious leaders as well. His goal is to force businesses to close — including those owned by blacks — causing the neighborhood’s economic rebirth to stall and, therefore, property values to decline. He has also called for a general rent strike.


Hat Tip to longtime commenter Guitar Bill for pointing this out.

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8 Comments:

At 19 September, 2010 09:20, Blogger Richard Gage's Testicles said...

Here's my favorite crossover kook. He's the full package, a troofer-birfer-chemtrail-holocaust-vaccine nutbar.

 
At 19 September, 2010 12:03, Blogger Ian G. said...

I think one of the reasons why there hasn't been more convergence between truthers and birthers is that a large portion of each movement is formed out of people who have an axe to grind with a particular president. A lot of the birthers, like it or not, are partisan Republicans who hate Obama, and they aren't likely to join forces with a movement that blames the last GOP administration for destroying the WTC.
Similarly, a lot of left-wing truthers who hate Bush aren't going to bite on a conspiracy theory that draws on a lot of paranoia about racial minorities, immigrants, religious minorities, etc.

It takes the real fever swamps to find people who believe this nonsense even without the political axe to grind.

 
At 19 September, 2010 12:16, Blogger Ian G. said...

Here's my favorite crossover kook. He's the full package, a troofer-birfer-chemtrail-holocaust-vaccine nutbar.

I love the "not anti-semitic" disclaimer above followed by endless artwork about how sinister Jews control America and how the Holocaust was faked. Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are Jewish? Who knew! Nope, nothing anti-semitic about this guy!

Also, MSG is behind the obesity epidemic? Gee, I thought lack of exercise combined with too many high-sugar, high-calorie meals were behind it, but I guess that's not conspiratorial enough.

I do have to say, though, that laws against Holocaust Denial are awful. Not only does it squelch free speech, but then the deniers get to portray themselves as sympathetic characters instead of the hate-filled slime they are.

...cannot parse the "Haiti Katrina" one, unless he thinks the US used an earthquake machine to destroy that country (why not?). Moving on....

Anyway, my head is starting to hurt looking that stuff over, so I'm going to stop.

 
At 19 September, 2010 12:26, Blogger Triterope said...

Mr. Manning seems to believe in a lot of things that don't go together:

the intent of the boycott was to return Harlem to its pregentrification days of 1990, without the crack, crime and boarded-up buildings. His hope is that declining property values will make housing affordable

Somebody want to send this guy a freshman Economics book?

 
At 19 September, 2010 13:24, Blogger Ian G. said...

Somebody want to send this guy a freshman Economics book?

Or how about news stories about certain parts of Las Vegas or California where the collapsed housing prices have led new subdivisions to become, er, infested with gangs and drug dealers.

I also love how he chooses 1990 as his year to go back to, given the 1990 had the all-time highest murder rate in this history of the city.

 
At 20 September, 2010 02:48, Blogger ConsDemo said...

I think one of the reasons why there hasn't been more convergence between truthers and birthers is that a large portion of each movement is formed out of people who have an axe to grind with a particular president.

That probably keeps overlap down somewhat. However, the most in both groups are "anti-" everything types would can't fit in a mainstream organization so the gravitate the birther or truther crap, or both. Mostly, they reject reality, that's how the WAC-jobs can be against war and against combating global warming.

 
At 20 September, 2010 08:14, Blogger Joseph Nobles said...

But I think the trendline is for the groups to ultimately converge - the diehard adherents, anyway. There will come a time when just rehashing the same old arguments won't be enough. They will need novelty, and discovering a whole new CT system to incorporate into their own beliefs will be irresistable. Manning is just way ahead of the curve.

 
At 21 September, 2010 12:15, Blogger Philip said...

Richard Gage's Testicles - you deserve kudos for that incredible link. That is absolutely the Universal Crackpot Theory in action there. Is there any crazy zany thing that this clown does -not- believe?

 

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