I’m sure this will come as a shock to anyone who’s never read or even heard of the New York Times. The Gray Lady set off all sorts of alarms this weekend with a very special look at law enforcement and how they “failed to see the threat of white nationalism” and are now unable to cope with an epidemic of “right-wing extremism and violence.” I suppose I would be terribly rude to point out the rather “convenient” timing of this lengthy analysis, which will no doubt be a hot topic at CNN and MSNBC right up through Tuesday night.
Here’s a brief peek at how they are choosing to characterize the deplorable state of our nation. (Emphasis added)
White supremacists and other far-right extremists have killed far more people since Sept. 11, 2001, than any other category of domestic extremist. The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism has reported that 71 percent of the extremist-related fatalities in the United States between 2008 and 2017 were committed by members of the far right or white-supremacist movements. Islamic extremists were responsible for just 26 percent.,,
These statistics belie the strident rhetoric around “foreign-born” terrorists that the Trump administration has used to drive its anti-immigration agenda. They also raise questions about the United States’ counterterrorism strategy, which for nearly two decades has been focused almost exclusively on American and foreign-born jihadists, overshadowing right-wing extremism as a legitimate national-security threat.
We’ve been hearing plenty of these rumblings from progressive outlets this week. It’s almost as if there was some sort of… coordination going on. But clearly they haven’t bothered to double check the work of the various Trump critics hoping to capitalize on this theme. If they had, they’d know that the vast majority of domestic incidents of mass shootings and other attacks have no clearly identifiable political or religious motive associated with them.
And let’s not even mention that they’re choosing to begin their calculation of attacks “after September 11, 2001.” One wonders why they might pick that totally random date.
But let’s get down to the meat of this extremely lengthy article and the tone they are trying to set. For all the talk of “law enforcement” being upset about the rise of white nationalism and “right-wing extremism,” the Times doesn’t actually cite many named sources. One of the most prominently featured individuals is Lt. Dan Stout of Gainesville, Florida. Rather than some national expert or analyst, Stout is a Lieutenant in the Gainesville Police Department and was one of the cops responsible for preparing for a speech by Richard Spencer in September of last year. (Where their biggest problem turned out to be four neo-nazis who drove in from Texas for a rally where Spencer attracted all of a dozen supporters.) While I’m sure Stout is a fine man and dedicated law enforcement official, he’s not exactly running any national intelligence efforts.
Also heavily quoted is P.W. Singer who the Times describes as a “national-security strategist.” Curiously, Singer doesn’t describe himself that way in his plentiful self-promotion online. He is more commonly described as an expert in cybersecurity and modern warfare. He’s a strategist at the very progressive New America “think tank.” And if you want to know where his partisan leanings lie, look no further than his very busy Twitter account. You’ll find it filled almost entirely with an endless array of snarky broadsides aimed at President Trump, defense of the Honduran caravan and support for Maxine Waters.
What you woke up obsessing about. She’s in your head, huh? https://t.co/f5RzcoVhBZ
— Peter W. Singer (@peterwsinger) November 3, 2018
In all of their worry over what we should just call “The Problem With Conservative White People,” does the Times have anything to say about other, actual domestic terror groups such as Antifa? They sure do, but not related to “terrorism.”Here’s how they describe the group, specifically referring to their activities in Texas: (Emphasis mine)
“Antifa, a catchall term that has been used to describe dedicated anti-fascists and so-called anarchist extremists, as well as animal rights activists, immigration rights activists, members of the local Socialist movement, environmental protesters like those who had recently been blasted by water cannons and rubber bullets at Standing Rock, and Black Lives Matter supporters, whose protests have been met by dozens of cops in riot gear, as well as sometimes members of a paramilitary support unit.”
See, you guys? Antifa isn’t a bunch of violent hoodlums, despite all the video out there. They’re just misunderstood animal lovers and champions for oppressed minorities who are trying to get out their message of peace and solidarity. This type of whitewashing is truly beyond the pale.
The real message here is clear. The biggest threat to Democrats in the midterms is if they fail to keep their share of the minority vote up. (As happened in 2016.) What better way than to stir up some anger against white people, specifically conservatives? Do we really need to bring up the timing of this “analysis” again? They’ve been working on this since at least August as per their own references and probably before that. They published it the weekend before the election. While coincidences do happen from time to time in an infinite universe, they remain relatively rare. This is obviously no coincidence.
The sad part is that this is a conversation the public could benefit from if it were conducted impartially. There are clearly still pockets of violent racism out there. And while thankfully very small in number, when they act up our law enforcement resources need to be able to take them down. If you choose to belong to a branch of the Klan or march around with a swastika chanting about Hitler, we have to defend your right to free speech. But when you go beyond speaking an begin busting heads, you’re going to the slammer. But the same must apply to all of the left wing groups who attack groups of conservatives or take to the streets calling for the execution of cops.
Of course, the groups in those latter categories won’t be mentioned by the Gray Lady until we get past this election.