April 16, 2014

Rachel Maddow's report linking together incidents of right wing extreme violence dating back to the mid-1980s is a keeper. She brings their history right up to this week by linking Frazier Glenn Miller with other extremist and extremist groups with a long and storied history of violent rhetoric and violent acts.

The only complaint I have about the report is that she didn't link up Ron and Rand Paul with Stormfront.org, despite documented evidence of their kinship.

Her report ends with a question: Why do we overlook right wing violence and refuse to call it terrorism?

That is a great question to ask. What is the difference between the Fort Hood shooter and Frazier Glenn Miller's rampage against Jews?

Rachel also avoided any mention of the Cliven Bundy debacle in Nevada, mostly because she was focused on neoNazi white supremacists. Still, there's not a ton of daylight between Bundy and nativist hate groups in terms of rhetoric. One group focuses on race and the other focuses on government, but they all ooze hate and hate speech into the body politic in their own way with their own targets, and they all aim to be the authoritarian arbiters of governance they so desperately oppose.

Peter Bergen, writing for CNN.com:

Now let's do the thought experiment in which instead of shouting "Heil Hitler" after he was arrested, the suspect had shouted "Allahu Akbar." Only two days before the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, this simple switch of words would surely have greatly increased the extent and type of coverage the incident received.

Yet the death toll in the shootings in Kansas is similar to that of last year's Boston Marathon bombings, where three people were killed and the suspects later killed a police officer as they tried to evade capture. (Many more, of course, were also wounded in the Boston attacks; 16 men, women and children lost limbs.)

In fact, since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology. According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime).

By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology have killed 21 people in the United States since 9/11.

It's a long segment, but worth watching from beginning to end. You'll recognize many stories that Dave Neiwert and others write about all the time, but it's fascinating to see her weave in all the ends and arrive at a tightly woven conclusion.

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