Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wade Michael Page - The Right-Wing Terrorist.

Note: The entirety of this post was taken with permission from the excellent blog, Jobsanger, and it's fantastic author, Ted.  Please support him by checking out his site.  Unlike me, he updates his every day.  I asked for his permission to cross-post this because he worded it so much better than I could, and a tragedy like this does not merit my usual crass humor.


We now know who the cowardly terrorist is that murdered several peaceful and unarmed sikhs. He is Wade Michael Page -- a 40 year-old right-wing, racist and white supremacist. The media has done a pretty good job of covering the tragedy and exposing this terrorist (and he is a terrorist, even though he is white, American, and not a muslim). I won't try to repeat what has been reported, but I do have a couple of thoughts.

First, it seems that everyone wants to make it clear that sikhs and muslims are different religions. They are evidently convinced that the cowardly murderer was trying to target muslims (like many on the right in this country seem to want to do, whether violently or not). Frankly, I don't think he cared at all what religion his victims had. He's a white supremacist and a racist. They could have been buddhists, hindus, muslims, taoists, or even christians, and it wouldn't have mattered to him. They were attacked because they were non-white and a soft target.

Second, right-wing elected officials must accept at least a little blame. Back in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security tried to warn Americans that right-wing terrorists posed a substantial risk to Americans (of all colors and religions). The right-wingers wailed long and loud. How dare the government say right-wingers posed a danger! They raised such a ruckus that DHS backed off on its warning and even stopped trying to keep track of many of these dangerous right-wing nuts. Here's how the Washington Post put it:

The Department of Homeland Security has stepped back for the past two years from conducting its own intelligence and analysis of home-grown extremism, according to current and former department officials, even though law enforcement and civil rights experts have warned of rising extremist threats.

The department has cut the number of personnel studying domestic terrorism unrelated to Islam, canceled numerous state and local law enforcement briefings, and held up dissemination of nearly a dozen reports on extremist groups, the officials and others said.

The decision to reduce the department’s role was provoked by conservative criticism of an intelligence report on “Rightwing Extremism” issued four months into the Obama administration, the officials said. The report warned that the poor economy and Obama’s election could stir “violent radicalization,” but it was pilloried as an attack on conservative ideologies, including opponents of abortion and immigration.

In the two years since, the officials said, the analytical unit that produced that report has been effectively eviscerated. Much of its work — including a digest of domestic terror incidents and the distribution of definitions for terms such as “white supremacist” and “Christian Identity” — has been blocked.

Multiple current and former law enforcement officials who have regularly viewed DHS analyses said the department had not reported in depth on any domestic extremist groups since 2009.

Frankly, I think the right-wing terrorists pose a far greater danger to most Americans than muslim terrorists do (or ever did) -- and I have posted on this in the past. All you have to do is look at the chart below to know this is true. I'm not saying we should ignore muslim terrorists -- just stop ignoring the far greater danger of home-grown right-wing terrorists.

Again, please go check out Ted over at Jobsanger.  He always has good, informative stuff to say.  I promise.  Here is the link for this specific post.  

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