One of the email messages that greeted me when I woke up Sunday morning was that 31 white supremacists had been arrested in Idaho for plotting to disrupt an LGBTQ pride event. It seems that members of that community, their families and supporters were basically going to get together for a family day at the park. A Saturday picnic at the park; it hardly gets more American and peaceful than that.
The biggest obvious threat to America is domestic terrorism. It is overwhelmingly, although not exclusively (is anything?), a white terrorist problem. This is not new and for decades has been embraced by the Republican party. Including most of its establishment.
In recent history the first elements of the white supremacy/domestic terrorism movement (is there really any difference?) was the Ku Klux Klan which was formed in the aftermath of the Civil War to “keep Blacks in their place”. It was largely supported by southern Democrats at that point and largely until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when those people began their defection to the Republican party.
Before he ran for president in 1980 Ronald Reagan was the governor of California and in that capacity signed into law the banning of open carry. On the surface that seems like a strange position for a Republican. Let me remind you that at the time of that legislation the Black Panthers had taken to openly (and at that time legally) carrying long guns as they monitored the police and otherwise demonstrated. Reagan and his fellow racists couldn’t have Black men carrying guns on “their streets” so they outlawed the practice.
If you think I’m being unfair to Reagan when I call him a racist let me offer this tidbit. He launched his 1980 campaign just outside Philadelphia, Mississippi by advocating states’ rights. Philadelphia, Mississippi was where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964.
At last week’s 1/6 Committee Hearing the use of the white supremacist groups the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers by the Trump gang was vividly illustrated.
In Saturday’s illegal activities in Idaho the group in question was the Patriot Front which is a new moniker adopted by the same group whose members participated in Charlottesville; one of which killed a counter protester with his car.
There are many common threads here but a glaring one is that these groups are a collection of cowards and losers who only have “courage” when they act as part of a gang and even then, almost always armed.
Domestic terrorists are a problem; some families picnicking in a park are not.
The threat is clear and it has been with us for decades. My question is when will the Republican party stop embracing and protecting domestic terrorists?
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