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Excerpt: "The radical right grew explosively in 2011, the third such dramatic expansion in as many years. The growth was fueled by superheated fears generated by economic dislocation, a proliferation of demonizing conspiracy theories, the changing racial makeup of America, and the prospect of four more years under a black president who many on the far right view as an enemy to their country."

Hate groups of all kinds are climbing in numbers, but the swelling of the Patriot movement since late 2008 has been astounding. (photo: ameriblog)
Hate groups of all kinds are climbing in numbers, but the swelling of the Patriot movement since late 2008 has been astounding. (photo: ameriblog)



Right-Wing Hate Groups Exploding in Size and Reach

By Mark Potok, Alternet

24 March 12

he radical right grew explosively in 2011, the third such dramatic expansion in as many years. The growth was fueled by superheated fears generated by economic dislocation, a proliferation of demonizing conspiracy theories, the changing racial makeup of America, and the prospect of four more years under a black president who many on the far right view as an enemy to their country.

The number of hate groups counted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) last year reached a total of 1,018, up slightly from the year before but continuing a trend of significant growth that is now more than a decade old. The truly stunning growth came in the antigovernment "Patriot" movement - conspiracy-minded groups that see the federal government as their primary enemy.

The Patriot movement first emerged in 1994, a response to what was seen as violent government repression of dissident groups at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and near Waco, Texas, in 1993, along with anger at gun control and the Democratic Clinton Administration in general. It peaked in 1996, a year after the Oklahoma City bombing, with 858 groups, then began to fade. By the turn of the millennium, the Patriot movement was reduced to fewer than 150 relatively inactive groups.

But the movement came roaring back beginning in late 2008, just as the economy went south with the subprime collapse and, more importantly, as Barack Obama appeared on the political scene as the Democratic nominee and, ultimately, the president-elect. Even as most of the nation cheered the election of the first black president that November, an angry backlash developed that included several plots to murder Obama. Many Americans, infused with populist fury over bank and auto bailouts and a feeling that they had lost their country, joined Patriot groups.

The swelling of the Patriot movement since that time has been astounding. From 149 groups in 2008, the number of Patriot organizations skyrocketed to 512 in 2009, shot up again in 2010 to 824, and then, last year, jumped to 1,274. That works out to a staggering 755% growth in the three years ending last Dec. 31. Last year's total was more than 400 groups higher than the prior all-time high, in 1996.

Meanwhile, the SPLC counted 1,018 hate groups operating in the United States last year, up from 1,002 in 2010. That was the latest in a string of annual increases going all the way back to 2000, when there were 602 hate groups. The long-running rise seemed for most of that time to be a product of hate groups' very successful exploitation of the issue of non-white immigration. Obama's election and the crashing economy have played a key role in the last three years.

At the same time, a third strand of the radical right - what the SPLC designates as "nativist extremist" groups, meaning organizations that go beyond normal political activism to harass individuals they suspect of being undocumented immigrants - shrank radically. After five years of sustained growth, these vigilante groups plummeted last year to 184 from 319 in 2010, a one-year drop of 42%. The decrease appears to be a product of bad press, internecine quarrels, and the co-optation of the immigration issue by state legislatures around the country passing draconian nativist laws like Alabama's H.B. 56.


Patriot and Militia Groups 1995-2011

In some ways, it was surprising that the same deflating effect did not hit the Patriot and hate groups, as 2011 also saw many politicians and other public figures attacking Muslims, LGBT people and other minorities, effectively taking on some of the issues dear to the radical right. But there was enough of a far-right wind to fill the sails of politicians, hate and Patriot groups, and Tea Parties alike, very likely the result, in large part, of a view of Obama as a dire threat to the country. (An IBOPE Zogby survey last year found that 30% of all voters did not believe that Obama was born in the U.S. even after the release of his long-form birth certificate.)

It's hard to know how all this will play out, given the unsettled nature of the presidential campaign and, in particular, the GOP primaries. The animus toward Obama and the government may be as much rooted in economic as racial anger.

In May 2011, a scholarly study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science found that white Americans believe that progress in race relations since the 1950s has come at their expense, with bias against whites more of a social problem in the last decade than bias against blacks. (This comes against the backdrop of the Census Bureau's prediction that non-Hispanic whites will lose their majority, falling to under 50% of the population, by 2050.) But a Pew Research Center study this January suggested that income inequality may be even more important. The survey found that some two-thirds of Americans believe that there are "strong conflicts" between rich and poor, about a 50% increase since a 2009 survey. That sensibility also was apparent in both the Tea Parties and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

And so it is with many extremist groups.

August Kreis, a longtime neo-Nazi who in January stepped down as leader of an Aryan Nations faction after being convicted of fraud related to his veteran's benefits, told the Intelligence Report that it was all about income inequality.

"The worse the economy gets, the more the groups are going to grow," he said. "White people are arming themselves - and black people, too. I believe eventually it's going to come down to civil war. It's going to be an economic war, the rich versus the poor. We're being divided along economic lines."

At the most macro level, the growth of right-wing radicalization - a phenomenon that is plainly evident in Europe as well as the United States - is related directly to political and, especially, economic globalization. As the nation-state has diminished in importance since the end of the Cold War, Western economies have opened up, not only to capital from abroad but also to labor. In concrete terms, that has meant major immigration flows, many of which have drastically altered the demographics of formerly fairly homogenous populations. In Europe and the U.S. both, white-dominated countries have become less so. At the same time, globalization has caused major economic dislocations in the West as certain industries and kinds of production move to less developed countries.

The sorry U.S. economy also may offer the best single explanation for the huge expansion in the so-called "sovereign citizens" movement, a subset of the larger Patriot movement. Although the size of the sovereign movement is hard to gauge - sovereigns tend to operate as individuals rather than in organized groups - law enforcement officials around the country have reported encounters. The SPLC, for its part, has estimated that some 300,000 Americans are involved.

Sovereign citizens, whose ideology first developed in white supremacist groups, generally do not believe they are obliged to pay federal taxes, follow most laws, or comply with requirements for driver's licenses and vehicle registrations. They also typically believe that filing certain documents can relieve them of debt or bankruptcy proceedings, or even bring them millions of dollars from secret government accounts. The claims are bogus, of course, but they have attracted thousands into the movement at a time of real financial hardship.


Hate Groups 200-2011

Sovereigns' focus on their supposed right to drive "upon the land" without any regulation has brought them into regular conflict with law enforcement officials. That was seen most dramatically on May 20, 2010, when a father-son team of sovereigns murdered two West Memphis, Ark., officers during a traffic stop, but officials have had other encounters. Just this January, a sovereign accused of trying to shoot a police officer during a traffic stop in Hurst, Texas, went on trial.

"There is a contingent of malcontents out there who are exceedingly hostile," Rich Roberts, a spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations, told the Christian Science Monitor for an article last year on the rising number of shooting deaths of police officers. "It's a really complex phenomenon in that it's a whole combination of factors where on one end you've got people like sovereign citizens, who are actually deliberately targeting police, as opposed to your garden-variety bad guy who's carrying a gun and will not hesitate to use it."

The FBI agrees. Last September, it issued a bulletin to law enforcement officials entitled "Sovereign Citizens: A Growing Domestic Threat to Law Enforcement" that describes the movement as "domestic terrorist." The bulletin notes that sovereigns have killed six law enforcement officers since 2000 and that Terry Nichols, convicted in the Oklahoma City bombing, was a sovereign.

The largest group of organized sovereigns, the Alabama-based Republic for the united States of America (RuSA), last year took a new step toward organizing a kind of government-in-waiting by adding a "Congress" with voting representatives in 49 states. The group says it is in the process of "reinhabiting" the government.

Although it can sound threatening, RuSA has not engaged in any known violence. But that's not true of all other Patriot groups, two of which are alleged to have engendered major terrorist plots aimed at police and others last year.

In March 2011, Alaska Peacemakers Militia leader Schaeffer Cox and four followers were arrested on weapons and conspiracy charges related to an alleged plan to kill Alaska state troopers and a judge. A state court later ruled that hundreds of hours of secret recordings made by informants would not be admissible, leading to the freeing of one of Cox's followers. But Cox and the other three still faced federal weapons charges and, this January, a superseding federal indictment again charged them with conspiracy to murder. In a related development, a woman who was the militia's secretary was arrested trying to enter Canada when officials found a pistol and information about pipe bombs and the ricin toxin in her truck.

Then, last November, federal officials arrested four members of a Georgia militia. The four elderly men were accused of plotting to assassinate public officials, bomb federal buildings, and carry out mass murders in four U.S. cities by dispersing deadly ricin dust from the windows of speeding cars. Like Cox and his comrades, the Georgia men are to be tried this year.

One of the factors apparently driving the expansion of the radical right has been the spread of conspiracy theories and demonizing falsehoods. Tall tales about secret government concentration camps, for instance, have spread beyond Patriot groups into nativist organizations and others. Equally preposterous stories of plots to impose Islamic Shariah law and to "recruit" schoolchildren into homosexuality have been plugged around the country, often by well-known public figures. It seems clear that this kind of propaganda boosts membership in conspiracy-minded groups.

But what may end up affecting the American radical right more than any other single factor in the coming year is President Obama and the presidential election campaign. If the primaries generate more attacks on the nation's first black president based on complete falsehoods - that he is a secret Muslim, a Kenyan, a radical leftist bent on destroying America - it's likely that the poison will spread. And if he wins reelection next fall, the reaction of the extreme right, already angry and on the defensive as the white population diminishes, could be truly frightening.

Anit-Gay Groups

The LGBT community made significant advances in 2011, with the repeal of the "Don't Act, Don't Tell" policy on gay men and lesbians in the military, the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage by Americans and the legalization of such bonds in New York state. But it was precisely these advances that seemed to set off a furious rage on the religious right, with renewed efforts to ban or repeal marriage equality and what seemed to be an intensification of anti-gay propaganda in certain quarters. American Family Association official Bryan Fischer, for instance, said that "gays are Nazis," claimed that HIV does not cause AIDS but gay men do, and, for good measure, criticized black welfare recipients who "rut like animals." In another development, most of the religious right groups that started out opposing abortion but moved on to attacking LGBT people have recently begun to adopt anti-Muslim propaganda en masse. The gay-bashing Traditional Values Coalition, for instance, last year redesigned its website to emphasize a new section entitled "Islam vs. the Constitution," published a report on Shariah law, and joined anti-Shariah conferences. Overall, the number of anti-gay hate groups in the United States rose markedly, going from 17 in 2010 to 27 last year.

Anti-Muslims Groups

The number of anti-Muslim groups tripled in 2011, jumping from 10 groups in 2010 to 30 last year. That rapid growth in Islamophobia, marked by the vilification of Muslims by opportunistic politicians and anti-Muslim activists, began in August 2010, when controversy over a planned Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan reached a fever pitch. Things got worse later in the year, when Oklahoma residents voted to amend the state constitution to forbid the use of Islamic Shariah law in state courts - a completely unnecessary change, given that the U.S. Constitution rules that out. The overheated atmosphere generated by these events also helped spur a 50% jump in the FBI's count of anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2010. Then, in March 2011, U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) held hearings on the radicalization of U.S. Muslims that seemed meant to demonize them. At the same time, there was a swelling of truly vicious propaganda like this remarkable Jan. 14, 2011, comment from columnist Debbie Schlussel: "They are animals, yes, but a lower form than the dog, as they won't learn to change their behavior for a carrot or a reward."

Black Seperaist Groups

The most remarkable development among radical black groups and individuals last year was the continuing spread of so-called "sovereign citizen" ideology, a set of ideas that originated in white supremacist groups of the 1970s and 1980s but has nevertheless taken off among African Americans. Sovereigns' conspiratorial beliefs generally include the claim that Americans are not subject to most tax and criminal laws, including statutes requiring driver's licenses and vehicle registrations. In the case of the black adherents, who make up only a sliver of the larger sovereign citizens movement, these ideas have been melded with selective interpretations of early black nationalists like Noble Drew Ali. Black sovereigns, like white ones, have engaged in a series of criminal acts, drawing up bogus financial instruments, harassing enemies with unjustified court filings, and even illegally seizing houses they do not own. Another noteworthy development among radical black groups was the Nation of Islam's furious defense of Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi, a sometimes Nation benefactor who was killed in an uprising later in the year. Nation leader Louis Farrakhan said that U.S. involvement in Libya would hasten the apocalypse. Malik Zulu Shabazz, head of the New Black Panther Party, went further, calling President Obama a "nigger police chief" leading the attack on a "black man … on the run, named Qaddafi."

Christian Divinity Groups

Christian Identity, a radical theology that describes Jews as biologically descended from Satan and people of color as soulless "mud people," has been declining in recent years, largely because its arcane, Bible-based doctrines seem to hold little interest for young racists. But last year that trend reversed itself, as a new Identity group, Crusaders for Yahweh, appeared with 30 chapters. The group is based in Chillicothe, Ohio, and led by Paul Mullet, a former member of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations (whose members generally practice Christian Identity) who left that group in 2010. That year, Mullet briefly formed an organization he called the American National Socialist Party, but he has now moved on to Crusaders for Yahweh, which appears to be tied institutionally to Aryan Nations. Also last year, Identity lost one of its best-known proponents with the death at 64 of Peter John "Pete" Peters, pastor of the LaPorte (Colo.) Church of Christ. Peters, who ran an Internet and radio ministry called Scriptures for America, had inspired extremists for some four decades.

Ku Klux Klan Groups

Overall, the number of Klan chapters last year fell to 152 from 221 in 2010, and the various Klan groupings were relatively quiet. But the year brought major changes in the Klan formations, with some large groups disappearing while others popped up or added large numbers of new chapters. Most notably, the second largest Klan group in America - the Marion, Ohio-based Brotherhood of Klans, with 38 chapters in almost as many states - folded when its leader, Jeremy Parker, joined the leading Aryan Nations faction. At the same time, however, the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in Martinsville, Va., and inactive for several years, came back to life under leader Stan Martin with 19 chapters. The United Knights of Tennessee Ku Klux Klan, meanwhile, shot up from a single chapter in Morristown, Tenn., to 19. Two others, the True Invisible Empire Knights based in Pulaski, Tenn., and the Traditional American Knights of Potosi, Mo., merged to form the Potosi-based True Invisible Empire Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

Nativist Extremist Groups

The contemporary movement of "nativist extremist" groups - organizations that go beyond lobbying and other political activities meant to restrict immigration, and instead harass and confront individuals they suspect are undocumented immigrants -began in 2005, with the appearance of the first Minuteman groups. (The SPLC does not list nativist extremist groups as hate groups; only a handful of the most extreme anti-immigrant groups are listed that way.) For its first five years, the movement expanded rapidly, reaching a high point of 319 groups in 2010. Last year, that number plummeted by more than 40%, falling to just 184, for reasons that are both internal and external. Internally, the movement was disrupted by internecine quarrels and the negative publicity that was generated by a Minuteman leader's murder of a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter in Arizona, a case that resulted in the leader's being sentenced to death last year. But what may have been even more important is the way that the movement was co-opted as state legislatures began passing draconian legislation meant to punish undocumented immigrants, effectively stealing the issue away from the nativist groups.

Neo-Confederate Groups

The neo-Confederate movement, whose heart is the Alabama-based League of the South (LOS), grew both smaller and more radical last year as its political efforts to organize a second Southern secession seemed to fall on bare ground. Founded in 1994 by former university professor Michael Hill, the LOS, which opposes racial intermarriage and seeks a society marked by "general European cultural hegemony," had 42 chapters in 2010, but saw that number fall to 32 last year. The drop-off came as Hill's rhetoric grew more belligerent than ever before. Last July, at his Abbeville, S.C., annual conference, Hill told LOS members that "we are already at war" and, earlier, he urged them to buy AK-47s, hollow-point bullets and tools to derail trains. Some 60 people at the conference learned how to draw down on an enemy, and Hill asked in a speech, "What would it take to get you to fight?" Meanwhile, the group's relatively strong Alabama chapter, based in Wetumpka, almost finished work on a 4,000-square-foot building that it intends to use for international conferences.

Racist Skinhead Groups

Last March, David Lynch, leader of the Sacramento, Calif.-based American Front and one of the best-known racist skinheads on the international scene, was shot to death in his Citrus Heights home; his girlfriend was shot in the leg. Within days, police were questioning Charles Gilbert Demar III, a Lynch associate also known as "Charlie Boots" who was the lead singer of the Stormtroop 16 band, as a "person of interest." Demar was arrested when officials found crystal methamphetamine and a meth manufacturing setup in his apartment, but as of press time he had not been charged in connection with Lynch's death. Another significant event on the skinhead scene took place last June, when the decade-old Vinlanders Social Club, one of the most violent racist skinhead groups, held its first white power concert. More than 50 people came to the event in Columbus, Ohio, including Richie Meyer, president of the Confederate Hammerskins, and Forrest Fogarty, a musician and one of Meyer's more prominent followers. Their presence and friendly association with Vinlanders at the event reflected the success of a truce between the two groups that was reached in 2007, ending what had been described as a "blood feud" between them.

White Nationalist Groups

Three large groups form the core of the white nationalist movement in the United States: the Council of Conservative Citizens, an outgrowth of the old White Citizens Councils, that fights against school integration and racial intermarriage; American Renaissance, a journal that justifies white nationalism by attacking the intelligence and mental health of black people; and the American Third Position (A3P), a racist party with electoral ambitions in many states and the nation at large. Of these, it has been A3P, which only started up in 2009, that has been growing the most rapidly. It also has attracted most of the best-known white nationalists in America to its cause. Last year, Virginia Abernethy, an emeritus professor of psychiatry and anthropology at Vanderbilt Medical School, joined the A3P board of directors, as did Tomas Sunic, an American-educated Croatian who has spoken at neo-Nazi events. Others who became A3P officials earlier include Kevin MacDonald, a deeply anti-Semitic professor at California State University, Long Beach; James Edwards, host of a racist radio show based in Memphis; Don Wassall, publisher of the anti-immigrant Nationalist Times; and Jamie Kelso, once an aide to former Klan boss David Duke. A3P is headed up by Los Angeles lawyer William Daniel Johnson, a man who once sought to deport every American with any "ascertainable trace of Negro blood."

Mark Potok is the editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report.
 

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+7 # Virginia 2012-03-24 10:15
"Obama's election and the crashing economy have played a key role in the last three years."

Well, if the hate groups have grown, the number of disgusted groups must be off the charts. As long as Obama surrounds himself and sides with Wall Street and fails to protect the average American homeowner while the banks pillage and rape them, it's doubtful he'll gain popularity.

Maybe his hands are tied, but his positions are anything but designed to stabilize the country. He has bad advisors - by his own choice. He's not running the country - the banks are and if there is a growth in hate groups their basis is likely driven by their disdain for the financial sector.

Take your money out of the banks and drive them out of business. And elect politicians that that refuse to be bought and are determined to regulate Wall Street.
 
 
+38 # Glen 2012-03-24 16:28
You have a valid point, Virginia, and I'm not certain why you are getting thumbs down. Obama's bad advisers ARE of his choosing, and he is not running the country any more than George W. Bush did.

However, it is difficult to believe there are any to replace Obama that have any integrity or have not been bought out and who represent the worst of the worst.
 
 
+6 # Virginia 2012-03-24 23:03
The truth hurts sometimes - but we can't continue to be ostriches. Look at these numbers. Those that are running the show would love nothing more than to initiate Marshall law and with the growing hatred - it's not going to be safe for anybody. This growing hatred and divide is exactly what they want.

People that are disgusted have valid points. And most people do not understand that the complexity of those actually calling the shots. You are right - it is not Obama. The violence against protesters, the lack of jobs, the failure to rescue homeowners and allow banks to steal the properties, pensions and retirement funds with intentional fraud isn't America.

How is it going to get better when the same people are running the show - and he appears to like the show? If he can't say what he means, if he doesn't really think this is the way it should be - then how effective can he be? Maybe we can't make a change when everyone is so dysfunctional.
 
 
+20 # unitedwestand 2012-03-25 01:03
Your last point is right on the mark. The problem is systematic and I cringe at the thought of the RW gaining control of the government again. It should be perfectly obvious to all the smart people here that the power of a well meaning president is compromised by the real powers at play. We know them all, The Military Industrial Complex, the corporations, the bankers, lobbyists, a compromised judicial system, Congresspeople stuffing their bank accounts. These are forces that only God him/herself could smite immediately.
I'm in favor of criticizing any president including Pres. Obama, but really we need to cut off the heads of the real monsters one by one before we can have a country that works well again.

I remind people who think that Pres. Obama should have done better, that they are delusional to think that when he took office that all the despicable players during GWB just went away, they are still there in all of the above mentioned monsters and very likely exert demands that are insurmountable by one man.

This is where the people come in, this is where we need to support efforts such as OWS, who provide a glimmer of hope and might even be the catalyst to real accountability.

May I also remind you, that the RW machine is who has fueled the hate groups.

GWB made sure to leave a crappy everything, knowing full well that they might lose control.
 
 
+7 # John Locke 2012-03-25 07:47
United: Virginia gave us an answer, maybe we aren't listening? Her concept to take ALL our money out of the Big and National Banks and to use only reginal banks or Credit unions, this is really a partial answer. Partial because the Government will come to their aid, and place our tax revenues with them...
I have mine in a small local bank. It's actually safer there, and the tellers know me by name...I don't have to show ID everytime I need something.
If we abandoned the banks, that would give the government a clear message. Yes they will still find a way to save them! But in numbers we are even able to compete and eventually set up our own state chartered banks. These banks can be used for good as opposed to Wall Street's greed. A real bank with real reserves could make a difference.
 
 
+37 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-03-24 16:42
Obama was elected with Wall St money, and he has a PAC for the coming election, so he had to give them what they gave him money for.

This is not necessarily his fault - we don't know what quid-pro-quos happened before teh 2008 elections, nor do we know those happening right now.
It all comes from the fact that the system is rigged: if you want to apply your policies, you need to get elected; and if you want to be elected you need to find money - and then those who hand you the money want something for it.

This is the reason why the Supreme decision "Citizens United" is a crime against democracy: we need less money in politics, not more.

How much is this eklection going to cost?
Isn't that outrageous?

Oh, and by the way coporations are not people, my friend.
 
 
+4 # Karlus58 2012-03-25 06:35
Virginia, I have no idea why your comments are being flagged as negative. You have made some good points to think about and realize.
 
 
+104 # bbaldwin 2012-03-24 11:03
The rise in hate groups is directly connected with the fall or the dumbing down of people living in the United States. These persons do not take the time to really read what is going on in this country, but just accept the word of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and other wing-nuts who do not have clue what is going on. "Virgia" says that Obama's election and the crashing ecomomy have played a key rold in the last three years" I hate the banks too, I hate Wall street as well, but I am not blaming our Predident for the failure...No this goes back to three (12 years)of Bushes being in the White House. Next november will be the 4 year anniversary of B Obama's election, jobs are up, manufacturing is up, and we are slowly growig the economy. This cannot be done over night.

So, I wish all the right wing with their billions coming into each Reb candidacy would stop all of rhetoric. Read up on what you are talking about before you spout out your falsehoods.
 
 
+49 # walthe310 2012-03-24 11:16
All the hate will find an outlet and I fear for the violence they will incite. Then they will shrug their shoulders and deny any responsibility.
 
 
+32 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-24 15:58
Then the Churches will say how did this happen...howeve r, right now they are leading the way
 
 
+1 # The Voice of Reason 2012-03-25 19:22
When did the Muslim hate groups become our friends? Did I miss something? Someone is asleep at the switch.
 
 
0 # The Voice of Reason 2012-03-26 10:46
It says something about the author when the very groups whose stated purpose is to overthrow the US government and destroy all who live there are left out of the equation.

I'm not sure what it says, but I'm sure it says something.
 
 
+31 # Barbara K 2012-03-24 16:21
The rightwinger Republicans have always felt they had more "Entitlements" than the rest of us. They think they are better. Look around, do you think they look any better? Absolutely not, they are a bunch of morons running around spewing lies, trying to buy elections, cheating to get their own way, making it difficult for us to perform our Constitutional right to vote, redistricting in states to stack the deck in their favor, taking in volumes of money from the wealthy bastards who fund them. Presidential material? Certainly not. Congressional material? Absolutely not. Governor material? Nope. So why do they think they are so damned entitled? Greed.
 
 
+52 # RicKelis 2012-03-24 11:20
How ironic it is -- that the first comment concerning an article about hate-groups is by an Obama-hater. As Pogo famously said back on Earth Day in 1971, "we have met the enemy and he is us."
 
 
+37 # Barbara K 2012-03-24 13:41
I noticed that too and also thought it was ironic. We didn't have this much hate until Sarah Palin came down from Alaska and started her hate speeches at all the nastiness that escaped her mouth on the "campaign" trail. Notice the neo-nazis, and hatemongers attending and spewing out more hate. It was sickening. At least, it was more civilized before then.
 
 
+15 # John Locke 2012-03-24 17:54
How soon we forget, Bush Senior used Nazi collaborators to get elected. The émigré fascist network within the Republican Party represents a small but significant element of the coalition that brought Ronald Reagan into the White House. It is from this network that the George H.W. Bush presidential campaign assembled its ethnic outreach unit in 1988. When news of this emerged, Bush’s ethnic outreach unit saw eight resignations by persons charged with anti-semitism, racism, fascist leanings and Nazi collaboration.
George Bush, Jr., was responsible for spin control during his father’s 1988 campaign. When the Nazi-linked organizers within George Sr.’s Heritage Council were exposed, George Jr. urged the exposed European fascists to resign. However, four of the eight who did resign continued to hold top positions within the Republican Heritage Groups Council. Since Regan we have been moving toward fascism, we are now fully there. See the two links below.

http://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/54/54_38-41.pdf

http://www.skeptictank.org/files/socialis/bushnazi.htm
 
 
+1 # Karlus58 2012-03-25 06:44
I beg to differ. She is not an Obama hater...but a realist and we must give thought to her points made.
 
 
-20 # dick 2012-03-24 11:27
Virginia, Love ya, but his hands are not tied & he's smarter than his "advisors." He made a free choice to protect, defend, enable, empower criminals that have done far more damage than T-Partyers, House GOPers, or even skinheads. ObamaDems try to frighten us with right wing freaks, who ARE scary, while they climb into bed with enormously destructive financiers. The Crash of 2008 did MASSIVE damage; perps are celebrating, remorse free, laughing at US because they control Obama-Holder. The most debilitating "War on Women" came from Wall St. mafia. How about some justice for them? Blankenstein harms more than "Rush." We let ObamaDems tell us whom to resent while they go yachting with criminals. We should actively OPPOSE, not passively accept, this obomination. PRISON TIME for destructive crooks.
 
 
-5 # John Locke 2012-03-24 18:01
Dick: Obama is just continuing the Bush policies of changing the country from a democracy to a fascist distatorship. It began in the 1960's when the Republican party was taken over by the Nazi collaborators, now it has taken over the democratic party through Wall Street, their money source. They helped elect Reagan, and Bush Sr. and Jr.

http://www.skeptictank.org/files/socialis/bushnazi.htm
 
 
+72 # joestecher 2012-03-24 11:35
First, I hear you Virginia, but please donn't throw out the baby with the bathwater. You think Romney would do better? Please. I agree that the President has made some mistakes, but the U.S. isn't alone on the planet, China, India, Russia and Europe all have large banks as well. Yes, the President could have done a bettere job of steering us through this complicated times and much more could have been done to reign in the big banks. But please don't acceed to the ies and myths of the radical right hate mongers. They are not the solution. Indeed.
Second, I have a question. Why is the NYPD, the FBI and the CIA all concerned about protests like the Occupiers, when they should be devoting their attention to the radical right hate monger groups? Why are they wasting their time infiltrating peaceful protestors exercising their Constitutional right to free speech, all the while these hate mpongers are plotting terrorism?
 
 
+19 # Barbara K 2012-03-24 13:44
Very good question. I've also wondered about that too. Are they afraid of them?
 
 
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-24 16:01
Most of them have always been part of the hate mongers.
When it hits the fan, they will not know what to do...they never have
 
 
+9 # soularddave 2012-03-24 20:31
Quoting joestecher:
they should be devoting their attention to the radical right hate monger groups? Why are they wasting their time infiltrating peaceful protestors exercising their Constitutional right to free speech, all the while these hate mpongers are plotting terrorism?


Warrant-less wiretapping, archiving emails and phone conversations, tracking visitors to websites; if not mere "conspiracy theories", they would serve to provide evidence of activity and membership in extremist groups. I think the intelligence agencies are paying attention and trying to figure these things out.

IMHO, it all gets back to a basic shortcoming in Public Education where young people aren't learning History, science, critical thinking, and most important - how to READ BOOKS.

The Republic is not lost, but it is in trouble.
 
 
+37 # Billy Bob 2012-03-24 11:59
I wouldn't worry too much. All these groups will fade into the background just as soon as there's no longer a Democrat in the White House.

It happened in the '90s, late'70s, and '60s until nixon was in office. It's a pattern. They represent the armed intimidation wing of the republican party. As soon as any repug is in office they'll suddenly, magically, calm down and no longer be a serious issue (unless that repug needs them to be angry at some Muslims).
 
 
+44 # karenvista 2012-03-24 13:19
Quoting Billy Bob:
I wouldn't worry too much. All these groups will fade into the background just as soon as there's no longer a Democrat in the White House.

It happened in the '90s, late'70s, and '60s until nixon was in office. It's a pattern. They represent the armed intimidation wing of the republican party..


You are absolutely historically correct.

Those of you who wrote the responses to Billy Bob stating that it has to do with economics or freedom need to account for why these groups aren't targeting the rich or the Republicans who fit the bill of what they are complaining about.

ALL DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTS ARE CONSIDERED ILLEGITIMATE BY RIGHT-WINGERS. It has always been thus.

When Republicans are elected president Democrats suffer under the delusion that it's in the nation's best interest to help them govern. Republicans obstruct, impeach and create violent hate groups and send constant emails full of ridiculous lies that most normal people don't get and therefore don't understand.

I am subjected to such nonsense by tea-partiers I know and they spend hours a day forwarding hate emails about Obama and Democrats. If you point out the errors of their emails they just respond with more. They don't care if they are lying as long as they create more hate.
 
 
+9 # John Locke 2012-03-24 12:07
Hate groups will continue to grow as long as we have financial inequality, mass unemployment, an increasing number of homeless, and people see laws passed like NDAA where they feel their rights are being taken away. They are looking for answers, and in many cases see no option but taking violent stands. These groups will eventually find a common cause to unite and there will be a real revolution in this country.
if we had a legitimate government that had concern for the citizens and their grievences, these groups for the most part would not exist. There is no question we are going to be in a real revolution, it's only a matter of when?
 
 
+4 # cadan 2012-03-24 13:19
John, i think you're exactly right.

(And although i think Mark Potok's article is extremely informative, i also think some of the groups have some legitimate beefs. Why indeed did we go wreck the most progressive society in North Africa [Libya]? The fury over this was justified.)

In the short run we can hope that a second term Obama will realize that continued war against the Muslims will put him decidedly on the wrong side of history.

In the longer term, as you say, these groups will unite on something if we don't stem our decline by stopping our war mongering.
 
 
-36 # Dumbledorf 2012-03-24 12:13
A FEAR MONGERING PIECE OF DRIVEL IF I EVER SAW ANY. SHAME. SHAME. SHAME! ANYONE WHO BELIEVES THIS STUFF IS JUST AS DELUDED AS THE LYING NEOCONS. PEOPLE ARE HURTING IN THIS COUNTRY AS NEVER BEFORE. OUR JOBS - GONE. OUR RIGHTS SEVERELY ABRIDGED AND ANNULLED THOUGH BOGUS LEGISLATION AND UNCONSTITUTIONA L EXECUTIVE ORDERS. HOME FORECLOSURES NOW WORSE THAN THE GREAT DEPRESSION.BANK S BAILED OUT TO THE TUNE OF 14.5 TRILLION$$$. PEOPLE ARE SCARED. HOPE AND CHANGE TURNED OUT TO BE MORE OF THE SAME BS AND LIES.FEAR MONGERING WILL NOT SAVE THIS COUNTRY. YOU MIGHT NOTE THAT ALL OFFICIALS TOOK AN OATH OF OFFICE(MANY ON A HOLY BIBLE!)TO UPHOLD AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ALL ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC.
the government is directly responsible for this depression. G-d help us when our right to redress, free assembly and belief, and DUE PROCESS is taken away.
 
 
+10 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-03-24 16:43
Glad you found you can toggle all caps off.
I was reading you with my hands over my ears.
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2012-03-25 13:31
Quoting Dumbledorf:
A FEAR MONGERING PIECE OF DRIVEL IF I EVER SAW ANY. SHAME. SHAME. SHAME! ANYONE WHO BELIEVES THIS STUFF IS JUST AS DELUDED AS THE LYING NEOCONS. PEOPLE ARE HURTING IN THIS COUNTRY AS NEVER BEFORE. OUR JOBS - GONE. OUR RIGHTS SEVERELY ABRIDGED AND ANNULLED THOUGH BOGUS LEGISLATION AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL EXECUTIVE ORDERS. HOME FORECLOSURES NOW WORSE THAN THE GREAT DEPRESSION.BANKS BAILED OUT TO THE TUNE OF 14.5 TRILLION$$$. PEOPLE ARE SCARED. HOPE AND CHANGE TURNED OUT TO BE MORE OF THE SAME BS AND LIES.FEAR MONGERING WILL NOT SAVE THIS COUNTRY. YOU MIGHT NOTE THAT ALL OFFICIALS TOOK AN OATH OF OFFICE(MANY ON A HOLY BIBLE!)TO UPHOLD AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ALL ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC.
the government is directly responsible for this depression. G-d help us when our right to redress, free assembly and belief, and DUE PROCESS is taken away.

Respectfully, many of you seem to be unable to separate "The Government" from" those IN the government -admittedly much increased in latter times- bought and paid for by the true corporate and military rulers of the "Fragmented States" and their lobbyists.
We need a bill passed in which the recipients of the lucre for influence-peddl ing be identified by wearing logos of their sponsor like NASCAR drivers and other sports figures (Jim Hightowers' s proposal, not mine).
The few altruistic representatives are an endangered species.
 
 
-34 # winson 2012-03-24 12:15
There is not a dimes worth of difference between Obama and Romney. They are bought by the same people.

Wake up!
 
 
+3 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-03-24 16:44
There is more than a dime difference although they play the same game: getting elected.
Still in understand your point and agree with it.
 
 
+14 # cynnibunny 2012-03-24 12:18
Let's not overstate the issue. While many of these groups support the ownership of guns, and while in the U.S. gun-ownership is a right-wing litmus test, let's not forget the political reality in this: when the right-wing is out of the Presidency, they seem to have an increase in recruitment to their causes. When Reagan became president, the Sierra Club enjoyed its greatest increase in membership in history.

Most gun owners do not see the absurdity and symbolism in having a gun in their home. They own guns mostly to hunt with, or because it makes them feel safe or virile. Loading the thing and stepping out into the public with the intent to do harm is not the same thing.

Let's not make too much of a big deal about the growth of ALL 'hate' groups. Let's focus on the distinct minority that shoot their guns in public. In the meantime, the growth of our military-indust rial and surveillance communities is more dangerous and upsetting, as is the inevitable result of spying on democracy-lovin g Americans (as reported on this site).
 
 
-50 # Rabbit 2012-03-24 12:32
Why is it considered irrational to hate the invaders of ones country? People are displaced, taxed and murdered by illegal aliens and SPLC considers the victims hater? Why is that?
 
 
+11 # joestecher 2012-03-24 17:42
Rabbit, first of all, we are all "invaders" of this country because we all came from somewhere else. second, when you bill yourself as the "land of opportunity," do you not expect that folks not here might want to come here and participate in the party? third, those who have come here aren't displacing anyone, most pay taxes just like everyone else, and the more native more murderers than there are foreign born. Do a bit of research and educate yourself before you spout off, Rabbit.
 
 
+36 # ABen 2012-03-24 13:14
Steinbeck is famously credited with warning that if Fascism ever comes to this country it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a Bible. He might also have added wearing an NRA patch and brandishing an automatic pistol.
 
 
+5 # Skippydelic 2012-03-25 08:40
ABen,
The quote is usually attributed to Sinclair Lewis - not Steinbeck - but the warning is *still* 100% valid!
 
 
+5 # ABen 2012-03-25 10:05
You are correct. Thanks for the correction.
 
 
0 # William Bjornson 2012-03-27 12:41
Quoting ABen:
...wrapped in the flag and carrying a Bible.


But, even more than that, offering 'low interest' loans and 'easy credit'. The 'G' word in America, as everywhere, is not God but Gelt. This is as true amongst the religious psychopaths as it is amongst the corporate psychopaths. Any 'invasion' (as mentioned above) of America has been an invasion of parasites with a better grip on the faux vox populi than Goebbels' Nazis ever had and which the Constitution has no effective way of countering. We need to completely eliminate our elite and this does not mean our Government. Government is a machine. It is who is driving our government that needs to be removed.

The truth is that chaos is being stirred in the American political process to weaken collective awareness and to splinter effective collective action against the sociopaths and outright psychopaths who now dominate our political process. Money. And Money in America means zionism and aipac. Period. And Jews better damn well get their heads out of their asses and look closely at zionist history which has used Jews more cruelly to further their psychotic agenda than even the Nazis. Alan Hart's three volume "Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews" will supply all of the documented history necessary to clearly see the certain origin of their next great 'disaster'. Anti-zionism isn't just necessary, it's your DUTY to your Grandchildren.
 
 
-8 # joehonick@gmail.com 2012-03-24 15:12
Regrettably, extremism of both left and right is just as bad, one and the other. Neither extreme left like this, nor extreme right
is worth respect from any corner. You have done a service woth a dime with this. It could have come from the farright just ass easily.
 
 
+14 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-03-24 16:49
I totally disagree.
Extremism is bad and there can be pretty bad left extremists but when one looks at the scope of the right wing nuts and groups as detailed above, one would have to be watching fox news to believe they are of equal amplitude.
Please don't feel obliged to state that leftist groups are as bad as neo nazi ones ("National Socialists of America" ???) - you don't have to try and sound "fair and balanced" here.
 
 
+4 # Todd Williams 2012-03-25 06:39
Name one left wing extremist group SINCE the Weathermen, Black Panters, SLA or whatever.
 
 
+8 # Skeeziks 2012-03-24 15:19
Billy Bob..."I wouldn't worry too much. All these groups will fade into the background just as soon as there's no longer a Democrat in the White House.

It happened in the '90s, late'70s, and '60s until nixon was in office. It's a pattern. They represent the armed intimidation wing of the republican party. As soon as any repug is in office they'll suddenly, magically, calm down and no longer be a serious issue (unless that repug needs them to be angry at some Muslims)."

That may be so, but these groups still offer quick lies to listen to and are believed by many. Enough to send Democrats packing after those several years out of power. They are lost in the 50's. Trying still to believe that women are second class citizens and all people of white background are the anointed ones.
 
 
+7 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-03-24 16:50
And it does not bring confort to the families of the victims of the McVeighs or Nichols of the World.
 
 
+25 # Rick Levy 2012-03-24 15:37
I'm surprised that Dominionists weren't mentioned. This is a radical Christian organization with members in high government offices that wants to turn America into a theocracy.
 
 
+30 # chrisconnolly 2012-03-24 15:49
How is it immigrants can be called invaders yet we have recently invaded two countries waving our flags and drones in all our patriotic hubris. How can the right spew so much biblical vitriol against a president who inherited the crashing economy from an appointed republican who looted our system. Where does all this hate come from and why is it so misdirected?
 
 
+10 # joestecher 2012-03-24 17:46
Absolutely excellent point: we are the plantery invaders of the worst kind. Our military is all over the planet. And the right wingnuts can spill the vitriol because they are scaared and racist. Nothing motivates like fear.
 
 
+21 # genierae 2012-03-24 16:53
One of these right-wing haters was at a shooting range where Rick Santorum was target practicing and told him to "pretend it's Obama". This was a woman, which made it even worse. Women are supposed to be the nurturing, compassionate gender, but evidently the females on the far right, along with Sarah Palin, have given up on that foolishness, and now they relish violence as much as their "men" do. I hope that President Obama's secret service agents are good at their jobs.
 
 
+3 # Rick Levy 2012-03-24 18:41
I thought I was the only one who objected to the false stereotype of women being the kinder gentler sex.
 
 
+3 # genierae 2012-03-25 12:14
It is not a "stereotype", and it is not "false", Mr. Levy. Women are not ruled by their penises, they don't have any. They are not slaves to testosterone, which is the main cause of male aggression. The male and the female in unity, make an excellent team, one complementing the other. Unfortunately, in this corrupt society, unenlightened men, unaware of their higher spiritual selves, have dominated and suppressed 1/2 of the population. As a consequence we are on the verge of catastrophe, and unless the "kinder, gentler sex" takes an equal place in this society, we will not survive.
 
 
+10 # xflowers 2012-03-24 18:41
People are facing significant issues in this country whether they are on the left, right, or in the middle. I wish they would find rationale and effective ways to address them. The article points out that one of the biggest drivers of the hate movement has been job displacement brought about by globalization, as well as a collapsed economy brought about by unbridled speculation. Collecting guns and demonizing others, particularly others who themselves are more economically victimized than the people who hate them will not solve anyone's problems. Neither will claiming Obama is not native born. This is all irrational hysteria, nothing more than venting in the wrong direction. The only thing I can think of that has ever helped ordinary people find a collective voice that gives them the power to make change on the economic front has been labor unions. Maybe we need more of them both for the sake of people who have been driven to the edge as well as our country that will crackup under the weight of all of this division. I've never been in a labor union, but I saw their power here in Ohio when they organized against SB5, a bill that was passed into law by our state legislature that stripped all public employees of their right to collective bargaining. I have never seen such an effective campaign as I saw the labor movement put together. And they won, and won big. That's the way.
 
 
+6 # wullen 2012-03-25 03:21
I think some of the blame has to go to average moderate Republicans ( I know many!)who do nothing to voice their discontent to their pandering pols about the extremist views that seem to have taken over their party. Of course, first they'd have to face the reality that it's not the party it use to be. Maybe if they stood up with the threat of their vote and support, a good deal of this radicalism would go away for want of air.
 
 
+9 # Bruce Gruber 2012-03-25 04:10
As a species, we may simply be doomed to extinction.

Our inability to recognize the advantages of cooperative human progress over individuality and personal acquisition and power remains our most primitive and strongest instinct. Even our most hopeful expressions and dreams of salvation and eternity, righteousness and morality - religious faith - remain centered on a 'personal' relationship with 'one' god or another ... being 'endowed' by a creator who 'cares' about (the self-righteousn ess of) EACH of us ... as individuals. How self indulgent!?

Is there any hope we can OCCUPY Reality?

AS we continue to exploit each other and our planet in search of wealth and power, we prove our inadequacy to think ahead and build for a future for mankind.
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2012-03-25 13:40
Can we perhaps thank Rush Limp-balls, Fox, ClearChannel and their spawn for this? -I mean their penetration is such that they can reach most of the often isolated 'Hate-spots" all over the place and get them pumped-up on faux-patriotic militaristic rhetoric, antigay fantasies and Wagnerite grandiosity which as often as not results in "Hitler was Right" banners!
Hell, something needs to make these sad-sacks feel good about themselves,-unf ortunately, it's the fear-mongering, non-creative and easily accessed mean-spiritedne ss which a death culture tends to engender.
Just read the reactionaries that post on RSN who have nothing to offer but many blunted swords to point, and you get the idea of the beginnings of the steep downward slide to the hate-pit.
 
 
+5 # Bruce Gruber 2012-03-25 16:26
The dumbing down of America and the divisive manipulation of fears and prejudices by economic and political interests has always been a hallmark of the 1% control of our public agenda. The founding fathers differed over plutocracy (Hamiltonian) and democracy (Jefferson). They compromised, but with a sense that landowning aristocrats with education knew best. Wealth accumulating plutocrats continue the tradition with SuperPac contributors demonstrating their disregard for citizen input and the creation of pseudo-intellec tual "think tanked", tax exempt (they can't resist double dipping) foundations to dis-educate and misdirect legitimate inquiry. Keeping us all bereft of awareness and factual information and pregnant with hatred and fear characterizes that contempt.
 
 
+1 # chinaski 2012-03-25 20:40
The biggest hate groups in this country are the corporate and banking plutocracy that holds in the deepest contempt anyone not already a card carrying member in their country club. Running a close second is the right wing, batshit religious backlash and legislated intimidation, led by republicans NOW in congress, against freedom of choice and expression with such weapons as the mandatory shaming of any woman (made pregnant by a man) who has the unmitigated gaul to seek an abortion.
But the neo confederate, skinhead, kkk, Marxist, zeta reticulan space alien youeffinnameit who-aren't-like -us are all margin players at the fringe, and the powers that be would love to have us turn our short attention span toward them and single them out for all the blame.
The real threat here is MAINSTREAM. It's broadcast daily on our sixthousandchan nel gotta have it highdef teevee's 24/7.
 
 
+1 # aitengri 2012-03-25 22:37
All of the talk about "why", "how", and "when" the so-called "hate" groups come about misses a significant core element: that the COMPOSITION of the groups, their membership, must share a common (collective) defect, a combination of educational deficit, cultural limitation, and group pathology.

The latter has paradigms in epidemiology, and current neurophysiologi cal theory of brain plasticity. The historical infections, Nazism, 19th Century Nationalist movements, evangelical and proselytizing religious movements, and yes, in the last analysis, every human "movement" requiring the reinforcement of large numbers of converts, are part and parcel of the currently demonized version.

The groups may not necessarily manifest "hate"; that term is a moniker loosely thrown as a negative semantic net over the whole phenomenon of irrational group behavior - liberal arts students are early on introduced to the 19th century classic Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds - sort of a primer on the whole topic of human conceptual fallibility and weakness.

For now, the challenge is to resist the temptation to "bait" the so-called "hate" group, although full on confrontation by equal numbers of better informed opponents might serve to neutralize their momentum. Very tempting for some of us inclined to anger, though. We do have the Civil War in our background.
 
 
+2 # chinaski 2012-03-26 07:59
The hate groups to be most feared are the invisible ones. The ones that force us to log in here to read a Doonesbury cartoon deemed 'inappropriate' by a co-opted mainstream media.
It's the daily bottle-fed dull sameness that tills fertile ground for things like an Iraq invasion or a Patriot Act, and we'll all jump on board, either with flag-waving zeal or passive silent assent. In the end it will all be done 'for our own good' and in the name of national security or public safety.
It's that normal day-to-day hate that offers itself as common sense or safety that worms its way under the tripwire of our dulled awareness. No, we don't hate the Iraqis, but we DID invade and destroy their country, kill a quarter million of them, while normalizing this behavior under the rationale of an unending, self-regenerati ng Holy War on Terror.
And what exactly could the kkk do that could compare to threehundredmil lion people signing off on a war?
 
 
+1 # vince47 2012-03-26 16:27
The hysteria being pushed by the various factions on the right have co-opted the GOP. The demand for voter registration, birth certificates, tighter immigration laws, are in response to fear. The fear is self-generated and the moves out like a cancer. Civility, compromise, communication and the respect for the individual is a necessary component to make this country work for all. Until the political, social, religious and business leaders begin to lead and put the country first the problems of this nation will continue to be pulled downward by factions, cliques, blocs, and local fringe groups at all levels of society.
 
 
0 # pernsey 2012-03-27 07:18
The right wing is comprised of Hate, Fear, and Seperatism, and Fox News keeps it all going day after day.
 
 
0 # Martintfre 2012-03-27 09:08
I have little trust in anything what comes out of the southern poverty law center -
the called me - because I was a member of the libertarian party a potential terrorist.


To be a libertarian you sign an oath "I do not believe in the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals"

If that in their eyes make me a member of a terrorist group I can only think of them as liars, imbeciles and hypocrites who are dancing to a political agenda and they care nothing about the truth.
 
 
0 # worldviewer 2012-03-29 13:42
LEARN FROM HISTORY
In the 1950s Martin Luther King understood that a Civil Rights movement could start a new Civil War in the South. After all, some Southerners were still fighting the War in their minds, and the civil rights protests could have triggered a widespread uprising of intense violence against blacks.
The "tactic" of nonviolence was crucial--It "takes two to tango" and so they responded with nonviolence to institutional violence, thus breaking the cycle of violence. They were setting an example of peaceful reform, acting in socially responsible ways.
In the last 40 years--(in fact, since Roe vs Wade)--there has been a growing divisiveness and loss of trust between Americans. A loss of civility and understanding of how to remain together and resolve our problems, as a family does, despite our individual differences.
The Internet has greatly contributed to this incivility, as the Reader Supported News comments at the top of the page indicate.
The example of black people in the South in the 1950s and 60s is one in which the of forbearance and hope--in which the agrieved solved the problem--and they did indeed accomplish a peaceful revolution.
Today we have the example of Liberian women, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last Dec. (2011) of ending a violent civil war peacefully.
Occupy needs to follow this example.
 
 
0 # worldviewer 2012-03-29 13:53
Hate groups are indeed multiplying in our country--but this is because we have NOT addressed the growing problems in our country and in the world, but have simply been blaming "the other". Everybody's ability to cope is reduced when in a state of fear or panic. And some people lack the coping skills to understand complexity and lack the ability to change.
So, no matter how greatly agrieved, often it's those who are suffering the most who have the ciourage, patience and endurance to make the change.
Consider the Liberian women--50% of them were raped during the civil war. Family ties were strained and broken. Muslim women especially faced death at the hands of their families for "dishonoring" their family. And yet it was these same women who came together and peacefully protested until they accomplished the end of that civil war. See the documentary about of Leymah Gwobee "Pray the Devil Back to Hell"
 

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