Extremists body count now stands at 3

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Holocaust Museum ShootingYesterday a security guard was murdered at the Holocaust Museum in Washington by 88-year-old White Supremacist James W. von Brunn. A WWII veteran, von Brunn was author of an online book called “Kill the Best Gentiles,” and posted to rightwing websites questioning Barack Obama’s birth certificate and citizenship, a standard if tired meme pushed by the right.

A few weeks ago Dr. George Tiller was murdered in his church by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder for performing late-term abortions. Though quickly denounced by leaders of the pro-life  movement, posters on rightwing sites heaped praise on Roeder for his actions just as many pro-lifers suggested that the murder, while a horrible act, was justified in order to save more unborn babies. The number and intensity of threats to abortion clinics have also increased in the days since Tiller’s murder.

Only a day later a Muslim convert shot and killed an army recruiter for political and religious reasons in Arkansas. Many on the right soon painted Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (formerly Carlos Bledsoe) as a leftwing extremist out of a need to balance the accusations leveled against Scott Roeder.

Extremism always seems to thrive during economic hardship, as people turn to religion and guns as sources of strength. Extremism was very much on display during the election as McCain/Palin supporters paraded their racism views for all the world to see, while the candidates and their their advocates did nothing to tone down the rhetoric. In fact they often seemed to encourage it.

So where does that leave us? A few isolated incidents or a fertile climate which is now breeding domestic terrorists?

Perhaps the answers lie in the controversial DHS reports that warned of domestic terrorism from both rightwing and leftwing extremists. Widely panned on both the right and left when released, with every murder the reports seems to take on a little more legitimacy. Even on Fox News. Watch the clips below:


Props to Shepard Smith for calling it like it is.

While I am hopeful that these acts are not symptoms of a much larger, growing problem, nothing in media leads me to believe otherwise. The growing hate and intolerance on display by the rightwing and people of faith gives me a lot of pause, as they target gays, people of color and anyone with a contrary point of view.

Post by ILO on 06/11/09 at 12:16 am