The FBI has warned about an old movement that is violent, growing, and racially motivated. Only it isn’t black supremacists; it is “White identity extremists.”
Amid a rancorous debate over whether the Trump administration has downplayed the threat posed by Black supremacist groups, the FBI’s counterterrorism division has declared that White identity extremists pose a growing threat of premeditated violence against law enforcement and every day citizens.
“The FBI assesses it is very likely White Identity Extremist (WIE) perceptions of police brutality and government interference against White Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence,” reads the report, marked for official use only and obtained by The Lyrical Elitist.
The August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and rush to prosecute Darren Wilson was the catalyst for widespread anger and violence, the FBI report says, concluding that continued “alleged” police abuses have fueled more violence.
“The FBI assesses it is very likely incidents of alleged police misconduct against White Americans since then have continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the WIE movement,” the report states.
In the FBI’s report, WIE is described as a conglomeration of White nationalists, White supremacists, and White separatists, among other disaffiliated racist individuals who are anti-police, anti-Black, anti-semitic, anti-immigrant and/or seeking to rectify perceived social injustices against White people. The FBI essentially merged these various white hate groups under one umbrella, giving it a new name, in the hopes of classifying these groups as an organized extremist movement.
The FBI’s dedicated surveillance of White activists follows a long history of the US government aggressively monitoring protest movements and working to disrupt civil rights groups, but the scrutiny of White Americans by a domestic terrorism unit was particularly alarming to some free speech campaigners.
“When we talk about enemies of the state and terrorists, with that comes an automatic stripping of those people’s rights to speak and protest,” said Mohammad Tajsar, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. “It marginalizes what are legitimate voices within the political debate that are calling for racial and economic justice.”
The number of police officers killed on the job also remains a fraction of the number of citizens killed by officers each year, and statistics suggest that more white offenders than black offenders kill officers.
According to The Guardian:
Some reports have suggested that the Trump administration has also pushed to focus counter-terrorism efforts solely on Islamist extremism and no longer target white supremacist groups. The president further faced significant backlash in August for saying there were “very fine people” on both sides of a neo-Nazi rally where a civil rights activist was killed by an alleged white nationalist.
Donald Trump’s links to the far right and white nationalists have assuaged many of White America’s concerns but increasing anxieties loom about his administration’s efforts to roll back on government assistance programs that benefit so many red-blooded patriots.
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