AM Joy hosted reformed white nationalist Christian Picciolini and One People’s Project’s Daryle Lamont Jenkins for a discussion on how the FBI is combatting (or not) white supremacy.
Before getting to the FBI, Reid asked Picciolini how he would have reacted, back in his white nationalist days, if the president had repeatedly called a certain group of people an “invasion” and “a stain” on the United States.
Picciolini’s answer was chilling. He said he’d have been jumping on the table with delight because “What's coming out of the mouths of our administration now is very similar, if not identical, to the things that we said.” He added, “I actually have lyrics that I wrote that had the words ‘invasion’ and ‘animal.’"
Reid moved on to ask Jenkins about FBI Director Christopher Wray’s claim not to investigate ideology “no matter how repugnant” or extremist, unless “it turns to violence.”
That’s when Jenkins called BS. “They do investigate ideologies,” he said, “and they raise a red flag every time they see certain things being bought into by various groups.”
But lo and behold, Reid said the federal agencies are also focusing on “black identity extremists.” “You come across a lot of those?” she asked Jenkins.
No, he doesn’t. The only extremists of color Jenkins said he sees are “hanging out with the Proud Boys” or infiltrating his own group.
In other words, when the FBI spends resources on (virtually non-existent) black supremacists, the result is that the danger of white supremacy gets short shrift.
I have to say that the idea of the FBI investigating groups based on ideology makes me very queasy, especially with Bill Barr at the helm of the Justice Department. But clearly, in the wake of El Paso, Poway, Tree of Life, Charlottesville, Charleston and on and on and on, it’s not enough — or even intellectually honest — to just say there are extremists on both sides.