‘Extremist’ designation another tactic to suppress black activism
An alarming Oct. 6 report by
says the FBI’s counter-terrorism division has created a new category of potential terrorists, the “black identity extremist,” claiming that “it is very likely Black Identity Extremist perception of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.”
However fancy the words, the target is clearly Black Lives Matter and could be the justification for law enforcement crackdown on the group.
“Extremist” groups have generally been mostly whites, some of whom openly reject the authority of the state, at times violently, and have attended public gatherings heavily armed.
A six-month investigation which conducted into extremist groups “reveals that recruiting, planning, training and explicit calls for a shooting war are on the rise…,” the magazine reported on Sept. 30, 2010.
“Within a complex web of ideologies, most of today’s armed radicals are linked by self-described Patriot beliefs which emphasize resistance to tyranny by force of arms and reject the idea that elections can fix what ails the country,” said.
The government itself was so concerned at the rise of armed militias that, in 2009, shortly after President Barack H. Obama took office, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned that “lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States,” The
news site reported. Rather than being a call to action, that report drew such strong criticism that then DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano distanced herself from it. The DHS unit investigating rightwing extremism was virtually dismantled and the lead investigator was forced out.
It did not seem to matter that investigators had been discovering that “rightwing extremists” were infiltrating law enforcement agencies across the nation and that, according to a CNN report in 2015, such groups “will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.”
There was already evidence that such extremists were willing to take up arms against the state, as happened at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in August 1992, in a bloody confrontation when U.S. Marshals tried to arrest a fugitive, Randy Weaver, and again between FBI agents and members of the Branch Davidian in April 1993 in Waco, Texas.
In April 2014, an armed group rallied to the side of Nevada rancher Cliven D. Bundy as federal and state law enforcement agents tried to seize his cattle for failure to pay grazing fees. The government backed down, though the FBI arrested Bundy on Feb. 20, 2016.
On Jan. 2, 2016, Bundy’s son Ammon led an armed standoff against the government at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. He and his supporters demanded that the U.S. hand over federal public lands to individual states. The confrontation lasted until Feb. 11, 2016.
The Bundy incidents served to harden the belief among some Americans that the federal government is illegitimate and that ultimate power rests not just with states but, for the more radical ones, with the county sheriff.
Membership in hardline anti-government organizations soared with Obama’s election – along with gun sales. The number of radical militias and anti-government groups soared to 1,360 in 2012 from just 149 four years earlier, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported.
With all that going on, the FBI has seen fit to demonize a black movement whose only concern is police brutality. It is hard to conceive of a group of heavily armed blacks taking over a government facility or otherwise confronting federal agents with assault rifles without being wiped out – or even appearing in public with assault rifles.
The government has a track record of trying to suppress efforts by blacks to assert their citizenship rights, most notably, in contemporary times, the FBI’s harassment of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. This “extremist” labeling is part of that pattern. It goes back to slavery and lynching, segregation and Jim Crow laws.
It perpetuates the myth that African Americans are an enduring threat to the state and must be suppressed. The tactics also include rigging voting districts and restoring virtually unfettered power to the police to enforce the “peace.”
There is a profound lesson in all of this: While the victors in war get to write history, the winners of elections get to make the laws. It is a lesson well worth considering by those who insist there is no value in voting.
Do you realize that our history is, at best, being rewritten? At worst, it is being erased. And how is that happening?
For one, we are not writing our own stories! Maya Angelou often instructed all of us to write our own stories: Growing up stories, barbershop stories and stories about our societies, our churches, our schools, our heroes and 'sheroes,' our love stories, our sad stories and our glad stories.
Unlike the modern day Griots - songwriters, popular stage and street poets who get precious space in the public arena - their flames burn bright but that doesn't last too long; the rest of us sing, rap and dance to their words until the next hit comes along. Important but transient.
Where are you on that story-telling journey? Are you still thinking about it? Or, are you still getting mad when the other side keeps telling your story, and constantly getting it all wrong? Well, what are you waiting for? I urge you to begin. Now!
Especially now that the phenomenon of 'fake news' and the discussion of it has taken all the air out of any reasonable debate about what is real, or not.
Everything that we know is being questioned, and, given the speed at which the 'known' is being denied, reversed, re-packaged, and plumb thrown out of consideration (there is no such thing as facts anymore), it becomes even more imperative that we get our stories 'told' and preserved for the future.
Uncomfortable about the current state of affairs under "45"?
Don't make the mistake thinking that this too shall pass. (We are on the brink of another 'war' with North Korea. "45"'s war of words with Kim has escalated beyond any measure of playground posturing, when one opponent may have pronounced, "I take it back").
No. "45" has a scorched earth mentality, and he has no qualms about sending my sons, your daughters (as long as they are not transgendered) into battle for his own glorification.
"45" has a clear agenda: to make himself the chief architect of a new era, by first, burning every single foundation for peaceful coexistence. He obviously has no patience with building allies across internal party lines, nor is he extending his hand of friendship to