In the aftermath of the El Paso shooting, there has been a fresh outcry against white supremacy. The shooter appears to have posted a manifesto online explaining in detail his motives for the attack and the racist ideology behind it.
Liberals, like Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke, who represented El Paso as a congressman, have already used the horrific shooting to accuse President Donald Trump of encouraging the white supremacist ideology by stating their mantra “[Trump] is a racist and stokes racism.”
Other Democratic candidates have made similar comments about the El Paso shootings, saying that Trump’s push to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico demonizes immigrants in the eyes of Americans.
Conservatives argue the opposite. They point to the reasons that Trump himself says about why he wants to build a wall: to stop the powerful Mexican drug cartels from using the porous border to push their poison and human trafficking into America. Today, virtually anyone trying to cross the border for whatever reasons must pay off and be “accepted” by the cartels or risk being murder by them.
Conservatives point to larger vision of Trump’s immigration policy – protecting the unskilled American labor force – which consists heavily of blacks and Hispanics – from undue competition from foreign unskilled laborers.
This policy, in connection with bringing manufacturing jobs back from Asia, has resulted in the lowest unemployment rate for blacks in American in decades (currently at 6 percent).
Yet why do we see that, of late, white supremacists seem to be coming out of the woodwork? Were they always there? And if so, why are they emerging now?
Understanding this phenomena will help America in the fight against this toxic ideology.
War of the Extremes
America is currently engaged in a “war of extremes.” Gone is civil debate – even any debate. Instead, it has been replaced by:
- Democratic Congressional lawmakers who would rather throw their constituents under the bus rather than give a policy win to President Trump. These lawmakers are even willing to break the law to make their point, as we witnessed in the stunt pulled by Presidential hopeful Senator Cory Booker, who brought illegals into the U.S. over the Mexican border. Other lawmakers who once supported the same policies as the president on illegal immigration, but now eschew them for the sole reason that they are supported by Trump.
- “Progressives” – like the Far Left Antifa group – who ironically say they are protesting fascism but operate as fascists themselves, ruling through violence, shutting down free speech and ruling through “groupthink.”
- Islamists who believe in a world caliphate which rules all people by sharia law. Islamists come in two breeds – hard extremists who use terrorism to implement their program and soft extremists, like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib who peddle the same ideology but use Western platforms of democracy to do so. Leftists give the extremism (including the anti-Semitism) of these Islamists a pass due to misplaced solidarity with their claims to victimhood.
- White supremacists, neo-Nazis and the like. Despite the great strides in fighting racism in America, it is likely that these groups were never eradicated but laid dormant for the last decades.
“All these groups believe they face genocide and therefore want to extinguish each other, and they all end up fueling each other,” says Ryan Mauro, Shillman Fellow and head of the Clarion Intelligence Network in his seminal video “War of the Extremes” (see below).
And it’s not just happening organically, but rather through the principle of “acceleration.”
“Accelerationism is a term white supremacists have assigned to their desire to hasten the collapse of society as we know it,” writes the ADL.
Although the term is seeing widespread use by those on the fringes of the movement, it has manifest itself recently in real time – specifically by the Christchurch mosque shooter, a white supremacist who killed 51 in New Zealand and by the Sri Lankan Islamist attackers who killed 258 in churches and hotels this year on Easter.
The perpetrators in each of these attacks aimed to spark an all-out war through the outrageousness of their actions – attack big and get a big retaliatory response. Create chaos and hasten the collapse of society.
After the election of President Trump, Americans witnessed the rise of the Antifa movement, who with their anarchist underpinning sought to nullify the democratic election of Trump. Antifa would like nothing more than to accelerate their goal of societal collapse.
By August 2017, Americans watched in horror the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, with its resurrected images of race supremacy and anti-Semitism we thought we had laid to rest after defeating the Nazis and embracing the Civil Rights movement.
Through the mass communication resources at our disposal, including 24/7 connectivity, the war of extremes has bled into the discourse of Americans who don’t typically fall within any ideological group.
The nature of this war and its acceleration has served to break down former avenues of dialogue — including journalist objectivity and fairness – values Americans once took for granted.
Working Against the War of the Extremes Will Require Sustained Effort
Combating any extremist ideology is a marathon. Combating so many without our accustomed rules of engagement is incredibly daunting.
In terms of white supremacy, over the past 50 years, American civil society and the government carried out enormous efforts to push back and eliminate racism and the institutions of white supremacy from the country.
Most of us thought we had successfully won the battle. While it is true that white supremacists acting today are fighting for a dying ideology whose time is long gone, it is shocking to most of us that we still have to fight this war.
But fight we must, as we must stand up to all of these other extremist ideologies. Not only are they fueling white supremacism, they are all fueling each other in ways that dangerously point to an impending civil war.