As her surname seems to suggest, Laura Loomer has been looming over South Florida like an ominous shadow.
The anti-Muslim extremist with a penchant for throwing the white power "OK" hand sign has been a persistent purveyor of conspiracy theories and anti-immigrant rhetoric, and now she's made national headlines and baffled even GOP members by winning the Republican primary for Florida's 21st Congressional District, which includes Palm Beach County.
Loomer, the self-proclaimed most banned woman on the internet, has been barred from various social-media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and was also banned from using the rideshare services Uber and Lyft after some particularly racist comments. Good thing she didn't need a ride to first place in the primary.
So what exactly has Loomer done to get herself banned from every major platform, and what should Florida voters know going into November's general election, in which she’ll face Democratic incumbent Rep. Lois Frankel? New Times has compiled this list of Loomer controversies, from theatrical sabotage to racist protests.
Crashed a New York showing of Julius Caesar on livestream.
In June 2017, a New York theater group hosted a production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar that showed the leading role in a particularly Trumpian light.
During the scene where Caesar is stabbed, Loomer jumped on stage and interrupted the play, claiming the actors were inciting violence against people on the right, all the while livestreaming on Periscope.
"Stop the normalization of political violence against the right," Loomer said, adding that the actors and CNN "were ISIS" before being removed by security.
Loomer was arrested for her public disturbance. At the time, she was identified as an employee of the far-right news website Rebel Media.
Openly celebrated the deaths of migrants.
Banned from rideshare apps for complaining they're too Muslim.
Later that year, in November, Loomer went on a daylong tweetstorm, complaining that rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft employ too many Muslim people and saying there should be a Muslim-free alternative service.
"Someone needs to create a non-Islamic form of Uber or Lyft because I never want to support another Islamic immigrant driver," she tweeted at the time, prompting both apps to bar her from their services.
Loomer's Twitter rant came after a terror attack in New York City in which an Uzbek national killed eight and injured eleven after he drove a truck into pedestrians.
Accused the survivors of the Parkland shooting of being puppets.
After a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018, Loomer went after the students grieving the lives of their classmates.
"It's obvious these kids are reading a screen or notes someone else wrote for them," she tweeted at the time. "Notice how media is only talking to the same group of students. They aren't talking to the pro-gun ROTC students who actually saved lives, unlike these students."
She then went to Parkland to interrogate Congressman Ted Deutch on a video for Infowars, the conspiracy-spewing website founded by Alex Jones.
Banned from Twitter for comments about a Muslim congresswoman.
In 2018 Twitter informed Loomer that her Twitter account violated its rules on hateful conduct that might promote violence against someone based on their race, ethnicity, or religious affiliation, and her account was subsequently shut down.
Twitter's action came in response to Loomer's tweets about U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, whom Loomer called "anti-Jewish." Loomer also said Omar belongs to a religion that oppresses homosexuals and forces women to wear hijabs. Omar is a Somali refugee and one of the two first Muslim women elected to Congress.
Rather than recant, Loomer doubled down on her comments, saying everything she said was "100 percent true and factual" and claiming she was being silenced for her views.
The hijab has often been the target of criticism and the anchor of many attacks on Islam. Despite Loomer's and others' insistence, wearing a hijab is often a voluntary choice and sometimes a symbol of women's empowerment in the U.S., according to the Washington Post.
Loomer eventually sued a Florida Muslim-rights group for allegedly orchestrating her ban from Twitter, but a judge threw out her case, saying Loomer provided no evidence that the group did such a thing.
Loomer was also banned from Instagram for claiming that Omar was pushing for another 9/11 and that patriots should "rise up" against her, which could be taken as a call for violence. Loomer has at times called Islam "a cancer on humanity."
Trespassed on multiple politicians' lawns to protest immigration.
In January 2019, as part of a political stunt to protest House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's opposition to President Donald Trump's border wall, Loomer persuaded three Hispanic men she found in a Home Depot parking lot to join her as she trespassed on Pelosi's lawn and set up a tent with the word "immorality" painted on it.
Loomer live-tweeted the event as she attempted to enter the lawmaker's home and claimed that the men she brought were "undocumented immigrants." When questioned by police later, the men required a Spanish translator and did not seem to know what Loomer was actually intending to do.
It was reported that Loomer told the men they were creating a "caravan sanctuary" on Pelosi's lawn; one of her associates begrudged the fact that the men were released from police custody when Pelosi declined to press charges.
Later that same month, Loomer livestreamed herself and some supporters dressed up as racist caricatures of Mexican people, wearing ponchos, sombreros, and a comically large mustache, again to protest pro-immigration policies.
Her group reportedly chanted "No hate! No Fear! Rapists are welcome here! No hate! No fear! Drug dealers are welcome here!" while on the lawn of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Yawned at the deaths of 51 Muslims killed by a white supremacist in Christchurch.
Banned from most social media, Loomer has turned to platforms like Parler and Telegram to spread her message. In May 2019, she said on her Telegram channel that "Nobody cares about Christchurch."
"[F]or now, I'm Not going to let 51 dead people make it so that anyone who criticizes Islam online is jailed for a hate crime….I DON'T CARE ABOUT CHRISTCHURCH," she wrote next to clapping emojis.
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