There is a thought process that is destructive to the very fabric of social progress and allows for the inclusion of some of the worst and most evil aspects of the human existence to continue to pervade in American society. This thought process is the refusal to acknowledge the significant threats to a free and peaceful society that White Supremacist hate groups currently present in America.
First of all, one of the biggest obstacles this country currently faces with the issue of hate groups is the fact that far right-wing, alt-right, and extreme-conservative groups have been intertwined with white supremacist groups. The result has become the politicization of racism and hate groups. In effect, we have massive numbers of people who consider the existence of racism and hate groups to be “liberal agendas.” While massive numbers of individuals consider the denial or existence of racism and hate groups to be “conservative agendas.” The outcome produces this polarized climate in that produces confirmation bias based beliefs that prevent the acceptance of facts.
If no one has ever said it before, let me say it now, racism and terrorism should have no place in politics. They should not be ideological beliefs dependent on political loyalty. The existence and acts of racism or terrorism should be held in the domain of non-partisan subjects that should be held to the standard of truth. The truth that is verifiable by legitimate facts. The same facts should exist symmetrically in both the Republican and Democratic parties. They should not be asymmetrical beliefs that are used to facilitate agendas. With that said, here are the facts:
According to the FBI, in 2015, there were 7,173 victims of hate crimes in the United States. The data for victims of single-bias hate crimes showed that:
59.2% were targeted because of race
19.7% were targeted because of religion
17.7% were targeted because of sexual orientation
Out of the racially motivated crimes race of the targeted victims showed:
81.3% that were targeted were non-white minorities (African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, Arab, Pacific Islander, mixed-race).
18.7% were White
Out of the religious motivate hate crimes the victims showed that:
52.1% were Jewish
21.9% were Muslim
4% were Catholic
4.7% were Christian Protestant
4.1% were of varying religions and the attacks were perpetrated by anti-religious bias.
In total, based on the FBI’s UCR date, and all hate crimes reported in America, 83% of all hate crimes occurred to individuals who fell into three categories
2. A member of the LGBT community
(FBI Uniform Crime Report)
According to the FBI’s standard operating procedures, the 2016 Uniform Crime Report will not be available until fall of 2017. So this is the most recent and accurate data on hate crimes available. If one was to look back into the historical archives they will see that year, after year this data is strikingly consistent. The fact that 83% of all victims of hate crimes fall into three categories of being non-White, LGBT, non-Christian, is remarkable, when you consider that based on the U.S. Census Bureau and Pew Research Group, 51.6% of Americans fall into one of these three categories (I adjusted to compensate for cross-groups accounting, to ensure that Non-Whites who were Christian counted as 1 and not 2 for the population percentage). In essence, 83% of hate crime occur towards 51.6% of the population.
The moral of the story is that based on victim’s data, white supremacy ideological beliefs dominate the landscape when it comes to overt acts of hate crime in the United States. That’s not all they dominate. There are currently 917 recognized groups that are organized hate groups in America according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Out of those 917 groups, 648 groups comprise entire philosophical views of White Supremacy, or specific White Supremacists beliefs such as anti-Islam, or Neo-Confederate. So out of the recognized hate groups, 71% are white supremacist groups.
According to data recorded by the FBI and the Anti-Defamation League, from 2005-2015, 279 murders occurred in the United States with some sort of extremist connection. 260 (or 93%) of these murders had one form or another of right-wing extremism. Of those murders, 83% with ring-wing connections, or 77% overall were connected to White Supremacists.
When it comes to the simple irrefutable facts, White Supremacists or White Superiority beliefs account for 83% of all hate crimes, 71% of all hate groups, and 77% of all acts of extremism that resulted in murder. These are the facts. They aren’t feelings, they are beliefs, and they aren’t political favoritism. In fact, in April of 2017, the United States Government Accountability Office provided the report ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ to Congress at their request.
This is an EXACT quote from the report regarding acts of extremism that resulted in fatalities from 9/12/2001 to 12/31/2016: “During this period, no persons in the United States were killed in attacks carried out by persons believed to be motivated by extremist environmental beliefs, extremist “animal liberation” beliefs, or extremist far left beliefs.” (Read the GAO report)
The report listed that from 9/12/11 to 12/31/16, far-right, including white supremacist groups committed 62 incidents of domestic terrorism, which resulted in 106 deaths. During the same time frame, Radical Islamist motivated incidents accounted for 23 incidents and 119 deaths.
Something that is VERY IMPORTANT to note in the GAO report, is that they include 15 attacks by the Washington D.C. Beltway Sniper as being motivated by radical Islam. The basis that these attacks were motivated by Radical Islam comes solely from Lee Boyd Malvo’s prison writings, in which he cites “Jihad” against America. However, these same writings cited the movie the Matrix as motivation as well. In trial, Malvo claimed the entire shooting spree was part of a delusional extortion attempt against the U.S. government, and to kidnap orphans to train in Canada, to wage their own personal war against the United States. Basically, at best, there are very loose ties to Islam and the Washington D.C. Beltway shooting spree.
The report also lists the 2013 incident committed by Reshad Riddle, as being related to Radical Islam. The sole basis of this is that Riddle converted to Islam and killed his father during Easter service at a church. However, in 2015 Riddle was declared legally insane and sentenced to life in a psychiatric facility.
If you don’t include the incidents by the Washington D.C. beltway snipers, or Rashad Riddle, the number of attacks on U.S. soil by individuals motivated by Radical Islamic beliefs becomes 7 incidents and 103 deaths from September 12, 2001, to December 31, 2016. However, if it makes you feel any better, leave them in. Whatever makes you feel better, however, the bottom line is you know as you’re reading this that the D.C. sniper and Riddle, were not truly radicalized Islamic inspired attacks.
What’s my point? By the United States Government Accountability Office’s report, produced in April of 2017, under the current presidential administration, by cooking up the numbers a little bit, they still were only able to demonstrate that 73% of all extremist-related events that have resulted in a death were committed by far-right/ White Supremacist groups. Admittedly, Islamic-inspired extremism resulted in 13 more deaths during this 15-year time period (provided the D.C. snipers and Riddle remain in the data).
Does this mean that there are not incidents of hate crime, property damage, or violence that aren’t perpetrated by far-left, Black Separatists, or other non-White Supremacists groups? Absolutely not! In fact, out of the 917 active hate groups, 193 of them are Black Separatists groups, including Nation of Islam, Black Israelites, and New Black Panther party. Additionally, hate crimes were the victim was White, represented 18.7% of the total racially motivated crimes in 2015 (FBI, UCR, 2017).
Why the General Accounting Office did not count the incidents by Chris Dorner in 2013, Ismaaiyl Brinsley in 2014, Shannon Miles in 2015, or Micah Johnson and Gavin Long in 2016, who engaged in targeted attacks against law enforcement officers, in which the majority were based on African American extremist views, I cannot tell you. That is something one would have to take up with the current Federal Executive Administration. I assume it would be because they did not consider these incidents to be linked to organized domestic hate or extremist groups. However, the number of incidents or deaths even if accounted for, does not surpass radical White hate groups.
Ultimately, these are the facts and the data. They are the most accurate portrayal of the prevalence and historical occurrences of violence by extremist available. One thing that is vital to remember is that the way that white supremacy weaves its way into the political landscape is because according to Pew Research studies, 89% of Conservatives are White, 71% are against LGBT same-sex marriage rights, and 51% are Christian. In essence, some the central foundation tenants of white supremacist ideology are found in characteristics that are inherently conservative.
HOWEVER, and this is a BIG HOWEVER, just because one shares the foundation tenants of white supremacist ideology, does not mean that one adheres to the racist beliefs or has to diminish their despicable attitudes and actions that are contained within these hate groups. Don’t allow yourself to be disillusioned into thinking that discussing the facts of white hate groups, means this is somehow an attack by the “liberal left” or against white, heterosexual, Christians.
Additionally, it never has to be a competition over hate groups and racism. We do ourselves, as a whole, no good by dismissing the facts surrounding racism and hate in America, simply because we think the people who don’t like us aren’t being recognized. Again, every fact I presented in this article came from government or independent research studies. I didn’t cite any media organizations whatsoever.
Ultimately, this goes for all sides, Right and Left, White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Arab, all religions, ethnicity, sexual orientations, or cultures; we have a really hard time accepting the legitimacy of something that is deeply unethical or immoral when it doesn’t impact us directly. In fact, we often will diminish or dismiss something when it doesn’t affect us directly by using an example of something that did affect us as justification.
I saw this overwhelmingly when it came to the response to Kathy Griffin’s unfunny picture of her holding up a fake representation of President Trump’s severed head. Many people were quick to remind people of examples of when others had created horribly racist or violent images of President Obama. The simple truth is you cannot only be offended by violent or disgusting imagery only when it pertains to “your guy.” Racism, violence, or promotion of violence has to be disturbing across the board.
The same thing goes for how one view racist and extremist hate groups. You cannot admonish and declare war on radicalized interpretations of Islam that motivated the 23 (or 7) acts of terrorism in the U.S. since 2001 if you aren’t going to do the same for the 62 incidents committed by White hate groups. Conversely, you cannot blame all White people for the 62 extremist incidents committed by White hate groups. Additionally, you cannot blame all Muslims for the 23 incidents committed by followers of a radicalized interpretation of Islam. That’s just the way it works. You cannot be disgusted by hateful violence unless you are completely disgusted by hateful violence. There is no limit or finite ability that we have when it comes to safety, security and defending a free democratic society. It isn’t like we have to choose to be against the KKK or ISIS. We actually can say both are equally destructive in their narrow-minded hateful views.
Ultimately, we have to be willing to accept the facts, and stop acting like hate is a product of a liberal or conservative agenda. It should be considered the agenda of the human race to desire hate to be admonished completely.