Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hate and Extremism has NO Place in the United States

Since Obama’s first term, our numbers have doubled and now we’re headed to a second term, it’s going to triple,” one Virginia Klansman told WTVR-TV in Richmond. 

Some of us who were Republican have been complaining about the hard right extremist groups for years that are anti-government and filled with hate.  That was in the late 90's when we went after them on conservative sites for their hate rhetoric and anti-government talk.  That was nothing compared to the hate groups today which have exploded all over the Country since President Obama was elected.  Some of it is because he is black but it is also an excuse for the people in the shadows to become more mainstream in the Republican Party.  Started with the Koch Bros Tea Party movement which was orchestrated not something that grew out of dissent - hatred became the name of the game for a lot of these people who took to the streets demanding their rights be returned when they hadn't been taken.

Some of the usual hard right loons stepped up to the plate with their hate rhetoric to drive some of these hate filled groups even harder right.  Today if I see the word 'Patriot' in an email, I automatically assume it is hard right and get off their mailing list.  I have never signed up to any Patriot group but I keep getting added.  Someone has sold mailing lists -- RNC and local State GOP is my guess.  These people are scary with their comments that are not true (my bold):

“Freedom ends. Tyranny begins,” tweeted Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes. “Get ready,” said. “Right now government gun grabbing plans are being covertly organized.” 
“MARTIAL LAW IN THE UNITED STATES IS NOW A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY!” added the’s Tony Adkins, responding to Obama’s use of executive orders to further gun control with a doomsday prediction that could have come straight from the Patriot movement. “SUSPENSION OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION IS A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY!” The Conservative Monster, a similar website, concluded that the president was conspiring with a variety of foreign enemies “to force Socialism on the American people.” 
Even further to the right, the reaction was more intense yet.... 
Chuck Baldwin, a Montana-based Patriot leader long associated with the Constitution Party, made the unusual claim that Christ had ordered his disciples to carry “their own personal arms” and vowed to refuse to register or surrender his firearms. The Oath Keepers, a conspiracy-oriented Patriot group of current and former military and law enforcement officials, issued a threat — “MESSAGE TO THE OATH BREAKERS AND TRAITORS: We will never disarm” — and added that gun control plans were “unconstitutional filth.” Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman called the proposals “a declaration of war against the American people” and demanded “liberation” from the “evil clutches” of proponents.
Anyone who knows me know that I have zero respect for Chuck Baldwin or Larry Klayman who is nothing but a media hog out to make his own millions using any cause that will help him make money.  Frankly think the all mighty dollar drives a lot of these so-called leaders with their radical comments.

The John Birch Society that the Koch Bros Dad helped found was kicked out of the Republican Party but now it is back and has a voice in the GOP?  Koch Bros seemed to have bought and paid for the GOP today which would explain some of the extremism in the GOP Platform:

The latest and most dramatic example of that may be the completely baseless claim that Agenda 21 — a United Nations sustainability plan that was signed by President George H.W. Bush but has no mandatory provisions whatsoever — is part of a plan to impose socialism on America and strip away private property rights. 
That claim has been pushed heavily by, among others, the John Birch Society, a conspiracist Patriot organization that was exiled from the conservative movement a half century ago after claiming President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a Communist agent.... "Last year, the Republican National Committee passed a plank opposing Agenda 21 and describing it as a “destructive and insidious scheme” to impose “socialist/communist redistribution of wealth.” The state of Alabama passed a law barring any policies traceable to Agenda 21 without “due process.” 
RNC passed a plank about Agenda 21 a UN sustainability plan with no mandatory provisions?  Get that NO MANDATORY PROVISIONS yet it ends up in the GOP Platform like the Government wants to impose "socialist/communist redistribution of wealth."

With all of this, how can today's Republican Party be shocked they are losing long time members and activists.  Some have their heads buried in the sand and refuse to admit they have lost their original base who had common sense to be replaced by some really scary people who want to take to the streets to defend their homes against the Government that is not coming to take anything.  These people are being preyed on by the ilk of the hard right and don't even realize that are being used because they have become so mad they refuse to listen to reason.  Facts mean nothing it is the narrative which is frankly frightening.

People like Wayne LaPierre (NRA), Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Larry Klayman, Chuck Baldwin, Hannity, Rush, Glen Beck, and most of Fox Entertainment News for starters know better but are pushing their hate rhetoric to these people who believe what they say.  It is despicable but also very scary that the hard right media is stirring all this up because a black man was elected President instead of one of their chosen ones?  Small minded, despicable people IMHO who I wouldn't walk across the street to hear speak, buy one of their books, or watch on my TV.  Hate mongering is not welcome in my home.

This new report out by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on Hate and Extremism Groups should make everyone stop and think that this could end very badly.  Time for everyone to ask what they can to help diffuse the situation.  Hate filled right talk radio with an agenda and narrative not facts needs to go the way of the dinosaur.  There should be some law that says you cannot spew lies day after day to enrage/incite listeners to the point they want to go take action against other people or the Government.  The days of right wing talk radio being entertainment are gone - now it is hate filled.

Have excerpted parts of the the synopsis of the SPLC below which gives me chills but it is only a synopsis to their full report on Hate and Extremism in America:

The Year in Hate and Extremism
By Mark Potok, Senior Fellow, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) 
Capping four years of explosive growth sparked by the election of America’s first black president and anger over the economy, the number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups reached an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012, while the number of hard-core hate groups remained above 1,000. As President Obama enters his second term with an agenda of gun control and immigration reform, the rage on the right is likely to intensify. 
The furious reaction to the Obama administration’s gun control proposals is reminiscent of the anger that greeted the passage of the 1993 Brady Bill and the 1994 ban on assault weapons supported by another relatively liberal Democrat — Bill Clinton. The passage of those bills, along with what was seen by the right as the federal government’s violent suppression of political dissidents at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in the early 1990s, led to the first wave of the Patriot movement that burst into public consciousness with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The number of Patriot groups in that era peaked in 1996 at 858, more than 500 groups fewer than the number active in 2012. 
For many, the election of America’s first black president symbolizes the country’s changing demographics, with the loss of its white majority predicted by 2043. (In 2011, for the first time, non-white births outnumbered the births of white children.) But the backlash to that trend predates Obama’s presidency by many years. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of hate groups rose from 602 to more than 1,000, where the count remains today. Now that comprehensive immigration reform is poised to legitimize and potentially accelerate the country’s demographic change, the backlash to that change may accelerate as well.

The Hysteria MountsEven before the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun and ammunition sales shot up in the wake of the re-election of the country’s first black president, the result of shrill conspiracy theories about Obama’s secret plans to confiscate Americans’ guns. When the killings actually did spark gun control efforts that clearly had not been in the Obama administration’s plans, the reaction on the political right was so harsh that it seemed to border on hysteria. 
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) proposed a law that would nullify any executive gun control actions by Obama, accusing the president of having a “king complex.” U.S. Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) said the president could be impeached for those actions. State lawmakers in Arizona, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee proposed laws that sought to prevent federal gun control from applying to their states. 
Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who sued the Clinton administration over the Brady Bill’s imposition of background checks on gun buyers, claimed that of 200 sheriffs he’d met with, most “have said they would lay down their lives first rather than allow any more federal control.” Matt Barber of the anti-gay Liberty Counsel said he feared that the nation, which he described as already on the brink of civil unrest, was headed for “a second civil war.” 
Progress and BacklashesEven before serious talk of gun control began in Washington, the far right was already in something of a meltdown in the immediate aftermath of Obama’s re-election, which came to many who got their campaign news from right-wing sources as a jarring shock. Hundreds of thousands of Americans signed petitions seeking the secession of each of the 50 states. Right-wing outfits like said a “Communist coup” was under way. The anti-gay Family Research Council charged Obama with “dismantling” the country. 
Polling after the election showed how broad antipathy toward President Obama remained in a deeply polarized America. A Public Policy Poll survey found that 49% of all Republicans believed that ACORN — a community organizing group that went belly up in 2010 after attacks from the far right — had stolen the election from Mitt Romney. A quarter of GOP members in the same poll favored secession. A January 2013 poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind project found that 36% of all Americans still don’t believe Obama is a citizen, despite the 2011 release of the president’s “long-form” birth certificate. 
As they did in 2008 and 2009, groups on the radical right clearly benefited from that antipathy. “Since Obama’s first term, our numbers have doubled and now we’re headed to a second term, it’s going to triple,” one Virginia Klansman told WTVR-TV in Richmond. Daniel Miller, president of the secessionist Texas National Movement, said that his membership shot up 400% after Obama’s re-election. White News Now, a website run by white supremacist Jamie Kelso, said that it had had “an incredible year” in the run-up to the vote, reaching more people than ever. 
To the surprise of many prognosticators, anti-black racism in America — not just that limited to the far right — actually rose over the four years of Obama’s first term, according to a 2012 Associated Press poll. The poll found 51% of Americans expressed explicitly anti-black attitudes, compared to 48% in 2008, while 56% showed implicitly anti-black attitudes, up from 49% four years earlier. Another AP poll, in 2011, found that 52% of non-Latino whites expressed explicitly anti-Latino attitudes, a figure that rose to 59% when measured by an implicit attitudes test.
The American Family Association issued predictions for the future that included the claims that conservative Christians will be treated like African Americans before the civil rights movement, that the state will take charge of children at birth, and that cities with names like St. Petersburg will be forced to change their names. Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality said the 2012 election of openly gay Tammy Baldwin to a Senate seat representing Wisconsin signaled that America is “falling apart.” The volume of these kinds of comments seemed higher than ever before. 
Conspiracies and Terror 
Another factor driving the expansion of the radical right over the last decade or so has been the mainstreaming of formerly marginal conspiracy theories. The latest and most dramatic example of that may be the completely baseless claim that Agenda 21 — a United Nations sustainability plan that was signed by President George H.W. Bush but has no mandatory provisions whatsoever — is part of a plan to impose socialism on America and strip away private property rights. 
That claim has been pushed heavily by, among others, the John Birch Society, a conspiracist Patriot organization that was exiled from the conservative movement a half century ago after claiming President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a Communist agent (see story, p. 24)."Last year, the Republican National Committee passed a plank opposing Agenda 21 and describing it as a “destructive and insidious scheme” to impose “socialist/communist redistribution of wealth.” The state of Alabama passed a law barring any policies traceable to Agenda 21 without “due process.” 
The radical right last year produced more than its fair share of political violence. Most dramatically, a neo-Nazi gunman stormed into a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, murdering six people before killing himself. In Georgia, meanwhile, officials arrested 10 people, most of them active-duty military, who were allegedly part of a plot to take over the Army’s Fort Stewart, among many other things. The group is accused of murdering two former members suspected of talking. 
Then, this January, an Alabama high school student was arrested for allegedly plotting to attack his black and gay classmates and bomb his school. Former friends of the student said he and a group of up to 11 other students regularly shouted “white power” and gave stiff-arm Nazi salutes in the halls of their Seale, Ala., school but were ignored by school officials and security officers. 
These were only the latest incidents of just over 100 domestic radical-right plots, conspiracies and racist rampages that the SPLC has counted since the Oklahoma City bombing left 168 men, women and children dead in 1995. 
Now, it seems likely that the radical right’s growth will continue. In 2012, before Obama’s re-election and the Newtown, Conn., massacre, the rate of Patriot growth had slackened somewhat, although it remained significant. Anger over the idea of four more years under a black, Democratic president — and, even more explosively, the same kinds of gun control efforts that fueled the militia movement of the 1990s — seems already to be fomenting another Patriot spurt. 
Even before the election last year, self-described Patriots sounded ready for action. “Our Federal Government is just a tool of International Socialism now, operating under UN Agendas not our American agenda,” the United States Patriots Union wrote last year in a letter “sent to ALL conservative state legislators, all states.” “This means that freedom and liberty must be defended by the states under their Constitutional Balance of Power, or we are headed to Civil War wherein the people will have no choice but to take matters into their own hands.”
Excerpts:  Read the full synopsis at SPLC
If you witness anything out of the ordinary in your community that could lead to a tragic event like the Murrah Bombing in Oklahoma City which was perpetrated by domestic terrorists with ties to the militia movement, please get in contact with federal authorities in your state - FBI is a good place to start or the US Attorney's office who will protect your identity.  This is not something to take lightly as you will read in this report:
Terror From the Right: Plots, Conspiracies and Racist Rampages Since Oklahoma City
At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, a 7,000-pound truck bomb, constructed of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and nitromethane racing fuel and packed into 13 plastic barrels, ripped through the heart of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The explosion wrecked much of downtown Oklahoma City and killed 168 people, including 19 children in a day-care center. Another 500 were injured. Although many Americans initially suspected an attack by Middle Eastern radicals, it quickly became clear that the mass murder had actually been carried out by domestic, right-wing terrorists. 
The slaughter engineered by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, men steeped in the conspiracy theories and white-hot fury of the American radical right, marked the opening shot in a new kind of domestic political extremism — a revolutionary ideology whose practitioners do not hesitate to carry out attacks directed at entirely innocent victims, people selected essentially at random to make a political point. After Oklahoma, it was no longer sufficient for many American right-wing terrorists to strike at a target of political significance — instead, they reached for higher and higher body counts, reasoning that they had to eclipse McVeigh's attack to win attention. 
What follows is a detailed listing of major terrorist plots and racist rampages that have emerged from the American radical right in the years since Oklahoma City. These have included plans to bomb government buildings, banks, refineries, utilities, clinics, synagogues, mosques, memorials and bridges; to assassinate police officers, judges, politicians, civil rights figures and others; to rob banks, armored cars and other criminals; and to amass illegal machine guns, missiles, explosives and biological and chemical weapons. Each of these plots aimed to make changes in America through the use of political violence. Most contemplated the deaths of large numbers of people — in one case, as many as 30,000, or 10 times the number murdered on Sept. 11, 2001.Here are the stories of plots, conspiracies and racist rampages since 1995 — plots and violence waged against a democratic America.   
See details at SPLC
With living in Norman just south of Oklahoma City, have been to the Bombing Memorial and Museum countless times.  Also was at the University of Oklahoma Football Game when the 'lone suicide' bomber blew himself up instead of the stadium when they wouldn't let him enter the stadium at halftime.  It took 18 trips to ammo dump by the City of Norman/Cleveland County Sheriff to remove all the explosives from his apartment.  I live five miles away ammo dump but when they blew up the chemicals, it rattled my windows.  They made 18 trips because if it blew it up in one trip, it would have taken out at least a city block.

With that in mind, I am probably a little more tuned in then some people about the possibility of homegrown terrorists but it is a fact they exists and the hard right media is helping rile them up along with hard right of the Republican Party.  This needs to stop now which is not going to happen when there is money to be made from sale of guns, etc.  However, it is our responsibility as American citizens to try and keep any more domestic terrorists attacks from happening.  Implore everyone to be aware of your surroundings and not be afraid to report something that is not right.  Honest people are not going to be arrested but you could maybe save a life including your own by asking law enforcement to please check out a situation that could get out of hand.

Maybe everyone should be required to visit the Bombing Memorial and see the cubicles of the people murdered that display their treasured items with pictures and see the children that were murdered in that bombing.  Children have a right to expect protection from harm but as we saw at Sandy Hook Elementary when those first graders were gunned down, there are some sick people in the world with guns in their hands or in the case of the Murrah Building - bombs.

Enough of my lecture for one day, but I am not through as you will be hearing this same theme over and over again.  We need to stop the HATE NOW!

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