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The Terrorist Threat America Ignores: Racist Right-Wing Extremists
This is About Race
The white nationalist militia movement views themselves as a mixture of 19th century southern confederates and 1930s Nazi Germans. Unapologetic white men, of few words, no feelings, and a psychological mother-lode of repressed, indignant anger. They believe they're noble freedom fighters and rugged individualists. They think their idea of what this country should be like is the only valid vision. Just under the surface, it bubbles up if one pushes them, they're trying to preserve 'the white way of life'. This is the mindset that Donald Trump's Presidential campaign appeals to.
A white way of life so narrow-minded and bigoted, that even most white folk would passionately resist it.
The Boston Globe reports:
"And if Trump doesn’t win, some are even openly talking about violent rebellion and assassination, as fantastical and unhinged as that may seem.
“If she’s in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot. That’s how I feel about it,” Dan Bowman, a 50-year-old contractor, said of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. “We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed. But that’s what it’s going to take. . . . I would do whatever I can for my country.”
These angry man-boys are having their energy harvested by high ranking right-wing political/economic interests like the Trump and the tea-party. They’re told to be mad, who to be mad at and who’s going to fix it for them. Everything that they deem 'wrong' can be rectified if they can just keep their guns, lots and lots of guns. Their freedom, liberty, their very sense of manhood is derived from firearms. They're now being prodded to aggressively resist any societal progress. They caress their firearms as a protection against social progress, they view that progress as threatening to their white way of life. They lack the vision, the mental acuity, to embrace progressive change.
You’ve heard the saying – “When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”
Trump Has Emboldened Neo-Nazis
The NRA, which is simply the public relations arm of gun manufacturers, has conditioned them with repetitive right-wing rhetoric, these guys speak in bumper-sticker. They can't effectively defend any of their ideas to any reasonable thinking person. They exist in an information bubble, among themselves. These bigots are trained, programmed and conditioned, to believe the government is their dire enemy. This started right after the 1964 passing of the civil rights act, and the 1965 voting rights act. The patriot militia's pedigree is the slave patrols of the eighteenth and nineteenth century pre-civil war south, the Ku Klux Klan and the mid-twentieth century of the post-civil war south. citizen councils
Their operating emotion is fear, fear that is disguised as indignant anger, false bravado and fake 'pride'.
Slave Patrols - The Foundation of 2nd Amendment Militias
The Source of White Male Privilege
Thom Hartmann Writes -
"In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the "slave patrols," and they were regulated by the states."
For the nineteenth and twentieth century poor white male, authority over slaves and later Jim Crow, was his only source of social/cultural validation. What is called today, 'white privilege'. The poor white male in the south had a hard, tough life too. His resentment and possible resistance was kept in check by having black folk to look down on, his ability to do what black folk couldn't do, go where black folk couldn't go. The poor white male was one genetic expression, skin color, from being nothing in his community. His social standing was tenuous, but he embraced it, he told himself:
"At least I'm not a nigger."
For many whites that was their only source of pride, they weren't black. That is the source of their furious, deadly, defense of Jim Crow and defiant front lines resistance to the civil rights movement. They willingly offered themselves up as useful idiots to fight against racial equality. They absurdly, stupidly, viewed black equality as their own loss of dignity, losing their standing in the community. The angry, conservative white male, was forged in the events of the civil rights era. That is the basis for their irrational obsession with the 2nd amendment.
Tim Wise on Racism And The Division of the Labor Class
21st Century Patriot/Militia 'Movement'
Not all militia/patriot movement members are personally racist. Many today were sucked in by nefarious Alex Jones types, youtube ranters, and right-wing websites, twisted truth and flat out lies. Mesmerizing them with tales of 'One world government', FEMA camps, confiscated property and ultimate extermination by Satan worshiping 'globalists'.
They're simply blind followers beguiled by a false narrative.
The fictional, propaganda infused, apocalyptic melodrama, laced with conspiracy theory and racial fears of impending 'government tyranny', Sharia law, and the loss of "the white way of life". I'll repeat, not all patriot militia members personally racist, or that they associate themselves with militia groups strictly for racist reasons. Not all nazi soldiers hated Jews. Their guilt is by association. Those that aren't racist are sure to hear racist rhetoric, many times couched in language. They're all too willing to dismiss their concerns about the racist foundation of militia groups, because they fallaciously decide other issues are more important. Issues like the abstract 'government overreach', 'globalization' or an extreme, ludicrous, re-definition of what the constitution means. 'dog whistle racism'
Repackaged White Rage
Oregon - Posse Comitatus - Faux Patriots
Spencer Sunshine, Ph.D. writes -
"Many of the tactics and talking points being used were popularized in the 1970s by the white supremacist group Posse Comitatus. This group promoted the “Christian Patriot” movement, advocated the formation of “Citizens Militias,” helped forge an idiosyncratic reading of the Constitution, said the county sheriff was the highest elected official that should be obeyed, and opposed federal environmental restrictions."
The confluence of anger, racism, religious fervor, anti-government zeal and obsession with firearms, makes these patriots eerily similar to Islamic extremists. They're just as irrationally difficult to reason with. They're conditioned to keep their information intake restricted to a tight echo chamber bubble of paranoid delusion. They have a bunker mentality.
The absurd Oregon bird sanctuary occupation by the Bundy clan possesses all the hallmarks of posse comitatus ideology. From their appeal to the Harney county sheriff in Oregon. The sheriff swiftly, wisely, distanced himself from them and told them to go home.
Ammon Bundy, the Oregon occupation leader, declaration that he's following directions from God. Their total disregard of any Federal government jurisdiction in the whole matter. Federal government land owned by the public and managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Their view of America, the constitution and society, is a narrow , twisted vision. Unfounded in truth, not diverse or inclusive...it's tone deaf to the issues of others, those who are not rural, semi-rural, white males. Right-wing patriot groups mocked and ridiculed the Occupy movement and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the Oregon armed vandals are using Federal government computers to build and maintain a website to communicate their message. Militia supporter David Fry is the person identified as the militia webmaster, ironically on U.S. government hardware. Think about that for a minute....
Oregon Public Broadcasting says of Fry -
"Fry’s Google+ account shows the Ohio man regularly posts anti-Semitic, homophobic, and pro-Nazi propaganda on social media.
Fry also posts in support of ISIS."
Resisting Right Wing Hate and Exposing Terrorists
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) monitors right wing hate groups in the United States.
The SPLC reports -
"The drop in the number of extremist groups doesn’t tell the entire story,” said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the SPLC and editor of the Intelligence Report. “It appears that extremists are leaving these groups for the anonymity of the Internet, which allows their message to reach a huge audience. Domestic terrorists and other extremists with criminal intentions also are increasingly acting alone, choosing to commit lethal attacks without the help of an organized group.”
Extremist violence, in fact, is continuing at levels comparable to the 1990s, at the height of that decade’s militia movement. But rather than coming from organized groups, fully 90 percent of domestic terrorist attacks in recent years have been carried out by “lone wolves” or pairs of extremists who don’t belong to any organization.
These groups are being increasingly marginalized. They peaked in the weeks after President Obama's first election in '08. Their vile rhetoric and hate is becoming more distasteful to even their onetime sympathizers. But like a wounded animal, they are more dangerous as their vulnerability increases. This latest escapade in Oregon, the public's mockery and ridicule of it, demonstrates their social isolation.
The Trump campaign is harvesting the desperation, the cultural panic, these white men are experiencing. They don't know that Donald Trump is simply spitefully using them for his own interests.
Bigots are blind like that.
Thank you for reading...One Love, Duane Townsend
Update - February 11, 2016
The New York Times reports: "PRINCETON, Ore. — The final holdouts in the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon surrendered peacefully Thursday morning, ending a 40-day standoff, but not until one antigovernment militant stalled long past the others, airing a range of grievances and conspiracy theories, saying he was suicidal, and suggesting that he would rather die than go to prison.
Three of the four remaining occupiers walked out to waiting F.B.I. agents over the course of a few minutes after 9:30 a.m., with their hands in the air, calling out that they were unarmed. One, Sean Anderson, held an American flag in one hand, and clasped the raised hand of his wife, Sandy, in the other, as they surrendered. Another, Jeff Banta, followed a few minutes later."