1. In 2009, the Dept. of Homeland Security issued a report warning of a resurgence in domestic right-wing terrorism -- white supremacist groups & anti-gov't militias triggered (if you will) by the election of America's first black president (among other things).
2. Right-wingers whined & complained (aided & abetted by their own propaganda outlets & by a supine, gullible MSM) until Janet Napolitano, head of DHS at the time, withdrew the report & disbanded the research group that wrote it.
3. As Daryl Johnson, the lead author of the report at DHS, pointed out in 2016: the report was right. Right-wing domestic terrorism has steadily increased ever since. http://www.govtech.com/em/safety/Disavowed-2009-Report-Domestic-Terrorism-Now-Rings-True.html …
4. He also wrote on op-ed on the subject last year. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/08/21/i-warned-of-right-wing-violence-in-2009-it-caused-an-uproar-i-was-right/?utm_term=.ab4f4af49a46 …
5. This has been gathering & gathering. The US gov't has treated it with kid gloves. The Republican Party has turned a blind eye to it & successfully bullied media into downplaying it or wedging it into "both sides" stories about "growing polarization."
6. Now right-wing extremism sits square at the heart of the Republican Party. Violence is getting a wink & a nod, not only from fringe figures but from elected officials & indeed from the president himself, who tells his supporters that Dems are a crazed mob.
7. The alt-right is killing people. Dozens of people. You just don't hear about it constantly, the way you hear about every violent crime committed by any immigrant anywhere. Read SPLC: https://www.splcenter.org/20180205/alt-right-killing-people …
8. Now someone mailed bombs to a range of media and Democratic leaders -- a large-scale assassination attempt targeted at one party, specifically at targets Trump has personally attacked & degraded. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/10/24/18018256/explosive-device-bomb-clinton-obama-cnn-soros …
9. This country's problem is not "division." Its problem is a resurgent, organized far-right movement soaked in white supremacy, xenophobia, and fantasies of violence. The movement has completely taken over one of the country's two political parties & has the president's fealty.
10. The far-right violence that has been increasing at the fringes is now moving toward the mainstream of the party. We are seeing the party & the violent fringe ally & merge, right before our eyes. That is a familiar story & it always ends in fascism.
11. It's not a joke. It's not a meme or a hashtag or a partisan jab. It's just a fact: right-wing violence is on the rise. People are getting hurt & there's every reason to think more will get hurt soon. We are headed in a very, very ugly direction.
12. I have no idea how to stop it, but as part of a profession that's supposed to tell the truth, I'd start there. Journos should drop the euphemisms & the '90s-vintage both-sides cliches & speak honestly about the threat violent reactionaries pose to US democracy. </fin>
13. Adding: every US political reporter should be reading @DavidNeiwert, who has been telling the truth about right-wing violence for over a decade and getting shunned by VSPs for his efforts.
14. I wrote this thread (which went slightly viral) on the fly & left out something important, which I want to add. To wit: misogyny. It is not just racism & xenophobia that animate the far right (and far-right terrorism). It is deep-down misogyny.
15. I add this not because it's on some woke checklist, but because misogyny is core to reactionary movements -- not incidental, not a side product, but an essential animating force. Scratch a case of RW terrorism & you inevitably find resentment toward women.
16. Indeed, you could say the same thing about almost ALL male violence. (And the vast majority of violence is male.) For these men, women come to represent their lack of status & their lack of control over their own lives. What RW ideologies do is systematize & justify it.
17. Misogyny is the clearest connective tissue between the radical far right & the mainstream, pass-on-a-Sunday-talk-show right. The continuum is quite clear (& Trump has basically collapsed it). There's a reason they inevitably feminize Dems & liberals to attack them.
18. Anyway: the RW backlash against modernity & diversity -- as illustrated by the rise of domestic right-wing terrorism -- is also, crucially, a backlash against gender equality (and #MeToo, etc.). It's all of a piece. </fin for real>
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