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SPLC: Return of the Militias

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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 03:53 PM
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SPLC: Return of the Militias
Southern Poverty Law Center has issued a new report. While disturbing, this isn't anything we didn't realize was happening. It does point up the convergence of dangerous extremist groups and their mirror, milder versions like Teabaggers and Birthers. They are the same thing, driven by race and conspiracy fears, and forming a growing force for violence in the Obama era.


Almost 10 years after it seemed to disappear from American life, there are unmistakable signs of a revival of what in the 1990s was commonly called the militia movement. From Idaho to New Jersey and Michigan to Florida, men in khaki and camouflage are back in the woods, gathering to practice the paramilitary skills they believe will be needed to fend off the socialistic troops of the "New World Order."

A key difference this time is that the federal government the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy is headed by a black man. That, coupled with high levels of non-white immigration and a decline in the percentage of whites overall in America, has helped to racialize the Patriot movement, which in the past was not primarily motivated by race hate. One result has been a remarkable rash of domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama. At the same time, ostensibly mainstream politicians and media pundits have helped to spread Patriot and related propaganda, from conspiracy theories about a secret network of U.S. concentration camps to wholly unsubstantiated claims about the president's country of birth.

Fifteen years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote then-Attorney General Janet Reno to warn about extremists in the militia movement, saying that the "mixture of armed groups and those who hate" was "a recipe for disaster." Just six months later, Oklahoma City's federal building was bombed. Today, the Patriot movement may not have the white-hot fury that it did in the 1990s. But the movement clearly is growing again, and Americans, in particular law enforcement officers, need to take the dangers it presents seriously. That is equally true for the politicians, pundits and preachers who, through pandering or ignorance, abet the growth of a movement marked by a proven predilection for violence....

Far-right fears of conspiracies have come from other quarters, as well, most notably from the so-called "birthers" who have filed a series of lawsuits making the claim that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. These spurious claims first gained traction when prominent extremists like writer Jerome Corsi, politician Alan Keyes and Watergate felon and radio show host G. Gordon Liddy questioned the validity of the president's birth certificate. Many Patriots have also adopted conspiracy theories about secret government involvement in events like the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996.

"The current political environment is awash with seemingly absurd but nonetheless influential conspiracy theories, hyperbolic claims and demonized targets," Berlet concluded. "And this creates a milieu where violence is a likely outcome."...

Increasingly, Minutemen are giving credence to the sort of fringe conspiracy theories that have long typified militia and other so-called Patriot groups. Although the Minuteman movement from its inception has been permeated with the Aztlan or "reconquista" conspiracy theory which holds that the Mexican government is driving illegal immigration into the U.S. as part of a covert effort to "reconquer" the American Southwest the conspiracy theories that are now taking root in the movement have little or nothing to do with border security or immigration. They include the belief that a massive cover-up has been conducted regarding Barack Obama's birth certificate, which supposedly shows that he was born in Africa and is therefore ineligible to serve as president of the United States.



Please read the entire report.
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 03:54 PM
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1. K&R. Everyone should read this report. n/t
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Dogtown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 04:25 PM
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2. k&r n/t
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cayanne Donating Member (682 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 07:08 PM
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3. Starting back up here in n. Idaho
I read this Monday and I called the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force to volunteer my services to help fight back.


North Idaho men cited for distributing racist fliers
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/aug/10/north-idah...
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JustAnotherGen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 07:35 PM
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4. Aaahh - Thank you!
I saw Mark Potok on MSNBC tonight . . . There's a thread 'good humor intent' about Obama using the Bush tactic of raising the terror level. I'm linking your thread to it. I think he may HAVE to - not as a Fear Tactic. But out of necessity.

REC!
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 09:16 PM
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5. K&R
:kick:
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-13-09 09:28 AM
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6. Sorry to kick my own - I think this is an important read
:kick:
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