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Tag: right wing extremism

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Trump Openly Defends Violence By His Supporters — Including Kyle Rittenhouse

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump openly defended the violence of his own supporters during a press briefing on Monday, diminishing the recent attacks in Portland and Kenosha while condemning what he called "this horrible left-wing ideology that seems to be permeating our country."

Asked about his caravan of supporters who drove the streets of Portland, at times shooting paintballs and pepper spray at counter-protesters, Trump refused to condemn the violence.

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Why Are Mainstream Media Whitewashing Violence-Prone ‘Patriot Prayer’ Group?

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

In the wake of the shooting death over the weekend of a supporter of the far-right group Patriot Prayer in Portland, Oregon, The New York Times, USA Today, and MSNBC are papering over the intrinsically violent nature of the group, its ties to white nationalism, and its history of staging armed confrontations against anti-fascist activists. This lapse is part of a larger pattern of mainstream media coverage that shies away from calling out right-wing extremism.

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#EndorseThis: Pramila Jayapal Smacks Attorney General For Ignoring Right-Wing Extremism

Remember when gangs of armed thugs swarmed into the Michigan capitol last spring, carrying Confederate flags, swastika banners, and automatic weapons? Remember how they threatened to lynch Gov. Gretchen Whitmer because they hate her efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

We remember -- and so does Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who reminded Attorney General William Barr of that disturbing display when he testified yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee. She drew a sharp contrast between Barr's reaction to that outrage and his response to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the nation's capital and across the country. And she did it in a way that Barr isn't likely to forget. (h/t Really American PAC).


One Type Of Terrorism Really Is Underreported — Right-Wing Terrorism

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters for America.

Following President Donald Trump’s false claim that the press purposefully fails to report on terror attacks, his team released a list of attacks that were supposedly “underreported.” The list supplied, however, was entirely devoid of attacks by right-wing extremists and those inspired by the “alt-right.”

During a February 6 speech at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), the central military command based in MacDill Air Force base near Tampa, FL, Trump lied when he claimed that “the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report” on terror attacks. Trump added that the media “have their reasons” for not reporting on the events. Following the speech to military leaders, the White House released a list of 78 terror attacks that officials claim were “underreported” by the media. The list only furthered the lie. According to the audience engagement tool Chartbeat, four of the top 20 most “engaging news stories of 2015 (defined as those that held audiences’ attention for the longest) were events from the list. As CNN’s Chris Cuomo pointed out, none of the events listed “have less than 100 media hits.”

In attacking the media for allegedly having a selection bias when it comes to terror attacks, the administration neglected numerous cases of terror inspired by right-wing extremism. In many of these cases, the terrorists had direct ties to the white nationalist movement, a key component of what has been coined the “alt-right,” or were inspired by conservative media misinformation. Here are just a few of the examples that didn’t make Trump’s list:

“Alt-Right” Assassin Killed Six At Quebec Mosque

Alexandre Bissonnette killed six people at a Quebec City mosque on January 29. As the BBC reported, political science professor Pierre Martin “says that Bissonette may have been influenced by a mix of global nationalist trends, the so-called ‘alt-right’, and ‘currents within Quebec itself’.” Bissonette was reportedly known to many as a “right-wing ‘troll’ who had previously been combative” online “and also openly shared attacks on women’s rights” — another trademark of the “alt-right.”

Dylann Roof, “Face Of The Radicalized ‘Alt-Right’” Killed Nine At Historically Black Church

The University of Chicago’s Divinity School properly identified Dylann Roof, the man behind the June 17, 2015, shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, SC, as “the face of the radicalized ‘alt-right.’” In a confession video, Roof told an FBI agent that he committed the attack because “Blacks are raping and killing white people on the streets every day.”

According to The Daily Beast, “whole passages from Roof’s manifesto first appeared” on the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer. The Daily Beast pointed out, “The parallels between Roof’s manifesto and the comments on The Daily Stormer … suggest that either Roof was the commenter or he visited the site often enough to have plagiarized from it for his manifesto.”

Wired reported that Roof “searched for ‘black on white crime’ and ended up on the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens’ website,” which The Atlantic said has its roots in an organization that “aimed to be a (somewhat) more respectable alternative” to the Ku Klux Klan.

British “White Fascist” Killed Labour MP Jo Cox

Thomas Mair, a British man “with extreme right wing views,” according to CNN, was convicted of murdering British Labour member of parliament Jo Cox in June 2016. According to The Independent, “Reports from the trial proceedings conjure up a profile of a committed right-wing terrorist extremist, with the court hearing details of Mair’s links to white supremacist groups and witness testimony to his exhortations to ‘put Britain First.’” The article went on to say the murder was “an act of political terrorism murder committed by a white fascist.” The Daily Mail reported that jurors in the case were shown the inside of Mair’s home, where he “plotted her murder amongst far-Right literature and a dossier on the MP.”

Man Angered By Debunked Sting Videos Killed Three At Colorado Planned Parenthood

In 2015, Robert Lewis Dear opened fire inside a Colorado Planned Parenthood, killing three people. As Vox noted, when he was arrested Dear mentioned “baby parts,” which was “probably a reference” to the deceptively edited videos meant to slander Planned Parenthood put out by the Center for Medical Progress, which were laden with conservative misinformation. New Republic pointed out that “the narratives he learned from Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones and Bill O’Reilly and countless far-right web sites” contributed to his radicalization and his murders.

White Supremacist Gave Nazi Salute After Targeting Jews In Missouri Shooting

Frazier Glenn Miller, a “Missouri man with a long resume of anti-Semitism and white supremacist activism,” according to CNN, killed three people on April 13, 2014, after opening fire on two Jewish centers in Kansas City, MO. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said that just after his arrest, “Miller shouted ‘Heil Hitler’ while handcuffed in the back seat of a police car.” The Kansas City Star also reported that Miller asked the officer, “How many f—— Jews did I kill?” After his arrest, Miller said he “wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews or attacked the Jews before I died.”

Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, told CNN that Miller was “among the most-over-the-top, violent white supremacists” of the 1980s, adding that he “was one of the pioneers in the modern hate world.”

IMAGE: Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Wingnuts! Veep Debate Revealed Extremism Of Pence’s Republican Party

The second big fall debate, featuring the vice-presidential candidates, may not change many voters’ minds because it was a strange affair. Democrat Tim Kaine seemed over-rehearsed but dominated on the substance of issues, while Republican Mike Pence was polished but lied repeatedly, and kept accusing Kaine of insulting Donald Trump, when he was in fact quoting him.

Pence’s biggest lie was declaring that Trump was no fan of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. He also denied Trump would try to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and their U.S.-born children, even ridiculing Kaine for bringing up that “Mexican thing again,” referring to Trump’s racist slurs. Pence also denied Trump was fine with more nations acquiring nuclear weapons, which again, is something Trump has said.

Kaine, who did not hit his stride until midway through the 90-minute debate, needled Pence to defend Trump’s indefensible stances, which Pence repeatedly evaded. Kaine reminded viewers that Trump’s sons say they have major investments in Russia, posing big conflicts of interest. He said Democrats want comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship, not a “deportation nation” like the Republicans want. And Kaine said Trump’s statements about having more nuclear-armed states are prescriptions for a far more dangerous world.

If you got past the interruptions, crosstalk, moderator’s inability to steer the discussion and spectacle of Pence saying that electing a strongman would solve the country’s problems, the debate was a striking reminder of how deeply Democrats and Republicans disagree, and how the GOP—as epitomized by the agenda laid out by Pence, a former member of the House Republican leadership—has become a party dominated by right-wing extremists.

These days, it’s easy to overlook the Republicans in Congress when Trump has dominated the news for more than a year. But Pence’s stances are a potent reminder of what a Republican-majority Congress and White House would do if given the chance.

Pence said women’s reproductive rights, upheld by the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, would fall. He did not deny he was a proponent of privatizing Social Security and cutting Medicare while in the House and still favors those policies. He promised to cut taxes for the wealthy, and did not deny opposing minimum wage increases. He promised to end the “war on coal,” which means denying and ignoring the climate crisis. He pledged to repeal Obamacare and all of President Obama’s executive orders—which include many workplace, environmental and LGBT protections. He said the military needs a major infusion of new weaponry and a commander in chief willing to use America’s might to dominate global adversaries.

Kaine, in contrast, gave one of the campaign’s most eloquent defenses of reproductive rights, saying what he believes as a religious person should not be imposed on the public. He said Social Security could be expanded by raising the cap on income taxes contributing to it. He said Clinton has targeted tax increases on wealthier Americans to pay for a major domestic stimulus, from rebuilding transportation, energy and broadband infrastructure to making public universities tuition-free for most households.

Their differences didn’t stop there. On criminal justice and police reform, Pence and Kaine both endorsed community policing, but Republican Pence said Democrats and civil rights activists should respect police and pledged a “law and order” strategy, including bringing back so-called stop-and-frisk, a tactic in which police racially profile citizens. Democrat Kaine, in contrast, said that institutional racism is real in arrests, prosecutions and sentencing, and that background checks for gun buyers are needed. He chided Pence for denying the reality of institutional racism, saying you cannot solve a hard problem if you cannot talk about it.

When the debate turned to immigration, Pence refused to explicitly say that Trump would build a wall along the Mexican border and arrest and deport upwards of 16 million migrants and their family members. Instead, he accused Kaine and the Democrats of stooping to a campaign of insults, when, as almost everybody paying attention knows, Trump’s insults and character assassinations have been the election’s most defining feature.

Kaine pointedly noted that the Democrats are calling for the same immigration reform policies that Republican President Ronald Reagan adopted in 1986, a statement Pence did not respond to.

That back and forth—more talking past each other than rebutting points—bled into the foreign policy arena, where, as Kaine pointed out, Trump’s solutions would ban entire creeds or nationalities from entering or visiting America, from Mexicans to Muslims to Syrians. Pence’s answer was it’s better to be safe than sorry, regardless of the country’s history as a nation of immigrants or the Constitution’s protection of individual rights.

Pence repeatedly said that the U.S. was weakened by the Obama administration, including Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, and that is why there is more chaos in the Middle East, why Russia is expanding its military domination along its borders, and why China is doing the same in the Pacific. He said all that would change once the world faced a U.S. president who was tough and commanded respect. Kaine countered that the Obama administration has solved some big problems by killing Osama bin Laden, negotiating a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia and making the recent nuclear deal with Iran. When asked why Russia was so difficult, Kaine responded that Putin was a dictator, but the U.S. had to work with him on some issues while opposing him on others. He said Clinton, not Trump, knows how to negotiate that line.

As the debate went on, the details flying back and forth became a blur. The moderator, CBS News’ Elaine Quijano, tried to corral the candidates but could not stop them from jumping to any point they wanted to pursue. In the end, the most poignant exchange might have come from her question seeking an example of where their private religious faith conflicted with their public stances on issues while holding elected office.

Kaine said he personally opposes the death penalty but was forced to carry out executions as Virginia’s governor, as he had pledged when running for that office. Pence, in contrast, spoke of becoming a born-again Christian in college and using any power at his disposal to protect the rights of unborn children, leading to a very aggressive record on opposing choice. If elected, Pence said he would work to repeal Roe v. Wade, prompting Kaine to interrupt and ask why Trump said women seeking abortions should be punished.

Pence surprisingly admitted Trump was “not a polished politician,” trying to dismiss the remark. Kaine quickly quoted a biblical verse saying you should believe what someone says when they speak from their heart: “When Trump says this, he is telling you who he is.”

“Why don’t you trust women to make this choice for themselves?” he asked Pence. “Why doesn’t Donald Trump trust women to make this choice for themselves?”

Pence replied that a country will be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable, echoing an oft-repeated line from the anti-choice movement.

The debate ended as abruptly as it began, with both candidates painting very different pictures of America—one hopeful, one failing—as the presidential candidates do every day on the campaign trail. What was most striking was not just that the vice presidential nominees were actually delving into policy details and very different agendas, but how the Republican Party, devoid of Trump, remains a party dominated by right-wingers who would wreak havoc domestically and abroad.

Reprinted by permission from Alternet. Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America’s retirement crisis, democracy and voting rights, and campaigns and elections. He is the author of Count My Vote: A Citizen’s Guide to Voting (AlterNet Books, 2008).

IMAGE: Governor Mike Pence of Indiana speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)