Right-wing Terrorists Treated Differently in the U.S.

Gadsden flag
Gadsden flag

Law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania are still searching the Pocono Mountains for Eric Frein, who they believe ambushed troopers at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Blooming Grove on September 12th, killing one and wounding another. Police say that Frein, who is reportedly a skilled marksman with outdoor survival skills, planned the attack and his subsequent escape for a long time. It’s been reported that Frein had a vendetta against law enforcement because he hated the federal government.

Frein isn’t the only antigovernment right-wing extremist to kill a policeman this year. In June, Jared Miller and his wife Amanda shot two police officers at close range while the cops were eating lunch in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Millers dragged the dead policemen out of the restaurant booth and covered them with a Gadsden flag, a symbol that’s popular with the Tea party movement. They also left a swastika and a note that said, “The revolution is beginning.”

The Millers then fled to a nearby Walmart where Jerad fired a shot at the ceiling to get everybody’s attention and then told all the shoppers to leave the store. Amanda then shot and killed a private citizen that tried to stop Jerad. When police arrived at the Walmart in response to 9-1-1 calls the Millers engaged them in a gunfight. Police killed Jerad and Amanda shot herself to commit suicide.

Afterwards it was revealed that the couple had previously joined supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who provoked an armed standoff in April against U.S. Bureau of Land Management agents that were executing a court order to remove Bundy’s cattle from federal land because of his longstanding refusal to follow grazing regulations or pay the $1.35 per month grazing fee.

The media coverage of the Bundy story was intense, and many reporters were sympathetic to Bundy’s groundless complaints, with the cable TV Fox News Channel crossing over the line into dangerous sensationalism. The killings committed by the Millers received less coverage, and the Eric Frein story has received even less. There would certainly be more intense media coverage if a black protestor from Ferguson, Missouri, or a Muslim immigrant assassinated a policeman. Apparently, we are at a place in American history where terrorism committed by white, right-wing antigovernment extremists isn’t considered to be that serious of a problem.

The Modern Know Nothings

dead republican elephantDuring the 1850’s the Whigs were one of the two major political parties in the U.S. But their organization was disintegrating due to internal bickering caused by their inability to agree upon the major political issues of the time.

The 1850s also saw unprecedented levels of immigration into the U.S. Most of the new residents were poor Catholics from Europe. This alarmed many Americans who were afraid the foreign-speaking immigrants would undermine U.S. democracy because of their religious allegiance to the Pope.

This xenophobia, along with the disintegration of the Whig party, gave rise to a new political group called the Know Nothing Party. Their membership was limited to Protestant men whose goal was to curb immigration and limit the influence of Catholic immigrants. The party’s name came from their practice of responding to questions about their internal operations by replying, “I know nothing.”

Today the Republicans are one of the two major political parties and are also plagued by internal bickering. And widespread xenophobia has erupted again, this time in response to illegal immigration from Latin America. Since the Tea Party movement is responsible for creating the turmoil within the Republican Party, as well as inciting opposition to illegal immigration, it would be fair to call them the Modern Know Nothings.

Republicans Criticize Statue of Liberty

(Wikipedia)

The Republican Tea Party Caucus recently announced it’s introducing legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to revise the poem inscribed on the plaque on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

If passed, the legislation would revise the poem to read, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe – except when they happen to be unaccompanied brown-skinned Spanish speaking children.”

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