Roots of U.S. Far Right

Moderators: DrVolin, 82_28, Elvis, Jeff

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby norton ash » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:38 am

Palestine, Tyre, and Carthage? Talk about the Bible Belt.
Zen horse
User avatar
norton ash
 
Posts: 3843
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:46 pm
Location: Canada
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby American Dream » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:10 am

Books: Blood and Politics

Leonard Zeskind explains the history of the white nationalist movement from the margins to the mainstream.
By Dave Gilson | May/June 2009


For the past 40 years, white supremacists have lurked beyond the sidelines of American politics, fantasizing about power yet shunning the public eye. In this 600-page doorstop, Leonard Zeskind, a former factory worker and labor organizer who has become a single-minded watchdog of the racist right, offers a blinding dose of sunlight.

Blood and Politics [1] considers contemporary Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and militia members and argues that they are in fact a single movement with a common—if fractious—history. Zeskind tells this story largely through the careers of the dueling "godfathers" of the late-20th-century extreme right, Willis Carto and William Pierce. Since the mid-'60s, Carto has sought to put a respectable face on white nationalism and infiltrate the mainstream with his benign-sounding Liberty Lobby. His archrival, Pierce, author of race-war novel The Turner Diaries, insisted on violent revolution. (He died in 2002.) The two even disagreed on fundamentals such as Holocaust revisionism: Carto is a denier; Pierce hailed the Holocaust as a portent of things to come. Pierce's book inspired the Oklahoma City bombing [2] and other acts of mayhem, but his National Alliance party crumbled soon after his death. Carto, now in his 80s, has seen his front groups splintered by a series of self-inflicted legal defeats.

Against this backdrop of bickering and violent outbursts, it might be hard to tell if white supremacists [3] are frightening, pitiful, or both. However, Zeskind is emphatic that they should not be written off. He is particularly concerned with their influence on Republican politics. Though he is correct that the social forces and demographic shifts that animate hate groups have also fueled cultural conservatism, he often blurs the meaningful distinctions between the racialist fringe and white Republicans who cynically play racial politics.

Zeskind's tome doesn't attempt to predict the white supremacists' next move. Yet looking at their history, it's clear that current conditions—immigration, recession, and, of course, a popular black president—could reinvigorate their quest for an impossible future.



Source URL: http://motherjones.com/media/2009/05/bo ... d-politics
Links:
[1] http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Politics-Na ... 0374109036
[2] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/200 ... ty-bombing
[3] http://www.motherjones.com/photoessays/ ... outfitters
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
-Malcolm X
American Dream
 
Posts: 19789
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby American Dream » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:44 pm

OK- it's from Wikipedia, but still has useful information:


Christian Identity

Christian Identity is a label applied to a wide variety of loosely affiliated believers and churches with a racialized theology. Many promote a Eurocentric interpretation of Christianity.

According to Chester L. Quarles, professor of criminal justice at the University of Mississippi, some of The Christian Identity movement followers hold that non-Caucasian peoples have no souls, and can therefore never earn God's favor or be saved.[1] Believers of the theology affirm that Jesus Christ paid only for the sins of the House of Israel and the House of Judah and that salvation must be received through both redemption and race.

Christian Identity's key commonality is British Israelism theology, which teaches that white Europeans are the literal descendants of the Israelites through the ten tribes that were taken away into captivity by the armies of Assyria. Furthermore, the teaching holds that these (White European) Israelites are still God's Chosen People, that Jesus was an Israelite of the tribe of Judah, and that modern Jews are not at all Israelites nor Hebrews but are instead descended from people with Turco-Mongolian blood, or Khazars, and are descendants of the Biblical Esau-Edom who traded his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew. (Genesis 25:29-34).

The Christian Identity movement first broke into the mainstream media in 1984, when the white nationalist organization known as The Order embarked on a murderous crime spree before being taken down by the FBI. Tax resister and militia movement organizer Gordon Kahl, whose death in a 1983 shootout with authorities helped inspire The Order, also had connections to the Identity movement.[2][3] The movement returned to public attention in 1992 and 1993, in the wake of the deadly Ruby Ridge confrontation, when newspapers discovered that former Green Beret and right-wing Christian fundamentalist Randy Weaver had at least a loose association with Christian Identity believers.[4]

No single document expresses the Christian Identity belief system; however, adherents draw upon arguments from linguistic, historical, archaeological and Biblical sources to support their beliefs. Estimates are that these groups have 2,000 to 50,000 members in the United States of America,[5] and an unknown number in Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth.

Christian Identity believers reject the beliefs of most contemporary Christian denominations. They claim that modern Christian churches are teaching a heresy: the belief that God's promises to Israel (through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) have been expanded to create a spiritual people of "Israel", which constitutes the Christian "Church". In turn, most modern Christian denominations and organizations denounce Christian Identity as heresy and condemn the use of the Christian Bible as a basis for promoting anti-Semitism. Adherents of Christian Identity claim that Europeans are the true descendants of the Biblical Jacob, hence they are the true Israel, and that it is those who are against the interests of European-descended Christians that are the true anti-Semites.

Origins

Christian Identity developed out of British Israelism, a Protestant religious movement popular in the Victorian era of British history. It asserted that the Europeans, Anglo-Saxons, Germanics and Slavs were the original descendants of the twelve lost tribes of Israel, whereas British Israel teaches that The British are from the Ten Lost Tribes. The British Israel form of the belief held little or no anti-Semitism, its followers instead holding the view that Jews made up a minority of the tribes of Israel, with the British and other European peoples making up the remainder. However, some historians believe that this tradition's popularity in the United Kingdom grew out of the desire to justify imperialism in the Victorian period.

English banker Edward Hine (1825–1891) published an influential book on British Israelism in 1871 called Forty-Seven Identifications of the British Nation With Lost Israel. In 1884, Hine sailed to America to spread his ideas there. Howard Rand (1889–1991), born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, took Hine's ideas, added antisemitism, and called the result "Christian Identity".

Wesley Swift (1913–1970) is considered by the FBI to have been the single most significant figure in the early years of the Christian Identity movement. Swift helped popularize a new element: the "two-seed" (or "seedliner") theory, which holds that Eve was seduced by the Serpent, conceived Cain as a result, and that modern Jews are actually descended from Cain. However, some figures once prominent in the Identity movement (such as Pete Peters and Ted Weiland) believe that modern Jews are descended from the Khazars rather than from Satan.

Swift was born in New Jersey, and eventually moved to Los Angeles in order to attend Bible college. It is claimed that he may have been a "Ku Klux Klan organizer and a Klan rifle-team instructor."[6] In 1946, he founded his own church in Lancaster, California. In the 1950s, he was Gerald L. K. Smith's West Coast representative of the Christian Nationalist Crusade. In addition, he had a daily radio broadcast in California during the 1950s and 60s, through which he was able to proclaim his ideology to a large audience. With Swift's efforts, the message of his church spread, leading to the creation of similar churches throughout the country. In 1957, the name of his church was changed to The Church of Jesus Christ Christian, which is used today by Aryan Nations (AN) churches.

One of Swift's associates was retired Col. William Potter Gale (1917–1988). Gale had apparently been an aide to General Douglas MacArthur, and had coordinated guerrilla resistance in the Philippines during World War II. Gale became a leading figure in the anti-tax and paramilitary movements of the 1970s and 80s, beginning with the California Rangers and the Posse Comitatus, and helping to found the militia movement. Numerous Christian Identity churches preach similar messages and some espouse more violent rhetoric than others, but all hold to the belief that Aryans are God's chosen race.

It was Col. Gale who introduced future Aryan Nations founder Richard Girnt Butler to Swift. Until then, Butler had admired George Lincoln Rockwell and Senator Joseph McCarthy, but had been relatively secular. The charismatic Swift quickly converted him to Christian Identity.

When Swift died, Butler took over the Church, to the apparent dismay of both Gale and Swift's family. Neither Butler nor Gale were anything like the dynamic orator that Swift had been, and attendance dwindled under the new pastor. Butler eventually renamed the organisation "The Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryan Nations" and moved it to Hayden Lake, Idaho.

Lessor luminaries were also present as Christian Identity theology took shape in the 1940s and 1950s, such as Baptist minister and California Klansman San Jacinto Capt[sic] (who claimed that he had introduced Wesley Swift to Christian Identity), and one-time San Diego Deputy City Attorney (and lawyer for Gerald L. K. Smith) Bertrand Comparet (1901–1983).[7] But for the most part, today's Christian Identity groups seem to have been spawned by Wesley Swift, through his lieutenants William Potter Gale and Richard Butler.

Ideology

Christian Identity asserts that the people of Europe are God's servant people according to the promises that were given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It further asserts that the early European tribes were really the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel and therefore the rightful heirs to God's promises. The argument is that the lost tribes of Israel were taken into captivity and deported by Sargon, king of Assyria as punishment for failing to honour the terms of the first covenant, given by God to Moses. After the death of King Solomon, the Hebrew people experienced a civil war that resulted in two houses, the House of Israel, and the House of Judah. As punishment for their sinfulness, God warned both houses through Jeremiah, and the minor prophets that both houses would be punished for 2520 years ("seven times" or also known in the Bible as "the time of the Gentiles"), by being divorced as a people from their God, and removed from the land of their forefathers. From 745BC Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria started this invasion of the House of Israel plus 2520 years comes to 1776, and Identity holds that America is the tribe of Joseph's younger son, Manasseh. In 721BC Tiglath-Pileser III continued his invasion plus 2520 years later was 1801, marking the Act of Union and the formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland which Identity holds to be the great commonwealth of nations promised to Joseph's eldest son, Ephraim. Christian Identity believes that the remaining tribes are the other western European nations. By extension, the theory goes, this would mean that the European tribes inherited God's first covenant, subsequent punishments, and the "New Covenant" as well.

Christian Identity, through British Israelism, has formulated the belief that the historical House of Israel, which was captured by Sargon, did not stay long in the "City of the Medes", the Biblical destination of Sargon's deportation. Rather, the House of Israel became nomadic and was therefore the ancestral lineage of the invading Celto-Germanic tribes that ravaged the Roman Empire and Rome itself. Much is made of folk etymology such as the Hebrew word for exile (Glh, or Gal) compared to "Gaul", or "Issacsen" and "Saxons". In a similar way, some Identity believers claim that the Biblical "tribe of Dan" became the tribe known as Danes, claiming that they left alleged clues scattered about Europe (such as river names like Danube, Dnieper, Dniester ) or that part of the Biblical "tribe of Judah", that was taken with the House of Israel in the Assyrian captivity, became known as the tribe of Jutes.
One of the most distinguishing beliefs held by Identity Christians is the view that modern Jews are not the Biblical "House of Israel". Identity Christians hold that modern Jews are not even the Biblical "house of Judah", but rather claim that they are Edomites, descendants of Esau, who mixed with the House of Judah in Babylonian captivity, or are Khazars whose ancestors adopted Judaism in 838 A.D. to avoid warring with Christian Europe, or the emerging power of Islam in the Middle East.[8] This is known as the single-seedline version of Christian Identity. Other Identity Christians, known as dual-seedliners, believe that Jews were conceived as a result of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden having sexual intercourse.[9] Some Identity Christians believe that a version of Christianity must have existed before Roman Christianity entered Europe. Proponents of this theology cite the existence of Celtic Christianity and its struggles with Roman Christianity as evidence, arguing that Celtic Christianity must have been a reflection of the native beliefs of many European tribes. On a related note, many Christian Identity churches display animosity towards the Roman Catholic Church, referring to it as the Whore of Babylon.

Iconoclastic fundamentalism

Some Christian Identity followers assert that Adam and Eve were preceded by lesser races identified as "beasts of the field" (Gen. 1:25); for example, the "beasts" which wore sackcloth and cried unto God (Jonah 3:8) are considered Negroes. Dual Seedliners, as they are called, believe that Eve was seduced by the Snake (Satan), shared her fallen state with Adam by lying with him, and gave birth to twins with different fathers: Satan's child Cain and Adam's son Abel. Cain then became the progenitor of the Jews in his subsequent matings with the non-Adamic races. This is referred to as the two-seedline doctrine. This doctrine is a revival of a medieval folk belief ascribing the ancestry of legendary monsters such as Grendel to Cain.

Fundamentalist Christians see this ancestral argument as absurd because to them a literal interpretation of Genesis would indicate that Noah, a direct descendant of Seth (another son of Adam), is the father of all modern day peoples since his bloodline was the only one saved in the flood. However, Christian Identity adherents claim that the flood in Genesis only rose high enough to drown the region of the Tarim Basin below sea level (Gen. 7:20) and that therefore the Hebrew word "eretz" which appears in those verses should be rendered "the land" (as in a specific place) rather than "the earth."[10]
Two-seedline adherents believe that Jews are genetically compelled by their Satanic ancestry to carry on a conspiracy against the Adamic seedline and today have achieved almost complete control of the Earth through their illegitimate claim to the white race's status as God's chosen people.[11] As a general rule, Christian Identity followers adhere to the traditional orthodox Christian views on the role of women, abortion, and homosexuality, and view racial miscegenation as a sin and a violation of God's laws as dictated in Genesis of "kind after kind". (Ex. 21:22, Lev. 20:13). They assert a variation on the creationism account of the Earth's creation; they say the pre-Adamic races inhabited the Earth for an unknown period of time before the six-thousand year long history of the Adamic people.[12] Many Christian Identity ministries reject the two-seedline doctrine but still consider Jews to be evil as an entire race.[13][14]

In addition to their racist views Christian Identity adherents distinguish themselves from mainstream Protestant Fundamentalism in various areas of theology. Most Christian Identity adherents follow the Mosaic law of the Old Testament (e.g., dietary restrictions, the seventh-day Sabbath, certain annual festivals such as Passover). It is also commonplace for adherents to follow the Sacred Name Movement and they insist on using the original Hebrew names when referring to God (Yahweh) and Jesus Christ (Yahshua). Some Christian Identity writers criticize modern Bible editions as well as the Jews for the removal of the original Hebrew name of God in the Bible. Although their adherence to Old Testament Mosaic law may make them appear "Jewish"; they claim that the Jewish interpretation of the law has been corrupted through the Jews' Talmud. Unlike many Protestant Fundamentalists, Christian Identity adherents reject the notion of a Rapture, believing it to be a Judaised doctrine which the Bible does not teach.[15]

World's end and Armageddon

Christian Identity adherents believe in the inevitability of the end of the world and the Second Coming of Christ. The view of what Armageddon will be varies among Christian Identity believers. All contend that there will be a race war in which millions will die; These End Times events are seen as part of a cleansing process that is needed before Christ's kingdom can be established on earth. During this time, Jews and their allies will attempt to destroy the white race using any means available to them. The result will be a violent and bloody millennial struggle, which will be a race war. Some white Christian Identity adherents see themselves as God's agents battling what they see as the forces of evil (Jews and non-Whites) and they believe that they will physically struggle with the forces of evil against sin and other violations of God's law (e.g., miscegenation and internationalism). Many believe that the United Nations, backed by Jewish representatives of the anti-Christ, will take over the country and promote a New World Order. One Christian Identity interpretation holds that white Christians have been chosen to watch for signs of the impending war in order to warn others. Many will perish as a result of refusing to wear the Mark of the Beast which they believe will be necessary to participate in business and commerce. After the final battle is ended and God's kingdom is established on earth, only then will the Aryan people be recognized as the one and true Israel.[citation needed]

Some Christian Identity adherents believe that God will use what they believe is the Chosen Race as his weapons to battle the forces of evil. These Christian Identity followers believe that they are among those chosen by God to wage this battle during Armageddon and that they will be the last line of defense for both the white race and for Christianity in general. To prepare for these events, they engage in survivalist and paramilitary training, storing foodstuffs and supplies, and caching weapons and ammunition.[citation needed]

Christian Identity followers who are Preterist however, view the end-times as being a mistranslation of the 'end of the age' rather than as a literal reference to the end of time, and they also believe that the Kingdom of God is here and now and is merely waiting for good Christian men of Adam-Israel stock to take hold and build the Kingdom of God here and now, and thus they are neither awaiting a second coming, Armageddon, nor are they awaiting any race war.[citation needed]

Groups

Christian Identity groups include the Aryan Nations, Church of Jesus Christ Christian, Thomas Robb, Mission To Israel, Folk And Faith, Jubilee (newspaper), Yahweh's Truth (James Wickstrom), Kingdom Identity Ministries and White Separatist Banner. Christian Identity is a major unifying theology for a number of diverse groups of white nationalist Christians. It is a belief system that provides its members with a religious basis for racial separatism. Herbert W. Armstrong is inaccurately described by some of his critics, as well as by supporters of Christian Identity, as having supported Christian Identity, due to his belief in a modified form of British Israelism, and the fact that during his lifetime, he propounded observances favoured by many Christian Identity groups, such as seventh-day Sabbatarianism and Biblical festivals. The Worldwide Church of God that Armstrong founded did not subscribe to the anti-Semitism commonly espoused by the Christian or Israel Identity groups but instead adhered to the traditional beliefs of British Israelism; i.e., the belief held that modern day Jews were descendants of the Tribe of Judah whereas the Anglo-Saxons, Celts, Danes, etc. were descendants of the remaining Ten Tribes of Israel formerly known as the Northern Kingdom. Note: LaPorte Church of Christ is often mischaracterized as sympathetic to Christian Identity, but the organization explicitly rejects this association.

Aryan Nations

The Aryan Nations (AN) is a group that adheres to the Christian Identity belief system. The group espouses dislike towards Jews, blacks and other minorities, as well as the United States federal government. The original ultimate goal of the AN is to forcibly take five northwestern states - Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington and Montana - from the United States government in order to establish an Aryan homeland. This particular ideology is known throughout the White power movement as the Northwest Territorial Imperative. The AN was headquartered at Hayden Lake, Idaho from the late 1970s until February 2001. Its annual World Congress attracted a number of different factions from the far-right. The World Congress was a sort of round table to discuss racialist issues. Since the main Aryan Nations property in Idaho was dismantled following a costly lawsuit against the group and the death of Richard Butler, there have been several struggles over control of the movement that are as yet unresolved.

The Order and The New Order

Robert Jay Mathews formed a clandestine cell in part from members of Aryan Nations called The Order (1983-1984) which committed a number of crimes, including the murder of Alan Berg. While the group had a number of Christian Identity adherents, Mathews himself followed Odinism, as did several other Order members.[citation needed] Dennis McGiffen, who also had ties to the AN, formed a cell called The New Order, over a decade later, in imitation of The Order, the members were arrested before they could follow through on their plans to attack the Southern Poverty Law Center.

South African groups

Christian Identity has a longer history in South Africa (where it is often called "Israel Identity") than it does elsewhere, and due to the apartheid era, during which South African leaders made frequent use of religion to justify their ideals, it may be said to have gained greater societal acceptance among certain sectors of the population than it did in other nations. Ideas similar to the Christian Identity belief system have continued to survive in certain areas, and some South African commentators blame this on the high crime rate in South Africa and on increased unemployment among Whites, especially Afrikaners, since the ANC took power.[16] Some members of these Israel Identity groups follow the teachings of Siener van Rensburg, an Afrikaner prophet who lived during the Second Boer War and predicted, amongst other things, the death of Koos de la Rey.[17]


Opposition and support

Most Americans are unaware of the Christian Identity Movement.[citation needed] Despite its low profile, Christian Identity has influenced many white supremacist and extreme anti-government movements.[citation needed] Some Neo-Nazis reject Christian Identity because they see Christianity as a religion based on the Hebrew Bible and since they reject all things seen as influenced by Jews, they reject Christianity[citation needed]. They believe that both modern Jews and the Biblical Israelites are genealogically related.[citation needed] Some modern neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and White Power groups place an emphasis on their belief in God and on their version of Christianity.[citation needed] Whether neo-Nazi and Fascist movements promote Christianity or a form of neo-Paganism depends on the beliefs and on the ideology of the specific leadership of the organisations or movements, and as a general rule is never strictly one way or the other.[citation needed] Other White Nationalists, particularly among Pan Europeans (White Nationalists who define all peoples of European origin as White) and Pan Aryans (White Nationalists who define race strictly biologically and extend acceptance not only to all Europeans, but extra European Whites as well) reject Christian Identity as a divisive North European supremacist movement that divides racial Whites along sub-racial and religious lines and as a movement and in so doing gravely imperils the White race at a time of great demographic, social and political decline. They also view its rejection of Non-Nordic Whites as being irrational and lacking in any scientific foundation.

Footnotes

^ Quarles, Chester L. (2004). Christian Identity: The Aryan American Bloodline Religion. McFarland & Company. pp. 68. ISBN 978-0786418923.
^ http://www.adl.org/learn/Ext_US/SCM.asp
^ http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.h ... nted=print
^ Reason Magazine - Ambush at Ruby Ridge.
^ Barkun, Michael (1996). "preface". Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement. University of North Carolina Press. pp. x. ISBN 0-8078-4638-4.
^ Christian Defense League by D. Boylan 2004 Revision.
^ http://www.churchoftrueisrael.com/who-d ... deny4.html
^ Khazaria.com - History of Jewish Khazars, Khazar Turk, Khazarian Jews.
^ "Carl Story, Vincent Bertollini and the 11th Hour Remnant Messenger: The Ideology of Hate". Anti-Defamation League. 2000. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
^ Crosswalk - Devotionals, Christian Music, Family, Christian News, Forums & more.
^ WHO ARE THE JEWS? By: Bertrand Comparet.
^ Adam was not the First Man.
^ Welcome - Mission to Israel.
^ Kinsman Redeemer Ministries.
^ I Come As A Thief.
^ [1][dead link]
^ The Dust of Conflict - South African Military History Society - Journal.

Bibliography

Barkun, M. (1994). Religion and the racist right: the origins of the Christian Identity movement. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981.
Ingram, W.L., (1995). God and Race: British-Israelism and Christian Identity, p. 119-126 in T. Miller, Ed., America's Alternative Religions, SUNY Press, Albany NY.
Kaplan, Jeffrey, (1997). Radical Religion in America, Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press. pp. 47–48.
Lakeland, P. (1997). Postmodernity: Christian identity in a fragmented age. Guides to theological inquiry. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.
Quarles, C. L. (2004). Christian Identity: the Aryan American bloodline religion. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.
Roberts, Charles H. (2003). Race over Grace: The Racialist Religion of the Christian Identity Movement, Omaha, Nebraska: iUniverse Press. ISBN 0-595-28197-4.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Identity
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
-Malcolm X
American Dream
 
Posts: 19789
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby American Dream » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:26 pm

...

WMMT News Reports on Michigan Militia




Transcript:
Militia Movement; inside the Michigan Militia
2010-02-11 23:09:20

MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – The Michigan Militia, a group of well-armed activists, has been in and out of the news for more than a decade. Often, they say that media attention has come for the wrong reasons.

The militia has been controversial because of its axe to grind with the U.S. Government, and its link to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

But are they really training to be home-grown terrorists as some suggest?

In a special report, Newschannel 3 took a look at the militia, and got a first-hand account of their marching orders.

They do their training in firearms and first aid, but ultimately few really know what the volunteer militia is getting ready for, other than to arm themselves against the government should the need arise. It's the guns that scare people who think the men and women of the Michigan Militia are actually training to kill.

“We are not training to kill Muslims,” said Michigan Militia member Lee Miracle, “we would gladly kill terrorists, but not all terrorists are Muslims and not all Muslims are terrorists.”

Militia members say they're not that scary.

“People probably think we sit in our basement all day sharpening our knives, and that we pray for some apocalyptic turmoil, really nothing could be further from the truth,” said Miracle.

Miracle has been with the militia since it began in the early 90s, and has now taken on a leadership role in the group. The militia's original founder was kicked out for being too radical and now they say it's a kinder, gentler, militia.

“We don't want people who want to hurt Americans,” said Miracle. “we don't want people who want to hurt babies, we don't want people who want to blow things up because they're mad.”

Miracle is referring to Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, who at first was believed to have ties to the Michigan Militia. Current members still get fired up about what was, at best, a very distant connection.

“Let's say after the Oklahoma City bombing they said Timothy McVeigh, a known bread eater, blew up a building. Now when you go the store and buy some bread they're going to say, 'Oh he's eating bread just like Timothy McVeigh,'” said Miracle.

Miracle and others do however admit that there have been numerous people joining and then leaving the militia who have committed horrible crimes. One of those is Scott Woodring, a man most in West Michigan remember. Woodring shot and killed a state trooper in 2003.

“We really don't want angry people to come here,” said Miracle.

A look at the Michigan Militia's videos on YouTube paints a slightly different picture, with many shots of guns, ammo, and camouflage, essentially a recruiting tool to get more members.

While militia members say they want peace, a recent study by the Southern Poverty Law Center suggested that the political conditions were ripe for the Michigan Militia to grow and do harm. The center alleges that militia groups are often racist, and have the potential to resort to domestic terrorism.

Newschannel 3 asked Miracle if that could happen, or whether he could be considered a terrorist.

“No, I'm a postal worker,” said Miracle, “it's probably equally frightening to some people. No, I work at the post office, I'm not a terrorist.”

Militia members will admit that the organization's disorganized and isn't growing, currently the militia has few hundred members at most, and on the weekend Newschannel was there, West Michigan members of the group chose not to participate in the training in protest, clearly some friction and lack of cohesion is haunting the group.

“We're not the catch all anymore, and people can find groups that fit in better with their idea of what needs to be done,” said Michigan Militia member Michael Lackoman.

However, militia members say they're there for a reason, a constitutional right, and they don't want anybody to stop them.

“We just basically want to do what we want to do and be left alone to do it,” said Lackoman.

After being kicked out of Michigan, the militia's founder moved to Alaska where he runs a similar group.

At its peak, the Michigan Militia claimed it had 10,000 members.
American Dream
 
Posts: 19789
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby American Dream » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:31 pm

http://www.realchangenews.org/index.php ... ives/3796/

The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

How do they solve a problem like a liberal? Eliminate him

Feb 10, 2010, Vol: 17, No: 7

The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

By David Neiwert, PoliPoint Press, soft cover, 2009, 249 pages, $16.95



There’s a great irony to David Neiwert’s new book “The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right.” While a lot of the book reads like columns culled from Neiwert’s blog, “Orcinus” (going all the way back to the Bill Clinton administration), it’s more topical than ever.

Neiwert begins with Jim David Adkisson. In July 2008, Adkisson walked into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, shot and killed two parishoners and wounded seven others as services were about to begin. In the following months, after Neiwert’s book went to press, there were three more shootings that had the earmarks of right-wing extremism: James von Brunn, an 88-year-old white supremacist killed Stephen Johns, a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. (von Brunn, who suffered a head injury during the shooting, died Jan. 7); Richard Poplawski, a 22-year-old former Marine, killed three Pittsburgh policemen and injured two more with an AK47 after hearing TV host Glenn Beck and National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre talk about how President Barack Obama was going to ban guns; and anti-abortion advocate Scott Roeder shot Dr. George Teller, one of the few doctors performing late-term abortions, at a church in Kansas where Teller served as an usher (on Jan. 29, Roeder, who admitted to a jury he’d shot Teller, was convicted of first-degree murder; he’ll serve life in prison).

These are the most extreme examples of what Neiwert calls eliminationism: “a politics and a culture that shuns dialogue and the democratic exchange of ideas in favor of the outright elimination of the opposing side through suppression, exile, ejection or extermination.’’

While some would say these are isolated incidents and the acts of unbalanced people, Neiwert makes the argument that, “The line between right-wing extremists and ‘the conservative movement’ has been increasingly blurred in the past 10 years, so blurred in fact, there are times the two are nearly indistinguishable.’’

Neiwert has reported on right-wing extremist groups since the 1980s. Currently a Seattle resident, he grew up in Idaho where, he writes, “If you couldn’t make friends with conservatives, you didn’t have many friends.’’ When Neiwert grew up in the ’60s Idaho had a curious mix of John Birchers and Mormons; as a reporter in the early ’90s he started writing about the “Christian Patriot movement’’ or, as it’s better known, the militia movement, and the Aryan Nations, who made no secret of their Hitler worship, swastikas and hatred of Jews and blacks.

“The kind of ideology being promoted by the (Montana) Freemen was a blind, irrational, utterly visceral hatred that surpassed even the worst things I had heard from the mouths of Birchers while growing up,’’ Niewert wrote in 1996 while covering one militia trial. “There were paranoid conspiracy theories, pseudo-legal “constitutionalism,’’ even the barely concealed race-baiting and anti-Semitism.’’

At the same time, Neiwert began listening to radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and heard the same messages as the militia and the Aryans, albeit in a more articulate (and entertaining) manner. “Americans were being told, relentlessly and repeatedly, that government was not only a bad thing but inherently evil,’’ writes Neiwert. “Government was conspiring to take away their freedoms and enslave them.’’ This part of the book is must reading for progressives wh don’t understand middle-Americans who think health care is “taking away’’ their freedoms.

Limbaugh paved the way for a generation of right-wing talk show hosts, personalities and bloggers (not to mention an entire TV network: FOX News) who marginalize and belittle those they disagree with. (A couple of things that Neiwert doesn’t bring up are the roles that the abolition, in 1987, of the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine, which asked broadcasters to present controversial issues in a balanced manner, and the increasing concentration of media ownership play in the rise of the right-wing media).

After Adkisson was arrested, police detectives entered his home and found, spread among his guns and ammunition, the latest conservative prose stylings: “Liberalism Is A Mental Disorder” by Michael Savage (who lost a Saturday night show on MSNBC when he told a gay caller, “You should get AIDS and die, you pig.’’), “Let Freedom Ring” by Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”

The rise of the Radical Right coincided with the Clinton presidency. “(The bashing) culminated in the Clinton impeachment fiasco, which demonstrated the power of an increasingly fanatical movement to foist its political power on an unwilling public,’’ writes Neiwert.

When Clinton left office, right-wing baiting was accelerated by three issues: the 9/11 attacks and the War on Terror (which Neiwert connects), immigration and the invasion of Iraq. “In all three cases, the demonization of liberals grew sharper and louder, as did the reflexive reliance on conspiracy theories and apocalyptic fear mongering.”

Neiwert finishes the book on a cautionary note. Paraphrasing Sinclair Lewis, he says that fascism could happen here (despite cries from both the Right and Left that the U.S. is hardly a fascist country today), but doesn’t give any concrete suggestions on how to avoid it. Neiwert suggests confronting the Right directly but not sinking to its level.

In a nutshell, that may be the progressive paradox.
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
-Malcolm X
American Dream
 
Posts: 19789
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby American Dream » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:42 pm

http://www.theworldismycountry.org/allp ... ook-review

Before Fox News there was GERALD L.K. SMITH – Book Review
26th July 2009

Gerald L.K. Smith Revisited
Liar, racist, demagogue – the voice of a generation.

Gerald L.K. Smith: Minister of Hate
by Glen Jeansonne



This biography, reprinted ten years after its first publication, is a useful portrait of a nasty fellow. During his long career as a “nationalist,” anti-Communist, anti-Jewish, pro-Christian, “America first” agitator and propagandist, Gerald L.K. Smith was a household name in America — and in some circles quite an influential one.

Nasty though he was, Smith’s life also serves as a reminder that a hate-monger can be, in private, a very kindly, even admirable fellow. Smith was personally courageous, extraordinarily energetic and totally sincere, as well as paranoid, shrilly racist and a liar — a disseminator of total fabrications that he apparently believed with full sincerity as soon as he invented them.

Born in 1898 in rural Wisconsin to hard-working religious parents, Smith chose the Christian ministry as his career at age 12 and never looked back. Much of his fame and influence came as a consequence of his abilities as a public speaker. He was probably the best orator and “rabble-rouser” in American history; H.L. Mencken, who had heard both, judged him superior even to the silver-tongued William Jennings Bryan.

Smith got his start in politics as a member of Louisiana Governor Huey Long’s administration. When Long, whom he loved and admired, was assassinated in 1935, Smith’s power base fell apart. He believed that Franklin Roosevelt was behind the assassination, in order to keep Long from running for president in 1936, and he forever after hated FDR.

After Roosevelt’s reelection in 1936, Smith created his own movement, the Committee of One Million, preaching that the United States was in imminent danger of a Communist revolution. The warning did not seem so far-fetched during the Depression years, and Smith was endorsed by members of Congress and financially supported by such captains of industry as auto magnate Horace Dodge.

Energetic and prolific — a true American success story — Smith raised considerable sums of money through radio talks, direct mail campaigns, book distribution, and personal appearances. (We are lucky that he did not have the sort of long-term organizational talents that build and solidify mass movements.)

All of Smith’s preachments were seasoned with a large dollop of paranoia and demagoguery. He believed, for example, that the Communists were plotting to seal off Manhattan Island by dynamiting its bridges and tunnels, and he circulated a spurious genealogy “tracing” Franklin Roosevelt’s “Jewish” ancestry. An ardent isolationist, he insisted that World War II was being fought only to protect European Jews and to preserve the British Empire.

By 1942 he was blaming the Jews for his failure to win the Republican nomination for Senator in Michigan. In 1943 he created the America First Party in order to “save” white, Christian America. Jesus, he claimed, was not a Jew but a blue-eyed blond who “bore no resemblance whatever to the modern hook-nose shopkeeper, money changer, brothel owner and whiskey peddler.” Hitler, he believed, was being persecuted by the Jews. Six million Jews murdered? Nonsense — they had been illegally admitted to the United States to keep Roosevelt in power. As his anti-Semitism became more shrill, Smith alienated even those mainstream figures who had once supported him.

Nonetheless, he couldn’t understand why, in 1944, no serious candidate for president wanted his support; in fact, each one repudiated it. In 1948, repudiated even by the States’ Rights “Dixiecrats, ” he ran as the candidate of the Christian Nationalist Party on a platform that included white supremacy, deporting blacks and Zionist Jews, and constructing ghettoes for those Jews who remained. The government was controlled by Jews, he railed. Eisenhower was a “Swedish Jew. ” Harry S. Truman’s middle name? Solomon. By the time of the Eichmann trial in Israel, he was speculating that Eichmann, who “looks like a Jew to me, ” was collaborating in a Jewish conspiracy to gain money and sympathy for Israel.

In the last 15 years of his life — he died in 1976 — Smith devoted much of his energy to creating a suitable monument to himself. He settled in the Arkansas town of Eureka Springs and funded the building of a 70-foot-high sculpture, “The Christ of the Ozarks,” visible from three states; an amphitheater to which thousands of tourists still come to watch the story of Jesus acted out; and a museum that displays his private collection of 7,000 Bibles.

Glen Jeansonne’s succeeds, by the careful accumulation of details, to provide a portrait of both the public and the private man. Only the figure of Smith’s wife, and the bond between them, remains elusive.

Overviewing Gerald L.K. Smith’s life, it is a relief to see that many ugly ideas that were respectable, or at least widely held, have now been assigned to the margins of American public life. But it is also edifying to remember that the bad old days are not really all that far in the past.



http://www.davidmargolis.com/article.ph ... 6&cat_fp=0
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
-Malcolm X
American Dream
 
Posts: 19789
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby American Dream » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:23 am

Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason

Meet the fast-growing "patriot" group that's recruiting soldiers to resist the Obama administration.

By Justine Sharrock | March/April 2010 Issue


THE .50 CALIBER Bushmaster bolt action rifle is a serious weapon. The model that Pvt. 1st Class Lee Pray is saving up for has a 2,500-yard range and comes with a Mark IV scope and an easy-load magazine. When the 25-year-old drove me to a mall in Watertown, New York, near the Fort Drum Army base, he brought me to see it in its glass case—he visits it periodically, like a kid coveting something at the toy store. It'll take plenty of military paychecks to cover the $5,600 price tag, but he considers the Bushmaster essential in his preparations to take on the US government when it declares martial law.

His belief that that day is imminent has led Pray to a group called Oath Keepers [1], one of the fastest-growing "patriot" organizations on the right. Founded last April by Yale-educated lawyer and ex-Ron Paul aide Stewart Rhodes, the group has established itself as a hub in the sprawling anti-Obama movement that includes Tea Partiers, Birthers, and 912ers. Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and Pat Buchanan have all sung its praises, and in December, a grassroots summit [2] it helped organize drew such prominent guests as representatives Phil Gingrey [3] and Paul Broun [4], both Georgia Republicans.

There are scores of patriot groups, but what makes Oath Keepers unique is that its core membership consists of men and women in uniform, including soldiers, police, and veterans. At regular ceremonies in every state, members reaffirm their official oaths of service, pledging to protect the Constitution—but then they go a step further, vowing to disobey "unconstitutional" orders from what they view as an increasingly tyrannical government.

Pray (who asked me to use his middle name rather than his first) and five fellow soldiers based at Fort Drum take this directive very seriously. In the belief that the government is already turning on its citizens, they are recruiting military buddies, stashing weapons, running drills, and outlining a plan of action. For years, they say, police and military have trained side by side in local anti-terrorism exercises around the nation. In September 2008, the Army began training [5] the 3rd Infantry's 1st Brigade Combat Team to provide humanitarian aid following a domestic disaster or terror attack—and to help with crowd control and civil unrest if need be. (The ACLU has expressed concern about this deployment.) And some of Pray's comrades were guinea pigs for military-grade sonic weapons, only to see them used by Pittsburgh police against protesters last fall.

Most of the men's gripes revolve around policies that began under President Bush but didn't scare them so much at the time. "Too many conservatives relied on Bush's character and didn't pay attention," founder Rhodes told me. "Only now, with Obama, do they worry and see what has been done. I trusted Bush to only go after the terrorists. But what do you think can happen down the road when they say, 'I think you are a threat to the nation?'"

In Pray's estimate, it might not be long (months, perhaps a year) before President Obama finds some pretext—a pandemic, a natural disaster, a terror attack—to impose martial law, ban interstate travel, and begin detaining citizens en masse. One of his fellow Oath Keepers, a former infantryman, advised me to prepare a "bug out" bag with 39 items including gas masks, ammo, and water purification tablets, so that I'd be ready to go "when the shit hits the fan."

When it does, Pray and his buddies plan to go AWOL and make their way to their "fortified bunker"—the home of one comrade's parents in rural Idaho—where they've stocked survival gear, generators, food, and weapons. If it becomes necessary, they say, they will turn those guns against their fellow soldiers.



PRAY AND I DRIVE through a bleak landscape of fallow winter fields and strip malls in his blue Dodge Stratus as Drowning Pool's "Bodies"—a heavy metal song once used to torment [6] Abu Ghraib detainees—plays on the stereo. Clad in an oversize black hoodie that hides his military physique, Pray sports an Army-issue buzz cut and is seriously inked (skulls, smoke, an eagle). His father kicked him out of the house at age 14. Two years later, after working jobs from construction to plumbing—"If it's blue collar, I've done it"—he tried to enlist. It wasn't long after 9/11, and he was hell-bent on revenge. The Army turned him down. Blaming the "THOR" tattooed across his fist, Pray tried to burn it off. On September 11, 2006, he approached the Army again and was accepted.

Now Pray is both a Birther and a Truther. He believes he is following an illegitimate, foreign-born president in a war on terror launched by a government plot—9/11. He admires soldiers like Army reservist Major Stefan Frederick Cook, who volunteered for a deployment last May and then sued to avoid it—claiming that Obama is not a natural-born citizen and is thus unfit for command. Pray himself had been eager to go to Iraq when his own unit deployed last June, but he smashed both knees falling from a crane rig and the injuries kept him stateside. In September, he was demoted from specialist to private first class—he'd been written up for bullshit infractions, he claims, after seeking help for a drinking problem. His job on base involves operating and maintaining heavy machinery; the day before we met, he and his fellow "undeployables" had attached a snowplow to a Humvee, their biggest assignment in a while. He spends idle hours at the now-quiet base researching the New World Order and conspiracies about swine flu quarantine camps—and doing his best to "wake up" other soldiers.

Pray isn't sure how to do this and still cover his ass. He talks to me on the record and agrees to be photographed, even as he hints that the CIA may be listening in on his phone. Although I met him through contacts from the group's Facebook page, Pray, fearing retribution, keeps his Oath Keepers ties unofficial. (Rhodes encourages active-duty soldiers to remain anonymous, noting that a group with large numbers of anonymous members can instill in its adversaries the fear of the unknown—a "great force multiplier.") For a time, Pray insisted we communicate via Facebook (safer than regular email, he claims). Driving me from the mall back to my motel, he takes a new route. He says unmarked black cars sometimes trail him. It sounds paranoid. Then again, when you're an active-duty soldier contemplating treason, some level of paranoia is probably sensible.

The next afternoon we join Brandon, one of Pray's Army buddies, for steaks. Sitting in a pleather booth at Texas Roadhouse, the young men talk boastfully about their military capabilities and weapons caches. Role-playing the enemy in military exercises, Brandon says, has prepared him to evade and fight back against US troops. "I know their tactics," brags Pray. "I know how they do room sweeps, work their convoys—if we attack this vehicle, what the others will do."

A strapping Idahoan, Brandon (who doesn't want his full name used) enlisted as a teenager when he got his girlfriend pregnant and needed a stable job, stat. (She lost the baby and they split, but he's still glad he signed up.) Unlike his friend, he doesn't think the United Nations must be dismantled, although he does agree that it represents the New World Order, and he suspects that concentration camps are being readied in the off-limits section of Fort Drum. He sends 500 rounds of ammunition home to Idaho each month.



Image
Pfc. Lee Pray vows he'll fight to the death if a rogue
US government "forces us to engage."


EVERY YEAR ON April 19, history buffs gather on the village green in Lexington, Massachusetts, to reenact the first battle of the Revolutionary War. For Stewart Rhodes, it was the ideal setting to unveil the organization his followers consider the embodiment of a second American Revolution.

Rhodes, 44, is a constitutional lawyer—his 2004 Yale Law School paper, "Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status," won the school's award for best paper on the Bill of Rights. He's now working on a book tentatively titled We the Enemy: How Applying the Laws of War to the American People in the War on Terror Threatens to Destroy Our Constitutional Republic. Raised in the Southwest, Rhodes enlisted in the Army after high school, receiving an honorable discharge after he injured his spine during a night parachute jump. He enrolled at the University of Nevada and in 1998, after graduating, landed a job supervising interns for Congressman Ron Paul. Rhodes has also worked as a firearms instructor and a sculptor—for Vegas' MGM Grand hotel, he produced a fiberglass Minuteman statue—and has practiced law in small-town Montana ("Ivy League quality without Ivy League expense"). He writes a gun-rights column for SWAT magazine. He's a libertarian, staunch constitutionalist, and devout Christian.

It was while volunteering for Ron Paul's doomed presidential bid that Rhodes decided to abandon electoral politics in favor of grassroots organizing. As an undergrad, he had been fascinated by the notion that if German soldiers and police had refused to follow orders, Hitler could have been stopped. Then, in early 2008, SWAT received a letter from a retired colonel declaring that "the Constitution and our Bill of Rights are gravely endangered" and that service members, veterans, and police "is where they will be saved, if they are to be saved at all!"

Rhodes responded [7] with a breathless column starring a despotic president, "Hitlery" Clinton, in her "Chairman Mao signature pantsuit." Would readers, he asked, obey orders from this "dominatrix-in-chief" to hold militia members as enemy combatants, disarm citizens, and shoot all resisters? If "a police state comes to America, it will ultimately be by your hands," he warned. You had better "resolve to not let it happen on your watch." He set up an Oath Keepers blog, asking soldiers and veterans to post testimonials. Word spread. Military officers offered assistance. A Marine Corps veteran invited Rhodes to speak at a local Tea Party event. Paul campaigners provided strategic advice. And by the time Rhodes arrived in Lexington to speak at a rally staged by a pro-militia group, a movement was afoot.

Rhodes stood on the common that day before a crowd of about 400 die-hard patriot types. He spoke their language. "You need to be alert and aware to the reality of how close we are to having our constitutional republic destroyed," he said. "Every dictatorship in the history of mankind, whether it is fascist, communist, or whatever, has always set aside normal procedures of due process under times of emergency...We can't let that happen here. We need to wake up!"

He laid out 10 orders an Oath Keeper should not obey [8], including conducting warrantless searches, holding American citizens as enemy combatants or subjecting them to military tribunals (a true Oath Keeper would have refused to hold José Padilla [9] in a military brig), imposing martial law, blockading US cities, forcing citizens into detention camps ("tyrannical governments eventually and invariably put people in camps"), and cooperating with foreign troops should the government ask them to intervene on US soil. In Rhodes' view, each individual Oath Keeper must determine where to draw the line.

The crowd was full of familiar faces from patriot rallies and town hall meetings, with an impressive showing by luminaries of the rising patriot movement. There was Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who had refused to enforce the Brady Law in the mid-'90s. Also present was Mike Vanderboegh, whose Three Percenter [10] movement styles itself after the legendary 3 percent of American colonists who took up arms against the British. Rhodes singled out Marine Charles Dyer, a.k.a. July4Patriot—whose YouTube videos [11] advocate armed resistance—as a "man of like minds." When Rhodes finished, Captain Larry Bailey, a retired Navy SEAL, Swift Boater, and founder of the anti-antiwar group Gathering of Eagles [12], asked the crowd to raise their right hands and retake their oath—not to the president, but to the Constitution.

RHODES' TIMING WAS impeccable. Twelve days earlier, the Department of Homeland Security had issued a report [13] warning that a black president, weak economy, and high unemployment rate had created a "fertile recruiting environment" for right-wing extremists—"disgruntled" vets from Iraq and Afghanistan, the report noted, could bring combat know-how to domestic terrorist groups. Predictably, veterans groups went ballistic, and the report itself became a potent Oath Keepers recruiting tool. "The No. 1 focus of DHS is not Islamic terrorists—it is me and you," Rhodes told followers. "They will unleash the government against you, silence you and suppress you!"

Image
Lee Pray and his pal Brandon were left behind with injuries when
their unit shipped off to Iraq. They spend their idle hours preparing
for the day the government goes too far.


Oath Keepers collaborates regularly with like-minded citizens groups; last Fourth of July, Rhodes dispatched speakers to administer the oath at more than 30 Tea Party rallies across America. At last fall's 9/12 march on Washington, he led a contingent of Oath Keepers from the Capitol steps down to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Afterward, Oath Keepers cohosted a banquet with the hawkish Gathering of Eagles. This February, a member of the group organized a Florida Freedom Rally featuring Joe the Plumber and conservative singer Lloyd Marcus. (Sample lyrics [14]: Mr. President! Your stimulus is sure to bust / it's just a socialistic scheme / The only thing it will do / is kill the American Dream.)

Rhodes has become a darling of right-wing pundits. In a column last October, Pat Buchanan predicted [15] that "Brother Rhodes is headed for cable stardom." Glenn Beck has cited the group [16] as a "phenomenal" example of the "patriot revival movement," while Lou Dobbs declared [17] that its platform "should give solace and comfort to the left in this country." Conspiracy-radio king Alex Jones even put an Oath Keepers segment, including footage of the Lexington speech, on his hit DVD Fall of the Republic. "I can't stress enough how much your organization is scaring the globalists," he told Rhodes [18] on his show.

All this attention has put Oath Keepers on the radar of anti-hate groups. Last year, the Anti-Defamation League [19] and the Southern Poverty Law Center [20] both name-checked the group in their reports on rising anti-government extremism. "They think the word 'patriot' is a smear," Rhodes countered during his Dobbs segment. SPLC's Mark Potok "wants to lump us in with white supremacists and neo-Nazis, and of course make the insinuation that we're the next McVeigh." But such attacks have only raised Oath Keepers' profile. After a combative Hardball interview in October—host Chris Matthews asked Rhodes [21] whether Oath Keepers had the "firepower to stand up against the federal government"—the group says it gained 2,000 members in three days.

As of mid-January, according to Rhodes, Oath Keepers had at least one chapter in every state and was adding dozens of members daily. Some 14,000 people had signed up as members on the Oath Keepers website while more than 15,000, including dozens of military recruiters, had done so on Facebook. And that doesn't include those who, fearing reprisal, do their networking offline. Volunteers are in the process of sending out some 1,000 "constitutional care packages" complete with Oath Keepers patches to soldiers serving overseas.



IT IS EASY ENOUGH to dismiss the Oath Keepers as (in the words of Britain's Independent [22]) "right-wing crackpots" or "extremist nimrods" (Huffington Post [23]). CNN stressed the group's conspiracy theories in its series on militias. But beyond the predictable stereotypes, "the reality is a lot of them are fairly intelligent, well-educated people who have complex worldviews that are thoroughly thought out," says author David Neiwert, who has been following the patriot movement closely since the '90s.

Rhodes' vision is simple—"It's the Constitution, stupid." He views the founding blueprint the way fundamentalist Christians view the Bible. In Rhodes' America, sovereign states—"like little labs of freedom"—would have their own militias and zero gun restrictions. He would limit federal power to what's stated explicitly in the Constitution and Bill of Rights; any new federal law affecting the states would require a constitutional amendment. "If your state goes retarded," he says, "you can move to another state and vote with your feet." The president would be stripped of emergency powers that allow him to seize property, restrict travel, institute martial law, and otherwise (as the Congressional Research Service has put it) "control the lives of United States citizens." The Constitution, Rhodes explains, "was created to check us in times of emergency when we are freaking out."

Much of this is familiar rhetoric, part of a continuous strain in American politics that reemerged most recently during the 1990s. Back then, a similar combination of recession and Democratic rule led to the rise of citizen militias, the Posse Comitatus movement, and Oath Keepers-type groups like Police & Military Against the New World Order. But those groups had little reach. Nowadays, through the power of YouTube and social networking, and with a boost from the cable punditry, Oath Keepers can reach millions and make its message part of the national conversation—furthering the notion that citizens can simply disregard a government they loathe. "The underlying sentiment is an attack on government dating back to the New Deal and before," says author Neiwert. "Ron Paul has been a significant conduit in recent years, but nothing like Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin—all of whom share that innate animus."

Oath Keepers' strength derives from what Rhodes calls "a very powerful common bond" (the vow of service) as well as the uniform—"a powerful source of credibility and respect" that allows members to "throw their weight into any movement...and tip any election." Rhodes is wary of "old-party asshole RINOs" (Republicans in name only)—he mentions Dick Armey, the former House majority leader turned Tea Party sponsor—who in his view are merely out to hijack the grassroots.

Most Oath Keepers may intend to disobey their commanders only in the instances the group highlights. But the group's ideas also appeal to extremists like Daniel Knight Hayden, whose inflammatory tweets [24] last April ("START THE KILLING NOW!") signaled his intent to wreak havoc at a Tax Day protest. On the morning of April 15 he sent out a tweet touting Oath Keepers, followed by "Locked AND loaded for the Oklahoma State Capitol. Let's see what happens." (The FBI arrested him at home a few hours later; he was eventually convicted for transmitting interstate threats.) Rhodes vigorously denounced Hayden, but the episode hinted at the power of the group's language. Rhetoric like Rhodes' ("Do you want them to kick down your door in body armor?") can have "an unhinging effect" on people inclined toward violent action, Neiwert explains. "It puts them in a state of mind of fearfulness and paranoia, creating so much anger and hatred that eventually that stuff boils over."

In the months I've spent getting to know the Oath Keepers, I've toggled between viewing them either as potentially dangerous conspiracy theorists or as crafty intellectuals with the savvy to rally politicians to their side. The answer, I came to realize, is that they cover the whole spectrum.



ON A CLEAR September evening, I found myself in suite 610 at the Texas Station casino in North Las Vegas mingling with two dozen Oath Keepers state leaders, directors, and hardcore devotees. It was past midnight, but the place—down to the American flag wallpaper in the bathroom—was awake with the sense of a movement primed to burst into the national consciousness. Mississippi director Chris Evans, who sports a long beard and cowboy hat, declared in his pronounced drawl that this gathering was so important to him that for the first time since 9/11 he'd succumbed to the "invasive breach of privacy" required to fly here. Rand Cardwell, who organized multiple chapters in Tennessee, only woke up, he told me, when the government began bailing out big companies and left ordinary people in the cold: "Pain causes action," he said. For others here, the aha moment came with the Patriot Act or when federal troops and contractors confiscated weapons in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

As techies swarmed around laptops discussing website tweaks, two shy Midwesterners who hoped to become state directors told me they were eager to learn recruiting tips. An energetic young veteran griped that hate-crime bills aim to police people's thoughts, and that the "Don't Tread on Me" bumper stickers popular with constitutionalists raise enough suspicion these days to get a person pulled over by the authorities. Over bottled water and microbrews, they swapped tips on how to involve members in state militias, spread viral YouTube videos of soldiers reaffirming their oaths, and reach out to other patriots. They boasted of recruiting at gun shows, approaching politicians and cops, and stuffing leaflets into magazines in veterans hospital waiting rooms.

The three-day conference was called posthaste after Rhodes realized that his group was growing beyond his control. On the first night, over a casino buffet of barbecue, goopy Chinese food, and key lime pie, core members scrutinized printouts of potential organizational structures before heading upstairs to sign legal documents, pick a board of directors, and start nominating state representatives.

Rhodes caught wind of my presence during the introductory meet and greet. Taking me aside, he told me he'd decided reporters weren't welcome. After I protested that the Oath Keepers website had described the conference as open to the public, he offered to refund my $300 entrance fee. Then I told him I'd read his Yale paper and shared many of his concerns about executive power; I really wanted to hear what Oath Keepers had to say. In the end, he agreed to let me stay and eventually invited me to hang out with the inner circle.

The next morning, in a casino ballroom, a hundred or so Oath Keepers exchanged business cards and schmoozed in between speeches about constitutional law, American Revolutionary history, and a soldier's obligation to disobey illegal orders—Nuremberg references on full display. Clad in suits, or slacks with button-downs, most of them could have been attending an insurance convention. One Oath Keeper handed out Gadsden-flag bumper stickers, while others sold T-shirts, baseball caps, and polo shirts featuring the group's minuteman logo and motto: "Not on our watch." There was a raffle, and James Sugra, one of the masterminds behind Ron Paul's fundraising "money bombs," scored a huge framed replica of the Constitution. To enthusiastic applause, a driver in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (a hot new cross between NASCAR and monster truck rallies) announced that the Oath Keepers would get free ad space on his car. Their logo would be seen on television sets across America. During the talks, I sat between a libertarian who had biked across America, stopping at police stations to hand out recruiting materials, and a first-generation Chinese American stay-at-home dad from San Francisco who invited me to my local chapter's winter survivalist training and rifle practice—extracurriculars, he assured me.

Oath Keepers is officially nonpartisan, in part to make it easier for active-duty soldiers to participate, but its rightward bent is undeniable, and liberals are viewed with suspicion. At lunch, when I questioned my tablemates about the Obama-Hitler comparisons I'd heard at the conference, I got a step-by-step tutorial on how the president's socialized medicine agenda would beget a Nazi-style regime.

I learned that bringing guns to Tea Party protests was a reminder of our constitutional rights, was introduced to the notion that the founding fathers modeled their governing documents on the Bible, and debated whether being Muslim meant an inability to believe in and abide by—and thus be protected by—the Constitution. I was schooled on the treachery of the Federal Reserve and why America needs a gold standard, and at dinner one night, Nighta Davis, national organizer for the National 912 Project [25], explained how abortion-rights advocates are part of a eugenics program targeting Christians. I also met Lt. Commander Guy Cunningham, a retired Navy officer and Oath Keeper who in 1994 took it upon himself to survey personnel at the 29 Palms [26] Marine Corps base about their willingness to accept domestic missions and serve with foreign troops. A quarter of the Marines he polled said that they would be willing to fire on Americans who refused to disarm in the face of a federal order—a finding routinely cited by militia and patriot groups worried about excessive government powers.

From the podium, ex-sheriff Mack told the crowd that he wished he'd been the officer ordered to escort Rosa Parks off the bus, because not only would he have refused, he would have helped her home and stood guard there. These days, he said, it's not African Americans who are under attack, but Christians, constitutionalists, and people who uphold family values: This time "it's going to be Rosa Parks the gun owner, Rosa Parks the tax evader, or Rosa Parks the home-schooler."

Mack runs the "No Sheriff Left Behind [27]" campaign encouraging state and local authorities to disregard federal laws that they believe violate states' rights. During the 1990s, he successfully eviscerated a Brady Law provision requiring sheriffs to run background checks on handgun purchasers. Another sheriff who spoke, Mark Gower of Iron County, Utah, uses Mack's precedent to refuse to act against property owners who violate the Endangered Species Act. The conference's lifetime achievement award went to Army Specialist Michael New, discharged in 1996 for refusing to wear a United Nations helmet and patch while serving in Germany.

Oath Keepers steers clear of certain issues. Personally, Rhodes would prefer the list of objectionable orders to include detaining foreigners indefinitely at facilities like Guantanamo. And while he argues that torture should never be legal, the group takes no official stance on America's war on terror or overseas engagements. After an Oath Keeper who is also a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War [28] touted IVAW repeatedly on Oath Keepers' Web forum, Rhodes deleted the guy's online testimonial. "The IVAW have their own totalitarian mindset," he told me. "I don't like communists any more than I like Nazis."

On the conference's final day, National 912 Project chairman Patrick Jenkins stepped up to talk about the National Liberty Unity Summits [2] his group was organizing in cooperation with Oath Keepers. They would provide a chance, he said, for patriots to forge a common agenda and a plan to carry it out. At the first summit, in December, attendees included representatives of groups from FairTax Nation [29] to the Constitution Party [30] to Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum [31]. On hand were Ralph Reed Jr. (former director of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition [32] and recent founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition [33]), Larry Pratt (head of Gun Owners of America [34]), and Tim Cox (founder of Get Out of Our House [35], an organization praised on Fox News for its goal of replacing business-as-usual incumbents with "ordinary folks"). Most notable were representatives Broun and Gingrey, who according to summit organizer Nighta Davis have expressed willingness to introduce legislation crafted by summit attendees. (So, Davis says, have Steve King [36] [R-Iowa] and Michele Bachmann [9] [R-Minn.]. None of the representatives agreed to comment for this story.)

The December gathering was merely a windup. In mid-April, another summit is planned to coincide with a huge gun-rights march and a Tax Day Tea Party rally in Washington organized by Dick Armey's FreedomWorks [37] PAC and the American Liberty Alliance [38]—whose home page touts Oath Keepers as a key part of "the Movement." Organizers expect hundreds of thousands to turn out. The Oath Keepers will be there en masse.



IN VEGAS, Rhodes took me aside repeatedly to explain that many of those in attendance—including featured speakers like "Patriot Pastor" Garrett Lear ("When a government doesn't obey God, we must reform it")—might not represent Oath Keepers' official message. He and his Web staff have been overwhelmed, he told me, by the amount of policing required to keep people from posting "off message" commentary encouraging violence or racism. Last December, they shut down one forum because too many posters were using it to recruit for militias. The Constitution, of course, allows citizens to form militias so long as their intent is to defend and not overthrow the government, but active-duty soldiers can lose security clearances or get demoted for associating with them. Rhodes advises members to go ahead and join—just not in Oath Keepers' name. "As a matter of strategy, it is best to keep the two separate," he wrote in a post.

There may also be serious downsides for a soldier who follows through on his Oath Keepers pledge. Disobeying orders can mean discharge or imprisonment. "You have every right to disobey an order if you think it is illegal," says Army spokesman Nathan Banks. "But you will face court-martial, and so help you God if you are wrong. Saying something isn't constitutional isn't going to fly."

A soldier like Charles Dyer, who in his July4Patriot persona advocated armed resistance against the government, could risk charges of treason. As a Marine sergeant based out of Camp Pendleton, Dyer posted videos to YouTube last year, his face half-covered with a skull bandana. "With the DHS blatantly calling patriots, veterans, and constitutionalists a threat, all that I have to say is, you're damn right we're a threat," he said [39] in one. "We're a threat to anyone that endangers our rights and the Constitution of this republic...We're gathering in defense of our way of life." For a while, he ran a training compound in San Diego, teaching civilians his Marine combat skills.

Dyer, who with Rhodes' blessing represented Oath Keepers at an Oklahoma Tea Party [40] rally on July 4, was charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with uttering "disloyal" statements. He ultimately beat the charge, left the Marines, and reappeared unmasked on YouTube encouraging viewers to join him at his makeshift training area in Duncan, Oklahoma—"I'm sure the DHS will call it a terrorist training camp." In January, Dyer was arrested [41] on charges of raping a seven-year-old girl. When sheriff's deputies raided his home, they found a Colt M-203 grenade launcher believed to have been stolen from a California military base. He now faces federal weapons charges and is being hailed by fringe militia groups like the American Resistance Movement as "the first POW of the second American Revolution."

Shortly after I asked Rhodes about Dyer—before his arrest hit the news—his testimonial vanished from the group's website . Rhodes once endorsed Dyer in glowing terms, but now claims he was never a member because he hasn't paid dues. Yet Dyer publicly referred to himself as an Oath Keeper, and Rhodes had previously insisted—to Lou Dobbs and anyone else who would listen—that you didn't need to pay dues to be a member.

In an interview prior to Dyer's arrest, Andrew Sexton, another uniformed YouTube star [42] who argues the need for armed resistance, criticized Dyer for making himself a target. Sexton, an Army reservist who served in Afghanistan with US Special Operations Command, also keeps his Oath Keepers ties under the radar. Most soldiers, he told me, don't talk openly about such things, but it's easy enough to tell which ones have been woken up. The Department of Defense, Sexton added, will be shocked by the number of service members willing to turn against their commanders when the time comes. "It's an absolute reality," he says. He views last April's DHS report on right-wing extremists as a "preemptive attack because they know it's coming."

Rhodes isn't calling for violence—indeed, he insists that his group is about laying down arms rather than turning them on citizens. Yet when he writes that "the oath is like kryptonite to tyrants, as the Founders intended. The time has come for us to use it to its full effect," some followers take that as a call for drastic action.

Chip Berlet, of the watchdog group Political Research Associates, who has studied right-wing populist movements for 25 years, equates Rhodes' rhetoric to yelling fire in a crowded theater. "Promoting these conspiracy theories is very dangerous right now because there are people who will assume that a hero will stop at nothing." What will happen, he adds, "is not just disobeying orders but harming and killing."

Rhodes acknowledges that there are certain risks. Freedom "is not neat or tidy," he says. "It's messy." For example, he concedes that "there may be a downside" to police refusing to engage during a riot situation. "Someone could be beaten or raped, but the potential risks involved are far less dangerous than having soldiers or police always do whatever they are told."



LEE PRAY thinks Rhodes downplays the threat Oath Keepers represents to a rogue administration. "They have to be careful because otherwise they will be labeled as terrorists," he says. "You have to read between the lines, but I wish they were more up-front with their members."

It's not hard to see the appeal of Oath Keepers for guys like Pray and Brandon, frustrated young men nervous about their future prospects. They signed up to defend the greatest country in the world, only to be cast aside. Even their injuries were suffered ingloriously. Brandon can't sit for long after being flung from a pickup truck; Pray now walks with a cane, possibly for good. The men sincerely believe their country is headed for disaster, but as broken warriors they are powerless to do anything about it. They have tried writing to Congress, signing petitions, and voting, all to no avail. Oath Keepers offers a new sense of pride and comradeship—of being part of something momentous.

And when the time comes, Pray insists he is battle ready. "If the government continues to ignore us, and forces us to engage," Pray says, "I'm willing to fight to the death." Brandon, for his part, is resigned about their odds fighting the US military. "If we take up arms, realistically we would lose, and they would label us as terrorists," he says. Pray nods sadly in agreement. But they'll take their chances. They consider it their duty.

Source URL: http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/03/oath-keepers


Links:
[1] http://oathkeepers.org/oath/
[2] http://www.nationallibertyunitysummit.com/
[3] http://gingrey.house.gov/
[4] http://www.paulbroun.com/index2.html
[5] http://www.northcom.mil/News/2008/090908.html
[6] http://motherjones.com/politics/2008/02 ... e-playlist
[7] http://oath-keepers.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... owing.html
[8] http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2009/03/03/ ... -not-obey/
[9] http://motherjones.com/mojo/2007/08/jos ... dirty-bomb
[10] http://www.threepercenter.org/
[11] http://www.youtube.com/user/july4patrio ... p;rclk=cti
[12] http://gatheringofeagles.org/
[13] http://www.docstoc.com/docs/5410658/DHS ... -Extremism
[14] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2H8xHFXC8U
[15] http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=113463
[16] http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200910190013
[17] http://www.loudobbs.com/programhighlights
[18] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxjtXY4A ... re=related
[19] http://www.adl.org/special_reports/rage ... eepers.asp
[20] http://www.splcenter.org/news/item.jsp?pid=415
[21] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM9Y44eXET0
[22] http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/co ... 72846.html
[23] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/2 ... 27758.html
[24] http://twitter.com/citizenquasar
[25] http://www.thenational912project.net/
[26] http://www.29palmssurvey.com/
[27] http://sheriffmack.com/
[28] http://www.ivaw.org/
[29] http://www.fairtaxnation.com/
[30] http://www.constitutionparty.com/
[31] http://www.eagleforum.org/
[32] http://www.cc.org/
[33] http://www.ffcoalition.com/
[34] http://gunowners.org/
[35] http://goooh.com/
[36] http://steveking.house.gov/
[37] http://www.freedomworks.org/
[38] http://americanlibertyalliance.com/
[39] http://www.youtube.com/user/july4patrio ... _1HAvaWnqg
[40] http://www.youtube.com/user/july4patrio ... 3mghRiZB3w
[41] http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/01/pat ... -goes-down
[42] http://www.youtube.com/user/oefsofsoldier?feature=chclk
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
-Malcolm X
American Dream
 
Posts: 19789
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby Allegro » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:55 am

AD, along with others who’ve said so, I too thank you for this thread.

Dominion theology is referred if not inferred in several RI comments over the years. Jeff’s topic in 2007 Divine Destruction: Environmental Policy & Dominionists reminded me of the following essay written by Sara Diamond; seemingly, this is she.

I probably discovered Diamond’s piece (word count 3100), Dominion Theology, just after taking my place online back in 1997, and even then had the presence of mind to actually copy the article, which originally appeared but since disappeared from here. Although Diamond doesn’t mention The Family, some names mentioned in her essay are referenced in Jeff Sharlett's book, The Family.

Dominion Theology
By Sara Diamond
from the pages of Z MAGAZINE, February 1995

The Christian Right’s recent role in delivering Congress to the Republicans raises the question of just how much power the movement hopes to amass. Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition says repeatedly that his organization wants nothing more than a representative voice in government, “a place at the table,” as he puts its. Other movement leaders are more sweeping in their calls to make ours a Christian nation, a Kingdom of God on earth.

As we assess the Christian Right’s future prospects, the movement’s political theology is one big piece of the puzzle. Included in the movement are people with diverse viewpoints on the degree and means through which Christians ought to “take dominion” over every aspect of society. The motto of the secular Heritage Foundation, taken from the title of an influential conservative book of the 1940s, is “ideas have consequences.” Yet in the past few years, with the growth in public awareness of the Christian Right, the movement’s variant forms of dominion theology have attracted only scant attention.

Most of the attention has come from a new crop of researchers working on the Christian Right. Most of these people are political liberals who seek to shore up the prevailing “two-party” system by portraying their opponents—in this case, those of the Right—as aberrations on the U.S. political landscape. Liberals’ writing about the Christian Right’s take-over plans has generally taken the form of conspiracy theory. Instead of analyzing the subtle ways in which political ideas take hold within movements and why, the liberal conspiracy theorists use a guilt-by-association technique that goes like this: We know that a particular Christian Right author or activist has advocated bad ideas, like killing queers or forming armed militias. Then we look to see who else appears in proximity to the offender on organizational letterhead stationary or on the speakers list at movement conferences. This approach may indicate the degree of tolerance of extremist views within a given network of the broader Christian Right movement. But the approach implies that ideas are somehow contagious: If someone serves on a board of advisors with someone else, they must think similarly and therefore be likely to behave similarly. This is the approach the Right has used to red-bait the civil rights movement, the New Left and, recently, the environmental movement.

Conspiracy theorizing about the Christian Right’s supposedly “secret” agenda involves highlighting the hate-mongering and bizarre ideas of a handful of Christian Right players while neglecting the broad popularity of dominion theology. There are a variety of ideological tendencies within the Christian Right. At the truly extreme end of the spectrum is a set of ideas proponents call reconstructionism, associated with only a small number of think tanks and book publishers. Many Christian Right activists have never even heard of reconstructionism, whose advocates call for the imposition of an Old Testament style theocracy, complete with capital punishment for offenses including adultery, homosexuality, and blasphemy.

Sects and Schisms

More prevalent on the Christian Right is the Dominionist idea, shared by Reconstructionists, that Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns—and there is no consensus on when that might be. Dominionist thinking precludes coalitions between believers and unbelievers, which is why many Christian rightists will have a hard time compromising with some of the very same Republicans they recently helped elect. The idea of taking dominion over secular society gained widespread currency with the 1981 publication of evangelical philosopher Francis Schaeffer’s book A Christian Manifesto. The book sold 290,000 copies in its first year, and it remains one of the movement’s most frequently cited texts. Schaeffer, who died of cancer in 1984, was a product of the internecine conflicts that split the Presbyterian church during the 1930s and 1940s. Schaeffer was allied with the strident anti-Communist leader Rev. Carl McIntire who headed the fundamentalist American Council of Christian Churches. Later Schaeffer joined an anti-McIntire faction that, after several name changes, merged into the Presbyterian Church in America. (A related denomination, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, is the milieu out of which convicted killer Paul Hill developed his justifications for killing abortionists.) In the 1960s and 1970s, Schaeffer and his wife Edith ran a retreat center in Switzerland, where young American “Jesus freaks” came to study the Bible and learn how to apply Schaeffer’s dominion theology to the political scene back home.

In A Christian Manifesto, Schaeffer’s argument is simple. The United States began as a nation rooted in Biblical principles. But as society became more pluralistic, with each new wave of immigrants, proponents of a new philosophy of secular humanism gradually came to dominate debate on policy issues. Since humanists place human progress, not God, at the center of their considerations, they pushed American culture in all manner of ungodly directions, the most visible results of which included legalized abortion and the secularization of the public schools. At the end of A Christian Manifesto, Schaeffer calls for Christians to use civil disobedience to restore Biblical morality, which explains Schaeffer’s popularity with groups like Operation Rescue. Randall Terry has credited Schaeffer as a major influence in his life.

In the 1980s, some of the younger men Schaeffer influenced joined a group called the Coalition on Revival (COR), founded by Jay Grimstead. Grimstead, a veteran of the old Young Life missionary group, had decided that evangelicals were insufficiently literalist in their reading of the Bible. Grimstead founded COR with two purposes. One was to unify pastors who differed on questions of “eschatology,” which is the study of the end-times and the question of when Christ will return. Most evangelicals have held the pre-millennial belief that Christ will return before a 1,000 year reign by believers. Grimstead and others in COR are post-millennialists who believe their job is establish the kingdom of God on earth now; Christ will return only after Christians have been in charge for 1,000 years. COR’s second purpose, consistent with post-millennialism, was the development of position papers, called “world view documents,” on how to apply dominion theology to Christian Right activism in more than a dozen spheres of social life, including education, economics, law, and even entertainment.

Much of the liberal writing on dominion theology and Reconstructionism has focused on COR as headquarters for a conspiracy to take over society. Grimstead and his colleagues advocated running stealth candidates in selected counties as early as 1986. But in recent years, COR has served as little more than a clearinghouse for Grimstead’s position papers. As an organization, COR is largely inactive. Like the Moral Majority of the early 1980s, COR was a network of pastors, all busy with their own projects.

If COR had any effect, though, it was in reinforcing ideas about taking dominion. The 100 or so movement leaders in COR each signed a “covenant” statement affirming their commitment to the idea that Christians should take dominion over all fields of secular society. Only a few of COR’s steering committee members were hard core Reconstructionists. Most of the Reconstructionists are too hair-splittingly sectarian to want to associate with COR’s diverse crew of pentecostal charismatics and fundamental Baptists.

The Reconstructionists are theologically committed to Calvinism. They shy away from the Baptists’ loud preaching and the Pentecostals’ wild practices of speaking in tongues, healing and delivering prophecies. To secular readers, the minutiae of who believes what—or which group of characters likes to dance on one foot—might seem trivial. But some of the details and divisions of Christian Right theology are politically relevant.

As Above, So Below

Reconstructionism is the most intellectually grounded, though esoteric, brand of dominion theology. Its leading proponent has been Rousas John (R.J.) Rushdoony, an obscure figure within the Christian Right. Born in 1916, the son of Armenian immigrants to the U.S., Rushdoony looks like an Old Testament patriarch with his white hair and beard. At a young age Rushdoony was strongly influenced by Westminster Theological Seminary professor Cornelius Van Til, a Dutch theologian who emphasized the inerrant authority of the Bible and the irreconcilability between believers and unbelievers. A recent issue of Rushdoony’s monthly, Chalcedon Report noted his Armenian background. Since the year 320, every generation of the Rushdoony family has produced a Christian priest or minister. “There was Armenian royalty in the Rushdoony blood, and a heritage of defending the faith, often by sword and gun, against Godless foes bent on destroying a people of faith and works.”

With that auspicious heritage, Rushdoony founded the Chalcedon Foundation in California in the mid-1960s. One of the Foundation’s early associates was Gary North who eventually married Rushdoony’s daughter. North had been active within secular libertarian and anti-Communist organizations, particularly those with an anti-statist bent.

Rushdoony and North had a falling out and ceased collaboration years ago. North started his own think tank, the Institute for Christian Economics in Tyler, Texas. Rushdoony, North, and about a half dozen other reconstructionist writers have published countless books and journals advocating post-millennialism and “theonomy” or the application of God’s law to all spheres of everyday life. In his rhetorical crusades against secular humanists and against most other Christians, North is fond of saying “You can’t beat something with nothing.”

North has geared his writing for popular audiences; some of his books are available in Christian book stores. Rushdoony’s writing is more turgid and also more controversial. It was Rushdoony’s seminal 1973 tome The Institutes of Biblical Law that articulated Reconstructionists’ vision of a theocracy in which Old Testament law would be reinstated in modern society. Old Testament law classified a wide range of sins as punishable by death; these included not only murder and rape but also adultery, incest, homosexuality, witchcraft, incorrigible delinquency by youth, and even blasphemy. In the Reconstructionists’ vision of a millennial or “kingdom” society, there would be only local governments; there would be no central administrative state to collect property taxes, nor to provide education or other welfare services.

Aside from Rushdoony and North, Reconstructionism boasts only a few other prolific writers. These include Dr. Greg Bahnsen, Rev. Joseph Morecraft, David Chilton, Gary DeMar, and Kenneth Gentry, none of whom are major figures within the Christian Right. They are quoted more often in liberal reports than in the Christian Right’s own literature.

The unabashed advocacy of a Christian theocracy has insured a limited following for the most explicit of the Reconstructionists, who have also been sectarian in their sharp criticism of evangelicals. North, for example, has published a series of attacks on believers in the pre-millennial version of when Christ will come back.

Perhaps even more than the punitive legal code they propose, it is the Reconstructionists’ religion of Calvinism that makes them unlikely to appeal to most evangelicals. Calvinism is the by now almost archaic belief that God has already preordained every single thing that happens in the world. Most importantly, even one’s own salvation or condemnation to hell is already a done deal as far as God is concerned. By this philosophical scheme, human will is not involved in changing the course of history. All that is left for the “righteous” to do is to play out their pre-ordained role, including their God-given right to dominate everyone else.

Calvinism arose in Europe centuries ago in part as a reaction to Roman Catholicism’s heavy emphasis on priestly authority and on salvation through acts of penance. One of the classic works of sociology, Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, links the rise of Calvinism to the needs of budding capitalists to judge their own economic success as a sign of their preordained salvation. The rising popularity of Calvinism coincided with the consolidation of the capitalist economic system. Calvinists justified their accumulation of wealth, even at the expense of others, on the grounds that they were somehow destined to prosper. It is no surprise that such notions still find resonance within the Christian Right which champions capitalism and all its attendant inequalities.

The hitch comes in the Calvinists’ unyielding predestinarianism, the cornerstone of Reconstructionism and something at odds with the world view of evangelical Christians. Last fall in Sacramento some of the local Reconstructionists held their annual Reformation Bible Conference, co-sponsored by the Covenant Reformed Church and the Chalcedon Foundation. The theme of the weekend was Christian “apologetics,” meaning defense of the faith against heretical enemies of all stripes.

The problem is that evangelicals (a category including pentecostal charismatics and fundamental Baptists) believe that God’s will works in conjunction with free human will. They believe that salvation is not by the grace of God only but by the faith of individual believers who freely choose to surrender to Jesus. In fact, the cornerstone of the Western religions is the view that God’s will and human will work together. Evangelicals believe strongly that humans freely choose sin or salvation and that those already converted have the duty to go out and offer the choice they have made to others. Calvinism, in contrast, undercuts the whole motivation for missionary work, and it is the missionary zeal to redeem sinners that motivates much of the Christian Right’s political activism. Calvinism is an essentially reckless doctrine. If God has already decided what’s going to happen, then the Dominionists do not have to take responsibility for their actions. (They can kill abortion doctors “knowing” it is the right thing to do.) Evangelicals, even those on the Right, still believe they as individuals are capable of error. Furthermore, the Calvinist Reconstructionists look askance at the other key draw of evangelical churches, the experiential dimension. The Calvinists sing staid songs, read the Bible and weighty theological treatises. What’s going on, especially in the charismatic church, is something else. There, Christians by the thousands are flocking to wild faith healing extravaganzas where people shout and cry and fall on the floor because they are “slain in the spirit.” The latest trend is called “holy laughter” whereby the Holy Spirit supposedly leads crowds to roll on the floor laughing uncontrollably, sometimes for hours. This kind of stuff is happening in churches all over the country—often televised for the Christian TV networks—with the backing of prominent evangelical leaders. Some critics have condemned the eccentric antics but they miss the point that people go to church not to read books but to experience something extraordinary. Many get a similar high from joining a political crusade. Large numbers of politically active evangelicals are not going to want to sit still for boring philosophical lectures on how their personal experiences don’t matter in the face of pre-ordained reality.

The Founding Fathers Said So

They do sit still, by the thousands, for David Barton of WallBuilders, Inc. From a place called Aledo, Texas, Barton has successfully mass marketed a version of dominion theology that has made his lectures, books, and tapes among the hottest properties in the born-again business. With titles like The Myth of Separation and America: to Pray or Not to Pray, Barton’s pitch is that, with the possible exception of Benjamin Franklin, the Founding Fathers were all evangelicals who intended to make this a Christian nation.

Crowds of home schoolers and the Christian Coalition go wild with applause for Barton’s performances. With an overhead projector, he flashes slides of the Founding Fathers and reels off selected quotes from them saying things like “only the righteous shall rule.” For the years following the Supreme Court’s 1962 and 1963 decisions against public school prayer, his charts and graphs show statistical declines in SAT scores and rising rates of teenage promiscuity, drug abuse, and other bad behavior. Apparently no one has ever explained to Barton that a sequence of unrelated events does not add up to a cause and effect relationship.

Barton’s bottom line is that only “the righteous” should occupy public office. This is music to the ears of Christian Right audiences. To grasp Barton’s brand of dominion theology, unlike reconstructionism, one does not need a seminary degree. Barton’s pseudo history fills a need most Americans have, to know more about our country’s past. His direct linkage of the deified Founding Fathers with contemporary social problems cuts through the evangelicals’ theological sectarianism and unites them in a feasible project. They may not be able to take dominion over the whole earth or even agree about when Jesus will return, but they sure can go home and back a godly candidate for city council, or run themselves. Barton tells his audiences that they personally have an important role to play in history, and that is what makes his dominion theology popular.

To Rule and Reign

But Barton’s message flies in the face of the Christian Coalition’s public claims about wanting only its fair share of political power. In his new book Politically Incorrect, Coalition director Ralph Reed writes: “What do religious conservatives really want? They want a place at the table in the conversation we call democracy. Their commitment to pluralism includes a place for faith among the many other competing interests in society.” Yet the Coalition’s own national convention last September opened with a plenary speech by Rev. D. James Kennedy who echoed the Reconstructionist line when he said that “true Christian citizenship” includes a cultural mandate to “take dominion over all things as vice-regents of God.”

Who is telling the truth about the Christian Right’s bid for power, Ralph Reed, or the popular Dominionists who speak at Christian Coalition gatherings? Liberal critics of the Christian Right would have us believe that Reed and Pat Robertson are just plain lying when they say they want to work hand-in-hand, like good pluralists, with non-Christians in government. To bolster the “stealth” thesis, liberals have to resort to conspiracy theory: Barton and Kennedy spoke at the conference, so Reed must secretly agree with them.

A better explanation is that the Christian Right, like other mass movements, is a bundle of internal contradictions which work themselves out in the course of real political activism. Ideas have consequences, but ideas also have causes, rooted in interests and desires. The Christian Right is in a state of tension and flux over its own mission. Part movement to resist and roll back even moderate change, part reactionary wing of prevailing Republicanism. The Christian Right wants to take dominion and collaborate with the existing political-economic system, at the same time. Liberal critics, who also endorse the ruling system, can recognize only the Christian Right’s takeover dimension. Radicals can see that the dominion project is dangerous because it is, in part, business as usual.
Art will be the last bastion when all else fades away.
~ Timothy White (b 1952), American rock music journalist
_________________
User avatar
Allegro
 
Posts: 4456
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:44 pm
Location: just right of Orion
Blog: View Blog (144)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby Allegro » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:28 am

The paragraphs following this three paragraph intro are personally transcribed excerpts from a google lecture video featuring Chris Hedges presented by WGBH Forum Network in partnership with The Cambridge Forum, April 4, 2007. As usual, the Q&A session commences after the lecture.

These excerpts were transcribed in 2008, and I just found them, today. Added arbitrarily were sub headers in places I thought reasonable, bolded some text along the way, added footnotes at the bottom.

This transcription has been added as a reminder of what we already know of religiosities that don’t miss a beat in measures of indoctrination that perpetuate self-loathing, and the psychological results to those easily predisposed to, but not protected from, dogmas that daily renew despair and fear.

Introductory synopsis from video: “Do seventy million evangelical Christians attending two hundred thousand churches in America today remind us of the early stage of fascism in Italy and Germany in early nineteenth century? Chris Hedges explores that frightening prospect... Hedges comes to this insight after attending evangelical conferences and meetings across the country where he learned first hand about the radical Christian movement known as Dominionism that promotes faith and patriotism as a means to gain political power.…”

Route to Power

[Hedges begins] “… These values, democratic and Christian, are being dismantled by a movement that has appropriated the language and moral arguments from evangelicals and fundamentalists as well as American patriots. But they are distinct from traditional evangelicals and fundamentalists in that they seek to use religion as a route to power.

“This movement properly called Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism is a radical mutation that believes American Christians have been mandated by God to rule. And this movement shares many similarities with classical fascist movements. What the desperate sects in this movement share is the obsession with political power. Dominionists preach that Jesus has called them to build the kingdom of God on Earth.

America becomes in this militant biblicalism an agent of God. And all political and intellectual opponents of America’s Christian leaders are viewed quite simply as agents of Satan. Under Christian Dominion, America will no longer be a sinful and fallen nation, but one in which the ten commandments will form the basis of our legal system; Creationism and Christian values will form the basis of our educational system and the media; the federal government will be reduced to the protection of property rights and homeland security.

“Some Dominionists would require citizens to pay tithes to church organizations empowered by the government to run our social welfare agencies; and, a number of influential figures within the movement advocate the death penalty for a host of moral crimes including adultery, sodomy, apostasy, blasphemy, and witchcraft. The only legitimate voices in this state will be Christian—all others will be silenced.”

Fantastic Utopia

The engine that drives this radical movement, the most dangerous mass movement in American history is not religiosity, but despair. It is a movement built on the growing personal and economic despair of tens of millions of Americans

“This despair crosses economic boundaries, of course, enveloping many in the middle class, who live trapped in huge soulless excerpts, where lacking any form of community rituals or centers, they also feel deeply isolated, vulnerable, and lonely.

Those in despair are the most easily manipulated by demagogues, who promise a fantastic utopia whether it is a worker’s paradise—fraternité, liberté, égalité—or the second coming of Jesus Christ. Those in despair search desperately for a solution.…

“During the past two years of work on American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, I kept encountering this deadly despair.… Driving down a highway where gas stations, fast food restaurants, and dollar stores… forgetting if I was in Detroit or Kansas City or Cleveland. There are parts of the United States, including whole sections of former manufacturing centers, such as Ohio, that now resemble the developing world with boarded up store fronts, dilapidated houses, pot holed streets, and crumbling schools.

The end of the world is no longer a distraction to many Americans. The stories the believers told me about their lives before they met Christ were heart breaking. These chronicles were about terrible pain, severe financial difficulties, struggles with addictions, or childhood or sexual abuse; profound alienation and often thoughts about suicide. They were chronicles without hope; they were chronicles borne out of a nation where the top one percent now controls more wealth than the bottom ninety percent combined.

“This movement is a reflection of these gross inequities and injustices visited now on many Americans. The real world, the world of facts and dispassionate intellectual inquiry, the world where they were left out to dry, betrayed them. They hated this world, and they willingly walked out of this world for the mythical world offered by these radical preachers: a world of magic, a world where God had a divine plan for them and intervened on a daily basis to protect them, and perform miracles in their lives.…

“These Americans now lie locked in hermetic closed systems of indoctrination provided by Christian schools, home schooling, and Christian radio and television. All news, health and beauty tips, entertainment, and spiritual guidance is filtered through this disturbing, ideological prism. Hannah Arendt wrote in The Origins of Totalitarianism of this drive by all totalitarian movements to shut followers off from the real world.

    Before they seize power, she wrote, and establish a world according to their doctrines, totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency, which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself. In which, through sheer imagination, uprooted masses can feel at home, and are spared the never ending shock which real life and real experiences deal to human beings and their expectations. The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda, before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent anyone’s disturbing by the slightest reality the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world, lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world. [1]

“Despotic movements harness the power of modern communications to keep their followers locked in these closed systems. If this long, steady poisoning of the civil discourse is not checked or challenged; if this movement continues to teach neighbor to hate neighbor, eventually the civil society in American will collapse. Christian broadcasters along with Christian schools and colleges are indoctrinating and inciting followers in the name of Christ and American values to tear apart the nation. They preach, in short, civil war.”

Tolerance a Virtue

“I do not deny the right of these Christian radicals to be, to believe and worship as they choose, but I will not engage in a dialogue with those who deny my right to be; who delegitimize my faith and denounce my struggle before God as worthless. All dialogue must include respect and tolerance for the belief, worth and dignity of others including those outside the nation and the faith. When this respect is denied, it is no longer a difference of opinion, it is a fight for survival. This movement seeks in the name of Christianity in American democracy to destroy that which it claims to defend.

“I do not believe America will inevitably become a fascist state, or that the Christian Right is the Nazi party, but I do believe the Christian Right is a sworn and potent opponent of the open society. If ideology bears within it the seeds of a religious fascism, in the event of a crisis, the movement stands poised to ruthlessly reshape America in ways that have not been seen since the nation’s founding. All Americans, not only those of faith, must learn to speak about this movement with a new vocabulary, to give up passivity, and to defend tolerance.

The attacks by this movement on the rights and beliefs of Muslims, Jews, immigrants, gays, lesbians, women, scholars, scientists, those they dismiss as nominal Christians, and those they brand with a curse of secular humanist, is an attack on all of us—on our values, our religious freedoms, and our democracy. Tolerance is a virtue, but tolerance coupled with passivity is a vice.” [2]

_____________________________________

[1] Refer Hannah Arendt, author The Origins of Totalitarianism © 1948

[2] Karl Popper, in the first volume of The Enemies of the Open Society © 1945, wrote this paradox of tolerance.

    Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance, even to those who are intolerant; if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.
Art will be the last bastion when all else fades away.
~ Timothy White (b 1952), American rock music journalist
_________________
User avatar
Allegro
 
Posts: 4456
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:44 pm
Location: just right of Orion
Blog: View Blog (144)

Re:

Postby Stephen Morgan » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:50 pm

compared2what? wrote:Because I can't, off the top of my head, even think of any closed patriarchal religious communities that don't systematically abuse children, especially female children. With the possible exception of Fred Phelps, of the Westboro Baptist "God hates [****]" Church, about whom I've never heard anything like that. And probably others I'm forgetting too.


Well, they might be paedos, but they're not gay paedos. And I believe Phelps is a genuine fundamentalist, albeit somewhat mad, not like someone like Oral Roberts who's just in it for the pussy.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible. -- Lawrence of Arabia
User avatar
Stephen Morgan
 
Posts: 3735
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:37 am
Location: England
Blog: View Blog (9)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby American Dream » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:10 am

http://www.theworldismycountry.org/allp ... y-moves-in

Hutaree Christian Militia: God, Guns, and ‘Evil’ Jews … FBI Reportedly Moves In

By D. Scriber l March 28 2010


A handful of people have been arrested by the FBI’s anti-terrorism task force in connection with an investigation of an Adrian, Michigan-based Christian militia group — Hutaree, a group that claims it is made up of Christian soldiers preparing for a war with the anti-Christ.

Over the weekend, a large number of agents, aided by helicopters and the Department of Homeland Security, swept through Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana in raids that were apparently part of a probe into the group’s activities, claim numerous news reports from the Detroit area that quote FBI officials and/or unnamed sources.

More will be known tomorrow because suspects are expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Detroit. The arrests are sure to thrust the little-known Hutaree group into the national spotlight.

A group of men dressed in combat gear pose for a photo in a forested area, armed with assault rifles, on the group’s website along with the statement, “Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive.” The group further explains itself on the website: “We, the Hutaree, are prepared to defend all those who belong to Christ and save those who aren’t. We will still spread the word, and fight to keep it, up to the time of the great coming. Being Hutaree is to stay the Testimony of Christ alive, and follow a motto, John15:13, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’”

The Hutaree’s website also has online forums, including one called the “Evil Jew Forum,” where people “talk about being an evil Jew and how we are taking over the world in our own private forum where no one else can see. Shalomi or something.” Another forum includes, “Local Threats/Intel,” where participants are invited to “post any intel relating to local threats to the Hutaree such as government operations against us or Ed’s constant playing of Dancing Queen (something wrong with that boy).” Another forum is simply called “Weapons,” where people discuss “the things you kill with.”

http://dscriber.com/world/1422-hutaree- ... es-in.html
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
-Malcolm X
American Dream
 
Posts: 19789
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby beeline » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:06 am

Link

Posted on Tue, Apr. 27, 2010


Concertgoers show the Reich stuff, are beaten by crowd
By STEPHANIE FARR
Philadelphia Daily News

How did they Nazi this coming?

Three men who showed up in full Nazi regalia to a hardcore punk show at an Old City bar Friday night were attacked by as many as 50 people on the streets after leaving the venue, according to witnesses and club management.

The headlining band at the Khyber that night was Murphy's Law, led by front man Jimmy G, who formerly went by the moniker Jimmy Gestapo.

In an e-mail to the Daily News, Jimmy G confirmed that some guys had showed up to the concert in "full Nazi field dress."

"And they did get their asses kicked," he wrote. "Again."

Khyber owner Stephen Simons, who was not at the show, said he had been told that the crowd inside "largely ignored and mocked" the three men.

But after they exited the club, on 2nd Street near Chestnut, they were attacked by a group of up to 50 people, he said.

"I guess being on 2nd Street in SS uniforms on a Friday night is a way to incite a semi-riot," Simons said.

An attendee of the show who asked not to be named posted a blog entry about the event Saturday and removed it Sunday after receiving "really negative feedback," he said.

In the posting, he had described the men as tattooed with "Nazi-inspired symbols" and as wearing "camouflaged combat pants; woolen, WWII-era coats adorned with SS emblems and authentic Third Reich hats with Nazi insignias emblazoned atop them."

He said the crowd kicked and punched the Nazi-wannabes and used weapons that included beer bottles and cue balls, although postings on other online- message boards describe the attack as more tame.

The only information police have on the incident is that they responded to a report of a disturbance on 2nd Street at 11:33 p.m. No arrests, hospitalizations or assaults were reported, a police spokeswoman said.

Simons said it was the first time anyone had shown up at the Khyber in Nazi gear.

"As a Jew, I am totally offended by them wearing the uniforms," he said. "But, as an American citizen, I totally uphold their right to dress however they want to dress."

He said that although men dressed as Nazis were at the downstairs show, at the same time a largely gay dance party was going on upstairs.

"There was a man on the second floor wearing a wedding dress," he said. "I don't think he had any problems going out on 2nd Street."
User avatar
beeline
 
Posts: 2023
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:10 pm
Location: Killadelphia, PA
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby American Dream » Fri May 28, 2010 1:41 pm

Was the Shocking Murder of a Brave Abortion Provider Really the Work of a 'Lone Wolf'?

By Amanda Robb, Ms. Magazine
Posted on May 28, 2010

http://www.alternet.org/story/147030/

As soon as Scott Roeder was named the sole suspect in the point-blank shooting death of Wichita, Kan., abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in the vestibule of the Reformation Lutheran Church Tiller attended, a predictable story began to be told. Following the lead of a recent Department of Homeland Security report characterizing right-wing terrorists as lone wolves, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, ABC, NBC and FOX News all ran stories calling Roeder a “lone wolf” gunman.

It is the oldest, possibly most dangerous abortion story out there.

August 13, 1994, The Washington Post: “Many anti-abortion leaders have… denounced Paul Hill [who killed abortion provider Dr. John Britton and his security escort James Barrett]…as a lone, sick extremist.”

October 26, 1998, The Independent (London): “A doctor defiant [is] shot dead for his beliefs by a lone abortion terrorist [referring to James Kopp, who killed Amherst, N.Y., abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian].”


But for loners, these guys have a lot of friends. A lot of the same ones, in fact.

Over the past six months, I have interviewed Scott Roeder more than a dozen times, met several times with his supporters at the Sedgwick County Courthouse in Wichita where he was tried and convicted, and permissibly recorded numerous three-way telephone conversations Roeder had me place to his friends. Using information gleaned from these sources, along with public records, it is possible to piece together the close, long-term and ongoing relationship between Roeder and other anti-abortion extremists who advocate murder and violent attacks on abortion providers.

Now, meet Roeder’s anti-abortion associates, beginning with Roeder himself. Scott Roeder, 52, was born in Denver. His family moved to Topeka, Kan., when he was a toddler. He worked for the Kansas City electric company, and at age 28, he married and had a son. For about five years family life was stable, but then in the early 1990s Roeder suddenly could not cope—with anything.

While under financial stress in 1992, Roeder happened upon right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson’s 700 Club on television. He claims he fell to his knees and became a born-again Christian. According to his own recollections and those of his ex-wife, he immediately fixated on what he considered two earthly evils: taxes and abortion.

In very short order, he affiliated himself with Christian anti-government groups such as the Freemen militia and eventually became involved with antiabortion groups such as Operation Rescue and the Army of God, the latter of which openly sanctions the use of violence to stop abortion.

Roeder told me that his first act as an anti-abortion activist was to protest outside a Kansas City women’s clinic. Among the protestors he came to know were Anthony Leake, a proponent of the “justifiable homicide”of abortion doctors, and Eugene Frye, the owner of a Kansas City construction company who, together with another antiabortion activist, had been arrested in 1990 for attempting to reinsert the feeding tube of a Missouri woman in a persistent vegetative state. Frye had also been arrested for blockading abortion clinics during the 1991 Summer of Mercy in Wichita, which was organized by Operation Rescue.

Through Frye, Roeder says, he soon met Rachelle “Shelley” Shannon. She, like Frye, had attended the Summer of Mercy protests; over the next two years she would commit eight arson or acid attacks on abortion clinics in the Pacific Northwest. Then, most horrifically, on August 19, 1993, she would try to murder Dr. George Tiller, succeeding only in shooting and wounding him in both his arms.

Roeder says Frye took him to visit Shannon where she was incarcerated in Topeka. Roeder was instantly smitten with the intense, unrepentant shooter. Frye had made a match. Roeder began visiting Shannon without Frye: Over the years, while she served her 30-year-long sentence for the clinic attacks and the attemptedmurder, Roeder would see her some 25 times. As his marriage began disintegrating, he even considered asking the raven-haired Shannon about beginning a romance. But, he told me, he did not because of the obvious obstacles involved in dating an incarcerated woman.

Still, Roeder and Shannon stayed close—and he began contemplating killing Dr. Tiller himself. Maybe it would be a car crash; maybe he’d shoot him sniper-style from a rooftop near Tiller’s clinic. Or maybe he would just cut off Dr. Tiller’s hands with a sword. Roeder testified to all of these at his trial.

While protesting at a Kansas City abortion clinic, Roeder also met Regina Dinwiddie, who had been arrested along with Frye during Operation Rescue’s 1991 Summer of Mercy in Wichita. A nurse from Kansas City, she was the first person to face a civil restraining order under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act because, according to the complaint, she would not stop screaming threats at abortion clinic patients and personnel. The clinic director said Dinwiddie once told her, “Patty, you have not seen violence yet until you see what we do to you!” Dinwiddie, an admitted member of the violencepromoting Army of God, was also arrested at Operation Rescue’s 1988 Siege of Atlanta. Authorities housed the anti-abortion activists in a separate unit—which became a terrorist seedbed. Also arrested and incarcerated along with Dinwiddie were Shannon, Jayne Bray and James Kopp. Bray is the wife of Michael Bray, the so-called lifetime chaplain of the Army of God, who was, at that time, incarcerated elsewhere for a series of clinic bomb attacks.

Kopp went on to murder New York abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian in a sniper attack in 1998 at Slepian’s home, and is the lead suspect in the shooting and wounding of four abortion providers at their homes in upstate New York and Canada between 1994 and 1997. It is widely believed some of those jailed in Atlanta in 1988 were involved in the creation of “The Army of God Manual,” in which they receive “special thanks” under monikers such as “Shaggy West” (Shelley Shannon), “Atomic Dog” (James Kopp), “Kansas City Big Guys,” the “Mad Gluer” and “Pensacola Cop Hugger,” among others.

The how-to manual for would-be terrorists provides instructions on vandalizing clinics, including arson, super-gluing locks, constructing bombs and “disarming the persons perpetrating the [abortions] by removing their hands.” The manual was discovered buried in Shannon’s backyard during a search by law enforcement following her attempted murder of Dr. Tiller in 1993.

Back in 1994, Dinwiddie had enjoyed special fame in anti-abortion circles because Paul Hill had stayed at her house two weeks before he shot and killed Dr. John Britton and his volunteer escort James Barrett outside an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Fla. Shortly after that double murder, Scott Roeder enters our story again: He is invited to Dinwiddie’s along with Frye to meet a special guest, Michael Bray.

Bray is a linchpin among the extremists; his influence over those who commit abortion-related violence is hard to overstate. Author of A Time to Kill—a theological justification for violence—Bray is a convicted clinic bomber (he served from 1985 to 1989 for his crimes). He helped draft and was the first to sign the “Defensive Action” statement endorsing the murder of abortion providers that Hill began circulating in the months before he killed Britton and Barrett. Shannon says she was moved to violence by reading Bray’s writings; according to her diary, when an early arson attempt failed to produce much damage, she wrote to him in despair, and Bray reassured her, “Little strokes fell mighty oaks.” James Kopp first met Bray in 1983 at an extremist religious retreat in Switzerland and, according to law enforcement sources, stopped at Bray’s home in 1998 as he was fleeing the country after murdering Dr. Slepian.

Bray has obviously privately supported violence as a means to stop abortion since the mid-1980s, but by 1991, he and his wife Jayne were open enough to discuss his views with a reporter from The Washington Post.

“Is there a legitimate use of force on behalf of the unborn?” Bray asks rhetorically. “I say yes, it is justified to destroy the [abortion] facilities. And yes, it is justified to… what kind of word should I use here?” “Well, they use ‘terminate a pregnancy,’” Jayne Bray says.

“Yeah, terminate an abortionist,” he says.


When Scott Roeder arrived at Regina Dinwiddie’s house with Eugene Frye in 1994 or 1995 to meet Michael Bray, he was nearly giddy, by his own recollection to me:

Roeder: I think it was right after Paul Hill…I got to meet [Bray] and I heard that he’d been on 60 Minutes. …I just kept asking Mike [Bray] questions because I was so fascinated with him, you know…As a matter of fact, Gene [Frye] had to tell me to quit asking him
questions.

Amanda Robb: [But] did you guys discuss justifiable homicide? If it was justifiable to shoot a doctor?

Roeder: Oh yeah, yeah. We definitely discussed that, and like I say, Michael [Bray], he’s been outspoken, and he’s always said, as long as I’ve known him, he’s always said it’s been justified to do that.


Another admitted Army of God member that Roeder has become close to is Jennifer McCoy. In 1996, she was arrested and pled guilty to conspiring to burn down abortion clinics in Norfolk and Newport News, Va. During her two and a half years in prison, she was in contact with Bray, who honored her in absentia at the White Rose Banquet in Washington, D.C.—an annual event organized by Bray to recognize those jailed for their (mostly violent) antiabortion activities, and attended by many in the extremist network (including McCoy in 1996).

After her release, McCoy began protesting regularly with Operation Rescue in Wichita shortly after its president, Troy Newman, moved the headquarters there in 2002 for the sole purpose of tormenting Dr. Tiller into shuttering his clinic.

As Roeder’s conversations with me have indicated, McCoy has been among his most regular visitors since he was arraigned for Dr. Tiller’s murder, although according to Roeder, they did not know each other before May 2009. But McCoy is close to people Roeder is connected to, people Roeder could try to implicate as co-conspirators and/or accessories, such as Bray or Newman, the latter of whom extremely angered Roeder by denying their acquaintance.

Perhaps this is why McCoy has been more than a supporter; she has been a flatterer and even a fabulist. At one point, according to Roeder, McCoy told him that a 17-year-old woman in Wichita was scheduled to have an abortion but after Dr. Tiller’s murder changed her mind and had the baby. Roeder believed that young woman would testify in court on behalf of his defense that the murder was justified to save lives. But there is no evidence that any woman who was planning to abort her pregnancy before
Dr. Tiller was killed changed her mind afterwards.

In April 1996, Roeder was pulled over by Shawnee County, Kan., deputies for driving without a valid license plate. Instead, Roeder had a tag on his car that read, “Sovereign private property. Immunity declared by law. Noncommercial American.” The kind of plates frequently used by Freemen. And in his trunk he had gunpowder, ammunition and bomb-making materials. Roeder was sentenced to 24 months probation and ordered to stop his association with violence-advocating anti-government groups. He told his son, then 9 years old, that everyone assumed he was going to bomb a federal building (his arrest occurred near the first anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.) But really, Roeder said, he had been planning to bomb an abortion clinic.

After his probation ended, Roeder resumed his anti-abortion activities; in 2000 he was caught on surveillance cameras on two occasions super-gluing the locks at the Kansas City clinic where he frequently protested with Frye. The clinic’s manager says he reported the incidents to an FBI agent who said he would question Roeder. After that, Roeder disappeared for a while. He would be caught on camera again gluing the clinic’s locks both the week before and the day before he murdered Dr. Tiller in Wichita.

Roeder first stalked Tiller at his Wichita church, Reformation Lutheran, in 2002, the year Operation Rescue moved there. Operation Rescue had already begun demonstrating at the church, and on the group’s website Newman had announced plans to gather at Tiller’s clinic, church and home.

Also that year, Roeder says he went to lunch with Newman and asked him about using violence to stop abortion.

Robb: What did you say to him?

Roeder: Oh, something like if an abortionist—I don’t even know if it was specifically Tiller…was shot, would it be justified? … And [Newman] said, “If it were, it wouldn’t upset me.”


According to Roeder’s trial testimony, he became an active and regular participant in Operation Rescue events. He told me he has donation receipts, event T-shirts and a signed copy of Newman’s 2001 book, Their Blood Cries Out, to prove it. During an Operation Rescue event at Dr. Tiller’s clinic in 2007, Roeder posted on the Operation Rescue website:

“Bleass [sic] everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp. Sometime soon, would it be feasible to bring as many people as possible to attend Tillers [sic] church (inside not just outside) …”

Moreover, when Roeder was apprehended for Dr. Tiller’s murder, news cameras photographed a piece of paper on the dashboard of Roeder’s car: It contained the phone number of Cheryl Sullenger, Operation Rescue’s senior policy advisor, who served two years in prison for conspiring to bomb abortionclinics in 1988. Roeder also told me that Sullenger was present at the lunch
with Newman where they discussed “justifiable” homicide, and that Newman had given Roeder the autographed copy of his book just three months before Roeder killed Tiller when Roeder visited Operation Rescue headquarters. Sullenger was there as well, Roeder said.

Yet Newman has denied any formal link between Roeder and Operation Rescue. He said to me, “I have no recollection of ever meeting Scott Roeder.” Immediately after Roeder killed Dr. Tiller, Newman issued a statement saying, “We deplore the criminal actions with which Mr. Roeder is accused…Operation Rescue has diligently and successfully worked for years through peaceful, legal means [to stop abortion.]” In his writings, though—his book, Their Blood Cries Out, still for sale on the Operation Rescue website—he talks about the bloodguilt of those who condone abortion. The biblical atonement for bloodguilt is death. Scott Roeder, Eugene Frye, Shelley Shannon, Regina Dinwiddie and Michael Bray all know one another.

Jennifer McCoy and Anthony Leake know all of them, too, except perhaps Shelley Shannon.

Troy Newman knows McCoy, Frye and possibly others.

McCoy, Shannon, Dinwiddie and Bray are admitted members of the Army of God.

“We’re like circles that overlap,” McCoy told me in an anteroom in the Sedgwick County Courthouse near where Scott Roeder was being sentenced on April 1, 2010. “We all don’t know each other—we may not agree on a lot of things, like religion, say—but we’re all completely committed to one purpose: stopping abortion.”

“Uh-huh,” Dinwiddie concurred, looking up from the character statement she was getting ready to give on Roeder’s behalf. “That’s right.”

Across from the women was Frye, along with David Leach—who calls himself the secretary general of the Army of God and is another justifiablehomicide advocate. They were working on their statements on behalf of Roeder’s character, too.

They let me sit with them because I said I was Scott’s acquaintance, and also because I’m the niece of Dr. Barnett Slepian, the abortion provider murdered by James Kopp in upstate New York. I was especially close to Bart because he lived with my family
for nearly a decade after my own father died when I was 4 years old. During Roeder’s trial, and again at his sentencing, I explained my presence to his supporters the same way I had explained my interest in him when I had first written to him six months earlier: I really need to understand how someone could be moved to murder to stop abortion.

I feel that I now understand.

Circles that overlap.

One circle encompasses the Army of God, including Bray, Shannon, Leach, Dinwiddie, McCoy and Kopp, the man who killed my uncle.

A second circle includes justifiablehomicide advocates Bray, Shannon, Leach, Dinwiddie, Leake and the murderer Paul Hill, who was executed in 2003 by the state of Florida.

And a third circle holds Operation Dinwiddie and Bray have signed “Defensive Action” (justifiable homicide) statements, stating in part, “We, the undersigned, declare the justice of taking all godly action necessary to defend innocent human life including the use of force.” Leake has said publicly he supports the use of deadly force against abortion providers.

Rescue, Troy Newman, McCoy and Cheryl Sullenger.

Scott Roeder overlaps with all of them (see chart on facing page).

Police, prosecutors and the military define a cell as a circle of individuals— usually three to 10 people—who are joined in common unlawful purpose. A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century, a U.S. Army training manual, describes a cell as the
“foundation” of most terrorist organizations. Most often, and most effectively, these cells are networked, “depend[ing] and even thriving on loose affiliation with groups or individuals from a variety of locations.”

In international terrorism cases, in organized crime cases, even in drugtrafficking cases, conspiracy charges can be filed when two or more people enter into an agreement to commit an unlawful act. In fact, of the 159 people convicted of international terrorism by
the U.S. since 9/11, more than 70 percent were sentenced for conspiracy (or for “harboring” terrorists). Once a person becomes a member of the conspiracy, she or he is held legally responsible for the acts of other members done in furtherance of the conspiracy, even if she or he is not present or aware that the acts are being committed.

The government does not have to prove that conspirators have entered into any formal agreement. Because they are trying to hide what they are doing, criminal conspirators rarely do such things as draw up contracts. Nor does the government have to show
that the members of the conspiracy state between themselves what their object or purpose or methods are. Because they are clandestine, criminal conspirators rarely discuss their plans in a straightforward way. The government only has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the members of a conspiracy, in some implied way, came to mutually understand they would attempt to accomplish a common and unlawful plan.

Given the broad latitude in proving conspiracy, you’d think the same legal theory could have been used in prosecuting slayings of abortion doctors. Yet to date, only the individual murderers of abortion providers have been charged and prosecuted. No charges have been brought against any individuals for conspiracy to commit those murders.

Shortly after Roeder’s trial—when I met Michael Bray and he told me he had only met Scott Roeder after he killed Dr. Tiller—Scott Roeder stopped communicating with me. But during one of our last phone calls, I was able to ask Roeder a critical question:

Robb: Wait, just tell me how it works…when the use of force comes up in conversation, it has to come up sometimes.

Roeder: I’ve always said [it] over the years, and I would see what level of comfort they were willing to talk about it. …Michael Bray, he would talk about it forever. He went on 60 Minutes for Pete’s sake. Other people, they might say, “Well, you know, I just don’t think it’s right.” Then I’d explain to them why, and if they’re still not comfortable with it, I would drop it. I wouldn’t keep pushing it. Regina [Dinwiddie] obviously agrees with the use of force, and Gene Frye, I believe, does.


Roeder, his associates and “The Army of God Manual” could not be more plain. The manual ends, “‘Whosoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed [Gen: 9-6]… we are forced to take up arms against you.”

Taking up arms. Shedding man’s blood. Bloodguilt.Circles that overlap. In other words, wolves run in packs.



Amanda Robb is a writer based in New York. She has been a contributing writer for O (Oprah) magazine, and her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, New York, George, Marie Claire, More, Harper’s Bazaar (UK) and other periodicals.
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
-Malcolm X
American Dream
 
Posts: 19789
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby American Dream » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:54 am

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201006040053

Glenn Beck's new book club pick: Nazi sympathizer who praised Hitler and denounced the Allies

June 04, 2010 5:21 pm ET - by Eric Hananoki


Image
Glenn Beck holding Elizabeth Dilling's The Red Network.

On his radio show today, Glenn Beck heralded and promoted the work of Nazi sympathizer Elizabeth Dilling, who spoke at rallies hosted by the leading American Nazi group and praised Hitler. Today, Dilling is heralded by White Supremacists and White Aryans who revere her "fearless" work against Jewish people.

As Media Matters' Simon Maloy noted, Beck had kind words for Dilling's 1934 anti-communist book, The Red Network, saying: "This is a book -- and I'm a getting a ton of these -- from people who were doing what we're doing now. We now are documenting who all of these people are. Well, there were Americans in the first 50 years of this nation that took this seriously, and they documented it." Maloy noted that Dilling has a long history of rabid anti-Semitism, such as calling President Eisenhower "Ike the Kike" and labeling President Kennedy's New Frontier program the "Jew frontier."

Professor Glen Jeansonne and writer David Luhrssen note in the encyclopedia Women and War that Dilling wasn't only anti-Semitic, but a sympathizer and supporter of the Nazis and Hitler:

When World War II began in 1939, Dilling was part of the national network of anti-Semitics, anti-Communists, and Nazi sympathizers such as Father Charles Coughlin, Reverend Gerald L. K. Smith, Reverend Gerald Winrod, and William Dudley Pelley. Material generated by Nazi organizations in Germany to inspire race hated and exploit dissatisfaction in the United States found its way into Dilling's publications. She spoke at rallies hosted by the leading U.S. Nazi organization, the German-American Bund, and had traveled to Germany, pronouncing the country as flourishing under Hitler.

Dilling called for appeasing Germany; she blamed the war on Jews and Communists and accused the Roosevelt administration of being controlled by Jewish Communists. ... After Pearl Harbor, Dilling resisted wartime rationing and denounced the Allies.


So Dilling "spoke at rallies hosted by the leading U.S. Nazi organization, the German-American Bund." Who's the German-American Bund? Let Glenn Beck, Elizabeth Dilling fan, tell you:

BECK: The Bund gathered socially and ran Nazi camps. The camps were advertised as summer retreats where you could escape the city, celebrate German heritage, dance, drink, at places like Camp Nordlund in New Jersey and Camp Siegfried in Long Island. The camps hidden as pro-German/pro- American were attended by adults and families.

On the outside, they looked like any other camp. But the children were indoctrinated in the ideals of Nazism, breeding young Americans to become full-fledged Nazis. They marched, performed drills in Nazi uniforms. And they were taught about their racial superiority, their potential as Aryan youth.

As media scrutiny of the Bund increase, so did anti-Nazi protests, including other Americans who hated the Nazi image and Jewish-American veterans. Instead of quieting down, Bund leader Fritz Kuhn decided to hold the largest rally in their history, Madison Square Garden. These American Nazis showed their true colors, beating a Jewish protester who rushed the stage. Kuhn and other speeches were nothing more than anti-Semitic rants wrapped in the American flag protected by the First Amendment.
[Glenn Beck, March 11]

British Professors Christopher Partridge and Ron Geaves wrote that Dilling was a "pro-Nazi anti-Semite" who disseminated Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. The ADL describes Protocols as "a classic in paranoid, racist literature. Taken by the gullible as the confidential minutes of a Jewish conclave convened in the last years of the nineteenth century, it has been heralded by anti-Semites as proof that Jews are plotting to take over the world."

Dilling's Nazi sympathies have made her a cult hero among Aryan groups and White Nationalists/Supremacists. For instance, the group Women for Aryan Unity features Dilling in a publication whose purpose is "to honour Aryan Women past and Present." Women for Aryan Unity writes of Dilling:

She visited the Soviet Union in 1931, where she found impoverished people, diseased and ill dressed. She saw genocide. Barely clothed children, begging. Half empty stores. The houses were dingy; roads were cracked and badly kept. She saw state-run orphanages and abortion was rampant. The women of the Soviet Union were suffering badly; the government was raising harassment, grueling work, and their children. What Elizabeth was witnessing was the aftermath of Communism. The Soviet Jews had torn down Russian churches. But she was no pacifist - she believed it was time to fight the infidels.

She decided then to acquire as much knowledge about Communism as she can, and use it as her weapon to fight it. She spoke to large audiences, and did extensive research on Communism and the Jew. She wrote excerpts exposing the Communists in the U.S. The lady was not afraid, and worked endlessly for years to expose the followers of Communism. She spoke on the radio, and met with men such as Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Charles Hudson, and others who helped support her cause.

[...]

Many positive words come to mind as a description for such an admirable woman, but I believe the gentleman she met in the dining room of that small Denver hotel used the best word. The gentleman was University of Illinois Professor, Dr. Revilo Oliver, and it was there, paying no mind to anyone else present, she mouthed her famous words at her friend, "Do I see an anti-Semite?" The word he used to describe Mrs. Dilling? Fearless. My sentiments exactly.


Infamous racist David Duke, meanwhile, excerpts Dilling's work on his website and states that as a 16-year old, he "found a book called The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today by Elizabeth Dilling." Stxrmfrxnt.org, which describes itself as a "community of White Nationalists," features numerous posts in its forum praising Dilling. "The Official Website of The Knights Party, USA" lists Dilling as one of its "Important Christian Women in History" and praises her for "Knowing the Jewish roots of Communism."

Jeansonne and Luhrssen conclude their summary of Dilling by writing that she "had long been dismissed as a crank before her death in 1966." And now half-a-century after her death, Dilling has found a new audience thanks to Glenn Beck.
American Dream
 
Posts: 19789
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Roots of U.S. Far Right

Postby American Dream » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:39 am

Why Fearmongering About a White Minority in America Is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Posted on June 19, 2010

http://www.alternet.org/story/147235/

Whites are projected to become a minority in the United States in the year 2050. It’s a terrifying prospect for Americans who fear the loss of their privileged status.

But the truth is that in 2050, “whites,” as most people understand the term, will still make up 74 percent of the population (if the projections are right). Only “non-Hispanic whites” are expected to become a minority. But there’s little chance that the designation -- which the Census Bureau only added in 1980 -- will live until that time. History tells us that “white Hispanics” -- light-skinned people with an Hispanic heritage -- will soon become, simply, “white people,” as part of the American “mainstream.”

In 2050, white people will not only remain a majority, but they’ll also retain their disproportionate cultural, political and economic influence. In other words, people freaking out about the loss of white privilege have no cause for alarm -- it is safe. As Chauncey DeVega put it, “whites are by definition the majority group in the United States,” and “while heavily policed,” the definition of “whiteness as a racial grouping is ever expanding.”

So when that date comes around, it’ll be Y2K for white people in America -- expect plenty of teeth to be gnashed and then brace yourself for nothing to happen.

The category of non-Hispanic whites allows people to distinguish between lighter, more assimilated people of Hispanic origin and darker, recently arrived immigrants -- it’s a means of social stratification. (Which we do anyway -- a 2006 study by Vanderbilt University economist Joni Hersch found that legal immigrants who had darker complexions or shorter statures earned significantly less than their light-skinned and taller counterparts with similar jobs, training, language skills and backgrounds.)

The best historical parallel to today’s “white Hispanic” was probably the distinction Americans made between Northern and Southern Italians during the post-Civil War era. Earlier Italian immigrants had come primarily from the North, but in the middle of the 19th century, strife and economic stress in Southern Italy sent a new (and much larger) wave to America’s shores. In 1902, the periodical World’s Work summed up the sentiment of the day, editorializing that “the North-of-Europe people make better citizens than those from the South of Europe. …the Italians from the southern portion of the peninsula also make poor citizens; but those from the northern part of Italy rank with the Swiss and other desirable nationalities.” In the 1920s, the U.S. government drew a line between Northern Italians and darker, “Mediterranean” Italians, and limited the influx of the latter with “race”-based quotas. Today, such distinctions seem bizarre, and the descendants of immigrants from Milano or Salerno are all “real Americans” (or Italian-Americans).

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries we thought of race as a biological reality but today we know it as a flexible social construct. Most “white Hispanics” (about 7 in 10) see themselves simply as “white” -- 29 million Americans of Hispanic descent identified themselves as such in the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey. They’ll insist that other Americans consider them to be white as well, and history tells us they’ll get their way by 2050.

Scholars have long understood that the concept of race has been highly malleable throughout American history. In Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race, Yale historian Matthew Frye Jacobson showed that while the idea that white people are uniquely suited to lead the nation has been a constant in our political culture, Americans’ view of just who belonged to that group has evolved over time. Nobody would deny that John F. Kennedy was a white guy according to the modern American standard, but formerly disparate “white races” such as Celts, Slavs and Semites were at one point considered to be separate from, and less capable than Caucasians.

In The History of White People, Nell Irvin Painter argued that many white Americans have come to believe in a mythic pale race whose ancestry can be traced back for centuries. She, too, went on to detail the many twists and turns that the majority’s views of who “white people” are have taken as new lighter-skinned immigrants came to our shores bearing the burden of “minority” status, and then pushed themselves into the mainstream and demanded -- and eventually got -- the privileges that accompany whiteness in American society. It’s long been argued that various groups of lighter skinned immigrants have only truly been assimilated into the fabric of the nation once they began to see themselves, as a group, as superior to African Americans.

2050 will only be a terrible year for those white folks who hold a rigid, 19th century definition of whiteness -- white supremacists, in other words. They will become a minority, but, fortunately for the country, they already are (at least the ones who are open about it).

Here’s how Pat Buchanan, one of the few white supremacists offered a big media forum, views this ticking demographic time-bomb:

By countries of origin, America will be a Third World nation. Our cities will look like Los Angeles today. Los Angeles and the cities of Texas, Arizona and California will look like Mexico City.

When we all belong to "minorities," what will hold us together? With the rise of group rights and identity politics, we are already falling out and falling apart over racial preferences and ethnic entitlements.


Among white nationalists less polished than Buchanan, the coming non-white majority is nothing less than an act of deliberate “genocide” against the Caucasian “race.” As one of them explained it, “social engineers have in fact orchestrated the demise of white people.” And since “many of these ‘social engineers’ are actually white themselves,” the shift represents a betrayal of “their own people out of a sense of self hatred.”

Of course, white supremacists are still the best evidence there is against the superiority of white people. What they fail to grasp is that only whites who fit their uniquely narrow definition of the term -- descendants of Northern and Western European nations (it varies depending on whom you ask) -- are in decline.

That America’s white majority will endure will no doubt disappoint anyone hoping that a demographic shift might mark the end of racist “dog-whistle” politics in the United States, yet it is the reality. But perhaps we shouldn’t tell people like Pat Buchanan that they'll remain comfortably in the majority. Watching them freak out for the next 40 years over nothing but a bit of short-lived demographic trivia might be entertaining.


Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet.
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
-Malcolm X
American Dream
 
Posts: 19789
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

PreviousNext

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 9 guests