Monday, November 26, 2018

Right-wing vs Left-wing Domestic Terrorism

Apropos of this post, where the comment section turned into an argument discussion of domestic terrorism from the left versus the right, the Washington Post has a story today: "In the United States, right-wing violence is on the rise." They've summarized it in a nice chart; it speaks for itself.


31 comments:

Layzej said...

I was ignorant of the high level of terrorism in 1970. Thanks for the post. Here's more on the '70s: https://www.cnn.com/2015/07/28/opinions/bergen-1970s-terrorism/index.html

David in Cal said...

Beginning the charts of Total Fatalities at 2002 makes me laugh. Tilting the statistics like this shows bad faith.

So, it's not surprising that many of the events listed as "right-wing terrorism" have little or nothing to do with extremism. The link provides a number of examples where the motive was personal, part of an attempted prison escape, etc.

The link also points to another large category of murders that were not counted at all.

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/11/about-those-fake-right-wing-violence-statistics.php

cheers

Layzej said...

That does not appear to be the case. The WaPo used a federally funded Global Terrorism Database, not an ADL list of extremist related murders. Powerlineblog seems to be playing a shell game: "look at this other list that has non-terrorist related activities!"

David Appell said...

I don't see the problem with starting after the 9/11 attacks, which would skew and shadow everything.

But the 9/11 attacks were also right-wing terrorism (of a religious nature).

David in Cal said...

David -- Many years ago, Thomas Friedman was asked how reporters decided which side was the Right and which was the Left in a conflict in the Middle East. Of course, neither side was really right or left from our POV. Friedman responded that the good side was called "Left" and the bad side was called "Right.":)

Cheers

David Appell said...

Religious fanatics, like those in America who call themselves Christians but whose actions are anything but Christian, are on the right.

Layzej said...

Some prominent Christians believe that America is deserving of the terrorist attacks that are being perpetrated: "What we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be minuscule if, in fact, God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve." - Rev Jerry Falwell

These are twisted minds.

The perpetrators of those attacks would probably have agreed with Falwell and for exactly the same reasons: "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularise America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.' "

Islamic terrorists look at America as a land of depravity. They believe in the same God and have a similar morality when it comes to abortion, homosexuality, feminism, and secular society.

For me, there is very little to distinguish an Islamic terrorist from a Christian terrorist, or an Islamic fundamentalist from a Christian fundamentalist. Both share the same right wing ideology.

David Appell said...

And of course Falwell is hardly the only right-wing evangelical who's blamed gays for disasters:

"7 Natural Disasters Evangelicals Have Blamed On Gay People," Adam Salandra, 9/8/2017. http://www.newnownext.com/natural-disasters-evangelicals-blame-gay-people/09/2017/

Layzej said...

Nor is it limited to Christians:

Malaysia's opposition leader said Tuesday a quake-tsunami that killed thousands in neighbouring Indonesia was "punishment from Allah" for the activities of gay people, sparking a storm of criticism.

David in Cal said...

Judging Christians by the words of extremists is as silly as judging liberals by the fascistic actions of ANTIFA. From a personal POV, Christian America is the most accepting place in the world for a Jew to live (other than Israel.) Muslim countries are generally the opposite.

Cheers

David Appell said...

David, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the US. The recent Pittsburgh shooting was directly due to anti-Semitism.

How is Antifa fascist? What fascist values do they promote?

Layzej said...

For the record, I'm not judging Christians by the words of extremists. I was referring to Islamic and Christian terrorists, and Islamic and Christian fundamentalist. Obviously they don't represent all Muslims and Christians.

Is Jerry Falwell an extremist? Is he really more extreme than any other Christian conservative activist?

Regarding Christian America being the most accepting place, I would expect that secular America has it beat. As MLK said, the Christian church "has been an accomplice in structuring racism into the architecture of American society."

David in Cal said...

David -- It is vital to distinguish between words and actions. Actions are far, far more important. ANTIFA thugs attack people on the street. ANTIFA thugs cover their faces so as to be anonymous. ANTIFA thugs wear black shirts. Many videos are available showing ANTIFA violence. This video is satiric, but it shows actual ANTI violence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=50&v=vKuAcd0u6ys&has_verified=1

Cheers

Layzej said...

I don't know all that much about Antifa, but I agree we can't judge all Antifa folks by their extremists just as we can't judge all religious folks by their extremists. For example, although it was a Christian Nationalist that perpetrated the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, A Muslim groups rallied around the victims. I don't think we can tar the latter by the actions of the former. But these religions do seem to drive some folks towards hatred and violence.

David in Cal said...

Layzej -- The fact that you don't know that much about ANTIFA is IMHO because of media spin. Media seem to give more coverage to conservatives who SAY extreme things than to (self-professed) liberals who DO extreme things.

AFAIK all ANTIFA folks are violent extremists. I have never read anything about ANTIFA that didn't involve their violence. ANTIFA purports to be a liberal or left group. They attack conservatives, even people who are moderately conservative.

Although liberals should not generally be blamed for ANTIFA's violence, it is noteworthy that some liberal cities have tolerated ANTIFA violence. Examples are Portland, OR and Berkeley, CA. In both those cities, ANTIFA mobs perpetrated large, organized, violent attacks on people. The police generally stood aside during the violence and made inadequate efforts to prosecute the thugs.

Layzej said...

"AFAIK all ANTIFA folks are violent extremists. "

How many antifascists do you know?

Out of curiosity, where do you stand on fascism? In your view, who were the 'good' guys in Charlottesville?

David in Cal said...

There were no good guys in Charlottesville. However, there were legal guys and illegal guys. The white nationalists had permission for a demonstration. They came to demonstrate, not to do something violent. The ANTIFA thugs came with the intent of preventing the white nationalist demonstration, by violent means if necessary.

Do the disgusting beliefs of the white nationalists justify being shut down by a group of vigilante thugs? I don't think so. Even people with appalling beliefs should be entitled to freedom of speech.

P.S. ANTIFA has often used violence against people and groups who were not offensive, the way the white nationalists are. E.g, in February, 2017, ANTIFA was provoked by a planned speech by Milo Yiannopoulos. Milo is a libertarian-leaning gay man, who likes to debate, sometimes provocatively. He is no sort of bigot (although many liberals think that any conservative is automatically a bigot.) Wikipedia says

The interrupting protesters, which included Antifa activists and some who identified themselves as members of the left-wing group By Any Means Necessary,[10][11] set fires, damaged property, threw fireworks, attacked members of the crowd, and threw rocks at the police.[8] Within twenty minutes of the start of the violence, the Yiannopoulos event was officially canceled by the university police department due to security concerns, and protesters were ordered to disperse.[9][12] The protests continued for several hours afterwards, with some protesters moving into downtown Berkeley to break windows at several banks, a Starbucks, a Target, a Sprint store, and a T-Mobile store.[13][11] Among those assaulted were a Syrian Muslim, who was pepper sprayed and hit with a rod by a protester who said "You look like a Nazi",[14] and Kiara Robles, who was pepper sprayed while being interviewed by a TV reporter.[15] One person was arrested for failure to disperse, and there was an estimated $100,000 in damage.[16]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Berkeley_protests

P.S., despite their name, ANTIFA are not primarily anti-facists. Most of the people and groups they attack have nothing to do with facism. E.g., they violently took over the streets of Portland, OR, based on the excuse of a police shooting -- a shooting that was clearly justified. See, e.g., Portland Antifa protesters caught on video bullying elderly motorist, woman in wheelchair https://www.foxnews.com/us/portland-antifa-protesters-caught-on-video-bullying-elderly-motorist-woman-in-wheelchair

David in Cal said...

Not the worst act ever, but it happens to be in today's news

Antifa vandalizes Purdue College Republicans adviser's home with 'Nazi lives here'

https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=11583

Layzej said...

Maybe I'm wrong and we can judge these groups by the worst among them. I can tell you that I would march in opposition if a Nazi rally were held in my town. I would hope that all my neighbors would do the same. I'm a little shocked that this the least bit controversial for Christian America - even those among them who would pay lip service to equality.

David in Cal said...

Layzej -- ANTIFA wasn't just marching and demonstrating. Would you dress in black, cover your face, bring a weapon. and physically attack a legal Nazi rally? Of course not.

BTW here's today's ANTIFA story. They threatened a reporter with death. Note the racism in this allegedly liberal, anti-fascist screed. ANTIFA really is a terrible organization.

Seattle Antifa protester threatens journalist, ‘Are you willing to die?’

...I can see in your eyes that you’ve got some Asian descent. Check your history. The history shows you that you can’t trust your enemy but you’re using your enemy against us. Spying. Cuz it’s coming. I’m bringing the energy. That’s why they keep checking on me, you understand? Because they wanna know. I’m known to do this for real. Cuz some of us didn’t really come to talk, some of us really come to die, dude. Are you willing to die for a YouTube ? Yeah but that’s what’s gonna come. That’s what’s coming to you dude. Real . You feel that energy? That’s why your heart’s pounding. I’m here to let you know judgement’s here and you spying… is gonna get you end up hurt.


http://mynorthwest.com/1204332/rantz-seattle-antifa-protester-threatens-journalist-are-you-willing-to-die/

Cheers

David Appell said...

David, of course Antifa started in response to speakers like Milo Y and others who go on campuses just to stir up trouble. It's how they get attention. And in response to violence from right wing groups like Proud Boys and the Nazis at Charlottesville. The latter were *not* demonstrating peacefully -- there were fights there, and of course the Nazi who killed a women with his car (and who is now, incredibly, going to claim self-defense).

Unlike these far right groups, one thing Antifa doesn't do is brutal discrimination. It's always the right (including the GOP) who have problems with anyone who is different -- in race, color, gender, sexuality, religious faith, the lack of religious faith, and more. Republicans have been doing this for decades, and it's no surprise that right wing groups have gotten more violent in the Trump era -- he encourages it, and they ramp it up based on that.

I don't like Antifa's violence, but to ignore the far larger & earlier problem of right wing violence just won't do.

David in Cal said...

David -- Yes, right-wing violence should not be ignored. It's a serious problem. No violence should be ignored.

It's a whole separate topic, but IMHO the worst ignoring of violence today is the murder of so many black Americans, mostly by other black Americans. Between 2014 and 2016 the annual number of black murder victims went up by 1800! Few people seem to be aware of this disaster. It should be front page news.

I want to defend Milo. He doesn't stir up trouble; his opponents do. I won't blame a speaker for violence committed against him. I blame the people who commit the violence.

Yes, Milo raises ideas that some people disagree with. If you watch his talks on you tube, you'll see that he skillfully and logically defends his ideas in debates, when given a chance. Milo says things that some people find provocative. So what? Speakers are supposed to be provocative. He is certainly not a racist and obviously not homophobic.

Cheers

Layzej said...

DiC,

I wouldn't dress in black, cover my face, bring a weapon. or physically attack folks. I also wouldn't dress like Wonder Woman as this gal did. I'd probably wear flannel and jeans. But I sure as heck would be there protesting.

I'm dismayed that Christian America is actively against the opposition to white supremacy. I hadn't realized how bad things had become down there before this conversation.

David Appell said...

David, what Milo says is *intended* to be provocative. Same with Ann Coulter -- outrage is a big part of their business model. It gets clicks and Twitter followers. (The kind of people who send death threats and hate mail to journalists and scientists.) It gets book deals. It gets them on Fox, on podcasts, in newspapers who cover the outrage. They don't care about truth -- it's just not their top priority.

It's all fake, IMO. People like Milo and Coulter know exactly what they're doing. So do right wing radio people like Limbaugh, Michael Savage (he even changed his name to aid his outrage), and others. It's really a shame. I think Rush Limbaugh did more to damage this country than practically anyone. Even more than Newt Gingrich. That meanness and cruelty has taken over the Republican party. It's now part of their OS (operating system).

David in Cal said...

David -- I agree that Milo and Coulter intend to be provocative. So what? A woman may dress in a sexy manner in order to be provocative. But, if she's raped, I blame the rapist, not the woman.

Cheers

David in Cal said...

BTW Layzej -- it's not important, but you and I are using the terms "Christian America" differently. I meant that term so simply mean "America". I used the adjective "Christian" because that's the dominant religion and much of America's moral belief system comes from Christianity. You evidently used the term to mean a particular subset of Americans. I don't mean to criticize your usage in any way. I just wanted to point out the difference.

Cheers

David Appell said...

David, I think Milo and Coulter don't want to just be provocative, they want to provoke outrage. Same with Limbaugh. In his case I think it's politically motivated, to squash the other side (the left). M&C know that outrage and, yes, violence get them in the headlines. That gets them more celebrity and more money. I think them, and people like them (such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, etc) have knowingly and *purposely* caused some of the current division(s) in the US. That doesn't excuse violence, but it's not surprising it arises from extremists.

You can walk around with a loaded gun, but someday it could well go off.

"On 26 June 2018, reports surfaced that Yiannopoulos had told at least two news organisations who had requested comments, that he wanted vigilantes to shoot journalists. According to a reporter for the New York Observer, he wrote in a text message "I can't wait for vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight"."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milo_Yiannopoulos#Violence_against_journalists

At the same link:

"In October 2018, following several instances in which pipe bombs had been sent to prominent Trump critics, Yiannopoulos posted the following comment on Instagram: “Just catching up with news of all these pipe bombs. Disgusting and sad (that they didn’t go off, and the daily beast didn’t get one)"."

David in Cal said...

David -- Just one quibble with your metaphor. The metaphorical loaded gun is being wielded by the enemies of these conservative speakers, not by Milo and Coulter. Milo, Coulter, and their followers are the victims of physical attacks. Their critics are the attackers.

Cheers

David Appell said...

David, Milo is not a victim, he is ADVOCATING and ENCOURAGING violence.

Why is that acceptable?

Layzej said...

DiC, out of curiosity, what faction of Christian America do you represent? Evangelical/Catholic/etc?

David in Cal said...

David -- I have watched a number of Milo's presentations on Youtube. I've never seen him advocate violence or commit violence. I have seen him present points of view that are unpopular among some members of his audience. OTOH I've seen a number of examples of audience members preventing him from speaking. News reports include violent riots designed to prevent him from speaking. E.g., see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PSYPrE5LrQ

Layzej -- I don't represent any group. Although I'm Jewish, I do not consider myself a "representative" of Jewish America. I'm just myself. Furthermore, I don't even think there's a subset of people called "Jewish America". There's just America, whose ethos happens to be primarily based on Christian views of morality.