Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The haters


Remember in 2009 when the Department of Homeland Security issued its report on the rise of hate groups in this country? You might not remember the report itself but surely you remember the phony outrage it engendered among the right wing nutjobs like Drudge, Breitbart, Limbaugh, Beck, and, of course, Fox News. The report, called "Rightwing Extremism," predicted that a troubled economy combined with the election of a black president could inspire a rise in racist hate groups and actions.  The report stated that “lone wolves” who embrace violent right-wing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.
The report further stated that white supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat because of their low profile and autonomy — separate from any formalized group — which hampers identifying them and warning society of the danger. The report said that military experience could make such lone wolves particularly dangerous. And the right wing went crazy!
How dare you besmirch the good name of white supremacists and veterans to boot, they screamed. These are sacred icons in the right wing theology, right up there with the gun-toters. In fact, the most sacred of all is the gun-toting, white supremacist veteran. DHS was accused of racial profiling against white men. In short, the right wing revved up their outrage machine against the very idea that extremist right wing rhetoric married to ideas of racial superiority might result in violence.
Since 2009, there have been countless domestic terrorist attacks in this country that have proved the DHS report to be valid and extremely prescient. None more so than the "lone wolf" attack against a Sikh temple in Wisconsin last week.  The "Rightwing Extremism" report might have been a biography of the killer.
Perhaps it is time that we dug that 2009 report (which had been ordered by President George W. Bush, by the way) out of its mothballs and took another look at it, even at the risk of setting off the usual nutjobs once again. They'll be ginning up phony controversy and outrage over something anyway. It might as well be this. And this report might at least give us some guidance on how to identify the dangerous haters among us and how to counteract them and get them off the streets and maybe even deny them access to dangerous weapons. (Probably not though. In this country, no matter how crazy you are, you still have your right to carry around an AK-47.)
In addition to paying some much-needed attention to this report, we might also listen to organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center which have made their mission that of tracking hate groups and fighting them by every legal means available. 
The haters are strong and determined and they will utterly destroy this country if we let them. Let's not let them.  


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