America’s White Nationalist Terrorism Problem

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Our nation is in crisis. White nationalism and white supremacist terrorists, emboldened by the dehumanizing rhetoric of right-wing public officials, are taking the lives of our people, both here and abroad. Hampered by political considerations, our government has been slow to acknowledge the threat posed by those who practice these ideologies through a variety of means. These include direct violence, incitement to violence, and the dissemination of false narratives to their followers. Taken together, these methods are a recipe for the destabilization of society.

As the El Paso Police Department investigates whether the August 3 mass shooting of Walmart shoppers in its large, Latinx border community fits the profile of a hate crime, Right Wing Watch has identified a troubling pattern of disinformation and deflection among right-wing social media personalities and so-called “experts” who obviously seek to direct attention away from well-founded speculation that the murderous spree was done in the service of white nationalism. Through their Twitter feeds and public appearances, right-wing figures seek to lay blame on the antifa movement or a “false flag” operation meant to unfairly tar white nationalists with the murders.

In its coverage of the El Paso attack on families shopping for back-to-school gear, Fox News even presented an “expert” who speculated that the assault could have been an instance of ISIS penetrating our “very porous” Southern border. In the fever swamp of the QAnon conspiracy theory, the “false flag” narrative has taken hold.

Just last week, Yahoo News uncovered an internal document from the Federal Bureau of Investigation stating that the QAnon conspiracy and other far-right conspiracy theories pose a threat of deadly violence to the population at large.

Meanwhile, a racist, white nationalist screed attributed to the shooter in the El Paso massacre is circulating online, itself a recruitment tool for future mass killers. That screed cited the writer’s own inspiration by the killer who executed the Christchurch massacre of Muslims in New Zealand.

On July 23, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that, of the 100 domestic terrorism arrests made since October, the majority were tied to white supremacist ideology.

White nationalist and other white supremacist groups and individuals ultimately aim to destabilize democracy. Preservation of our democracy should be a cause to which all Americans can adhere. That will require repudiation, in meaningful terms, of these toxic ideologies and their enablers.

This article features Right Wing Watch reporting by Kyle Mantyla via Twitter.