Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Virginia Right Wing has a *Sad*

If there's one thing I've learned about right wingers who love to indulge in violent rhetoric and their fellow travelers who tolerate their behavior, it's that these people hate to have their bad behavior pointed out to them. In the past days I've become the "star" of the Virginia right-o-sphere's latest pout-fest.

What the Virginia Right doesn't want to address, wants desperately for people to ignore, is the way potentially violent hate groups are taking over the Republican Party. Consider this excerpt from the Southern Poverty Law Center's report entitled "The Year in Hate & Extremism, 2010":
For the second year in a row, the radical right in America expanded explosively in 2010, driven by resentment over the changing racial demographics of the country, frustration over the government’s handling of the economy, and the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and other demonizing propaganda aimed at various minorities. For many on the radical right, anger is focusing on President Obama, who is seen as embodying everything that’s wrong with the country.

Hate groups topped 1,000 for the first time since the Southern Poverty Law Center began counting such groups in the 1980s. Anti-immigrant vigilante groups, despite having some of the political wind taken out of their sails by the adoption of hard-line anti-immigration laws around the country, continued to rise slowly. But by far the most dramatic growth came in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement — conspiracy-minded organizations that see the federal government as their primary enemy — which gained more than 300 new groups, a jump of over 60%.

Taken together, these three strands of the radical right — the hatemongers, the nativists and the antigovernment zealots — increased from 1,753 groups in 2009 to 2,145 in 2010, a 22% rise. That followed a 2008-2009 increase of 40%.

What may be most remarkable is that this growth of right-wing extremism came even as politicians around the country, blown by gusts from the Tea Parties and other conservative formations, tacked hard to the right, co-opting many of the issues important to extremists. Last April, for instance, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed S.B. 1070, the harshest anti-immigrant law in memory, setting off a tsunami of proposals for similar laws across the country. Continuing growth of the radical right could be curtailed as a result of this shift, especially since Republicans, many of them highly conservative, recaptured the U.S. House last fall.

But despite those historic Republican gains, the early signs suggest that even as the more mainstream political right strengthens, the radical right has remained highly energized. In an 11-day period this January, a neo-Nazi was arrested headed for the Arizona border with a dozen homemade grenades; a terrorist bomb attack on a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Spokane, Wash., was averted after police dismantled a sophisticated anti-personnel weapon; and a man who officials said had a long history of antigovernment activities was arrested outside a packed mosque in Dearborn, Mich., and charged with possessing explosives with unlawful intent. That’s in addition, the same month, to the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, an attack that left six dead and may have had a political dimension.
Now consider the following list of 29 hate groups located in Virginia:
American Immigration Control Foundation/Americans for Immigration Control
Aryan Nations 88
Blood and Honour America Division
British National Party Overseas Unit
Confederate Hammerskins
Crew 38
Heritage and Destiny
In the Spirit of Chartres Committee
Knight Riders Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Knights of the Southern Cross Soldiers of the Ku Klux Klan
National Black Foot Soldier Network
Old Glory Skinheads
The Creativity Alliance
The Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation
Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Virgil White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Virginia Publishing Company

All but two of these groups are part of the right wing of the political spectrum. Twenty-seven right wing hate groups versus two Black separatist groups.

Shaun Kenney can cry and pout and stomp his wittle feet, but it doesn't change the reality that the right wing has a problem: a growing number of potentially violent activists who are moving into the mainstream of the Republican Party.

1 comment:

James Young said...

Problem? The only "problem" I see is your effort to slander Conservatives as racist.

Nice try, but ignorant of history. Overt racism has a lot more to do with the far Left than it does with Conservatives.

As does it's modern, covert version: the paternalism of the modern Liberal welfare state.