Molly Butler / Media Matters

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Viral right-wing homesteading influencers are demonizing migrants and pushing nativist conspiracy theories

Homesteading content and groups are popping up across right-wing social media platforms

Several viral right-wing homesteading and farming influencers are pushing anti-immigrant conspiracy theories and demonizing migrants to their hundreds of thousands of followers across social media.

These conspiracy theories come as the broader right-wing media are increasingly attacking migrants, whipping up hysteria over a flimsy “migrant crime” narrative, and Republican lawmakers are advocating for laws that make it easier for Americans to kill undocumented people.

The homesteader lifestyle, which these influencers proudly promote and base their content on, is not exclusively a right-wing phenomenon. “Crunchy” culture, which is the foundation of the homesteading movement, is deeply rooted in anti-government sentiment and “anti-modernism,” which strives for independence from the mainstream. The movement broadly disavows cultural relevance and focuses on life and survival without government interference, often choosing to settle in rural areas with plenty of room to grow food, graze animals, and raise children.

Subscribers to this movement promote self-sufficiency, and some advocate for traditional gender norms as well, aligning themselves with the adjacent “tradwife” sect that has been gaining popularity within right-wing circles for romanticizing antifeminism.

A faction of these influencers also produce content around doomsday preparation and the supposed upcoming collapse of society, which often leans into deep conspiratorial thinking.

Homesteading culture is not new within the greater right-wing ecosystem. In fact, as author Kathleen Belew explains, radical right-wing groups like the Ku Klux Klan have used back-to-basics living and “opportunistic social movements” to recruit new devotees in the past.

As homesteading becomes a viral phenomenon, influencers have learned to make and promote their content across social media platforms, including YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. Several homestead influencers have hundreds of thousands of followers and subscribers across social media.

Right-wing video platform Rumble — a cesspool of white nationalist propaganda and antisemitism — even has a “homesteading” category landing page that is bustling with content.

There are many popular homesteading groups on Gab, an alternative social media platform and safe haven for extremists. The movement has also been discussed on platforms like 4chan, which is a favorite among mass shooters, and other right-wing social media platforms like Gettr and Truth Social.

  • Examples of right-wing homesteading influencers pushing anti-immigrant conspiracy theories and attacking migrants:

  • The Prepared Homestead

    Homesteading influencer Travis Maddox, who uploads content under the username The Prepared Homestead online, uploaded an anti-immigrant rant riddled with conspiracy theories to his YouTube channel.

    During his diatribe, Maddox suggested that migrants cross the border “to destroy America,” “replace” American voters, workers, and military members, and “potentially do us harm.”

    Maddox’s claims align with the white supremacist “great replacement” conspiracy theory, which asserts that migrants are coming to replace white people in America and vote for Democrats. This conspiracy theory has previously motivated mass shootings against minority communities.

  • Video file

    Citation Video from The Prepared Homestead, uploaded to YouTube on March 4, 2024

  • During another rant in which Maddox is seen wearing a t-shirt representing the far-right Three Percenters militia movement, the influencer pushed a conspiracy theory that President Joe Biden and his allies are bringing migrants into America for the “purposeful destruction” of the country. 

    Several members of the Three Percenters were charged for their roles in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

  • Video file

    Citation Video from The Prepared Homestead, uploaded to YouTube on March 5, 2024

  • The Patriot Nurse 

    Self-sufficiency and homesteading influencer The Patriot Nurse pushed the great replacement theory in one of her videos as well. 

    “They are allowing people to come in here, they are subsidizing people to come in here, because effectively they want more Democrat voters,” the influencer said. “They are trying to fix demographic issues from a population standpoint.”

  • Video file

    Citation Video from The Patriot Nurse, uploaded to YouTube on January 4, 2024

  • An American Homestead

    Zachary Bauer, another homesteading influencer and the “lead educator” at An American Homestead, pushed a conspiracy theory about migrants in a video titled “Is Joe BIDEN Now ARMING Migrants?” on his page.

    In the video, Bauer shows a clip of a woman who claims that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is giving “an exemption to illegal immigrants to be able to purchase firearms.” This is a false claim.

    “This is intentional. This is meant to destroy our country,” Bauer said in response to the woman’s video, “That’s the sole purpose of this. … Is it a giant plan? Maybe.”

  • Video file

    Citation Video from An American Homestead, uploaded to YouTube on December 24, 2023

  • Riverside Homestead Life

    Influencer Cohen Barsten of Riverside Homestead Life, who regularly shares political commentary on his YouTube channel, opened one of his videos by pushing a conspiracy theory that, in the future, Americans will be priced out of their homes and those homes given to migrants.

  • Video file

    Citation Video from Riverside Homestead Life, uploaded to YouTube on February 2, 2024

  • Appalachia’s Homestead with Patara

    Patara Marlow, who uploads videos on YouTube under the channel name Appalachia's Homestead with Patara, suggested that migrants will bring disease into the United States.

    “You were forced to, you know, take certain cocktails or you were going to lose your job. None of these people have been forced to do any of these things,” Marlow said. “I mean, let’s be honest, what Cooter Brown are they carrying?"

    Marlow’s comments echo a false anti-immigrant narrative that right-wingers have used in the past to demonize migrants. Similar antisemitic conspiracy theories have been pushed about Jewish people spreading disease for centuries.

  • Video file

    Citation Video from Appalachia's Homestead with Patara, uploaded to YouTube on February 21, 2024

  • Right-wing homesteading influencers push other conspiracy theories and traditional gender norms:

  • Viral right-wing homesteading influencers push conspiracy theories about other topics, too.

    For example, Gubba Homestead, a viral homesteading influencer, consistently shares a variety of conspiracy theories and tradwife-aligned content.

  • Video file

    Citation Video from @gubbahomestead on Instagram, uploaded on February 13, 2024 

  • Video file

    Citation Video from @gubbahomestead on Instagram, uploaded on July 3, 2023

  • Bauer posted a video pushing a conspiracy theory about 5G cell service being “dangerous” and making people “so sick."

  • Video file

    Citation Video from An American Homestead, uploaded to YouTube on July 9, 2019

  • Maddox floated a conspiracy theory about transgender people and former first lady Michelle Obama.

    “It’s possible that all this is happening, and maybe even this big transgender push, is so that when Michelle goes to run for president, and it becomes apparent that Michelle is a Mike, that it won’t be that big a deal,” Maddox said. “The shock would be over.”

  • Video file

    Citation Video from The Prepared Homestead, uploaded to YouTube on September 7, 2023

  • Popular right-wing media figures are promoting the homesteader lifestyle:

  • Right-wing media figures across the ecosystem are promoting the homesteader lifestyle. This includes personalities who have pushed conspiracy theories in the past.

    Fox News hosts Will Cain and Pete Hegseth promoted homesteading during a Fox & Friends segment.

    “Being self-sufficient is important,” Hegseth said. “My family moved out here to middle Tennessee largely because of enduring COVID, right? A lot of families did that — said, ‘I don’t want the government controlling my life.’”

  • Video file

    Citation From the February 28, 2024, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends 

  • Fox News host Rachel Campos-Duffy and Fox contributor Sean Duffy promoted homesteading on their Fox podcast, From the Kitchen Table: The Duffys. The pair hosted farmer and author Joel Salatin.

    During the podcast, Salatin claimed that there is a “homestead tsunami” happening and that homesteading can fix “teenaged, adolescent problems” that he claims lead teens to become school shooters.

    “Every school shooting, every one of these guys who has gone in and done a school shooting, they all felt bullied, they didn’t feel worthwhile,” Salatin said. “Self-worth comes from successfully accomplishing meaningful tasks.”

  • Joel Salatin claims that homesteading culture can stop teens from becoming school shooters

    Audio file

    Citation From the December 6. 2023, of Fox Radio's From the Kitchen Table; The Duffys

  • Turning Point USA host Alex Clark promoted homesteading on her podcast The Spillover during an interview with a suburban homesteader.

    “The people that know how to grow their own food and take care of themselves and garden and hunt or all those types of things, those are the people that get it,” Clark said. “Those are the people that when the ish hits the fan, we’re going to be looking to them for help.”

  • Video file

    Citation From the March 23, 2023, edition of TPUSA's The Spillover with Alex Clark

  • Correction (3/18/24): This piece originally included the wrong upload date for the February 21 video from Appalachia’s Homestead with Patara.