FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

White-Washing White Terrorism

by

Overland Park, a city of fewer than 200,000 in the heartland of the U.S. just south of Kansas City, is an unlikely setting for a terrorist attack. But on April 13, Frazier Glenn Cross, aka Frazier Glenn Miller, brought terror to Overland Park. With the intention to “kill him some Jews,” Miller, former Grand Dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and FBI informant showed up with weapons in hand at a Jewish community center and a retirement home and murdered three Christians whom he mistook as Jewish.

While the authorities needed “more investigation” regarding Miller’s motive, the national media made the obvious connection characterizing the attack as a hate crime. But neither the media nor the authorities dared to call it what it was – a terrorist attack.

For Miller, there was no ambiguity. Shouting “Heil Hitler” from the back of a police car, his intentions, and motivations were made clear. His was a political act with a political meaning that at its core was meant to not just intimidate, but terrorize a whole community. Strangely, however, when it comes to acts carried out by the racist, radical right, the media and state authorities seem loath to characterize them as acts of terror. The reluctance to identify the domestic terrorist threat from the radical right is also seen in the U.S. Congress.

In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a report on the growing threat of white supremacist extremist groups and their close connections with military personnel. The DHS report was based on data and analysis from an FBI report prepared under the Bush Administration in July of 2008 titled “White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel since 9/11.” In that report, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division found that white supremacist organizations were pushing their followers to join the military and enter either the Special Forces or the infantry, in order to gain the necessary skills to prepare them for the “coming race war.” As a result, the report found that:

“…military experience is found throughout the white supremacist extremist movement as the result of recruitment campaigns by extremist groups and self-recruitment by veterans sympathetic to white supremacist causes.”

And what was the response from Congress? Incredibly, the right wing in Congress alleged that the report was a partisan attack on them and as a consequence were able to have the report rescinded and wiped away from the DHS website – and out of the public’s awareness.

Burying the DHS report did not result in the elimination of the very real threat posed by the more violent wing of the radical right, a threat being played out by extremist forces throughout Europe, as well as the U.S.

The attack launched by F. Glen Miller should not have been unexpected. This individual has been around, and on law enforcement radar, for quite some time. He was at the infamous Klan attack in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1979 that resulted in the deaths of five anti-racist activists and has a long history with some of the most dangerous right-wing elements in the U.S.

The real question that a reasonable person might ask and that the media and certainly state authorities would want to answer is, how many more of these individuals might be out there? And there are other questions – why is it that national state authorities fail to characterize acts like the Kansas shootings as domestic terrorism, and does that failure represent a conceptual inability to “see” the threat of radicalized white supremacists or a cynical political decision to downplay the existence of domestic terrorists?

The rise of the racist, radical right is not a figment of the imagination, or a partisan political attack. When they show up at anti-Obama rallies with guns in hand or when they attack Jewish schools or gun down African Americans while wearing the uniforms of the police, all of us must recognize the very real threat that we face today in this period of intense anger, scapegoating, confusion and manipulation.

We all have a stake in the defeat of white supremacy in all of its expressions. If we fail to engage in the hard struggle to strip away the pretenses of whiteness and its distorted worldview, and prepare people for the ultimate reality that they are going to have to give up most of the privileges of being white and living at the center of the empire, the crazed terror attack carried out by the neo-Nazi in Kansas will be only a harbinger of what is to come.

Ajamu Baraka serves as Public Intervenor for Human Rights on the Democracy Branch of the Green Shadow Cabinet.

 

Ajamu Baraka is a human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst. Baraka is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, D.C. and editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report. He is a contributor to “Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence” (CounterPunch Books, 2014). He can be reached at www.AjamuBaraka.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer
Matthew Stevenson
Is Trump the Worst President Ever?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Flynn?
John Wight
Brexit and Trump: Why Right is Not the New Left
Diana Johnstone
France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface
Neve Gordon
Trump’s One-State Option
Roger Harris
Emperor Trump Has No Clothes: Time to Organize!
Joan Roelofs
What Else is Wrong with Globalization
Andrew Levine
Why Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban?
Mike Whitney
Blood in the Water: the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper
Vijay Prashad
Trump, Turmoil and Resistance
Ron Jacobs
U.S. Imperial War Personified
David Swanson
Can the Climate Survive Adherence to War and Partisanship?
Andre Vltchek
Governor of Jakarta: Get Re-elected or Die!
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Destruction of Mosul
Norman Pollack
Self-Devouring Reaction: Governmental Impasse
Steve Horn
What Do a Louisiana Pipeline Explosion and Dakota Access Pipeline Have in Common? Phillips 66
Brian Saady
Why Corporations are Too Big to Jail in the Drug War
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Peaceful Protest to Armed Uprising
Luke Meyer
The Case of Tony: Inside a Lifer Hearing
Binoy Kampmark
Adolf, The Donald and History
Robert Koehler
The Great American Awakening
Murray Dobbin
Canadians at Odds With Their Government on Israel
Fariborz Saremi
A Whole New World?
Joyce Nelson
Japan’s Abe, Trump & Illegal Leaks
Christopher Brauchli
Trump 1, Tillerson 0
Yves Engler
Is This Hate Speech?
Dan Bacher
Trump Administration Exempts Three CA Oil Fields From Water Protection Rule at Jerry Brown’s Request
Richard Klin
Solid Gold
Melissa Garriga
Anti-Abortion and Anti-Fascist Movements: More in Common Than Meets the Eye
Thomas Knapp
The Absurd Consequences of a “Right to Privacy”
W. T. Whitney
The Fate of Prisoner Simón Trinidad, as Seen by His U. S. Lawyer
Brian Platt
Don’t Just Oppose ICE Raids, Tear Down the Whole Racist Immigration Enforcement Regime
Paul Cantor
Refugee: the Compassionate Mind of Egon Schwartz
Norman Richmond
The Black Radical Tradition in Canada
Barton Kunstler
Rallying Against the Totalitarian Specter
Judith Deutsch
Militarism:  Revolutionary Mothering and Rosie the Riveter
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir Evoked a Lot More International Attention in the 1950s Than It Does Now
Adam Phillips
There Isn’t Any There There
Louis Proyect
Steinbeck’s Red Devils
Randy Shields
Left Coast Date: the Dating Site for the ORWACA Tribe
Charles R. Larson
Review: Bill Hayes’ “Insomniac City”
David Yearsley
White Supremacy and Music Theory
February 16, 2017
Peter Gaffney
The Rage of Caliban: Identity Politics, the Travel Ban, and the Shifting Ideological Framework of the Resistance
Ramzy Baroud
Farewell to Doublespeak: Israel’s Terrifying Vision for the Future
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail