EJ Montini Arizona Republic (CNT) City News And Talk #prescott-az
President Donald Trump talks endlessly about Antifa and “anarchists” and “mobs.”
What he doesn’t talk about, however, is that his own Department of Homeland Security says that white supremacists – not Antifa or anyone else — present the gravest terror threat to the United States.
Trump’s not-always-taciit approval of right wing fringe groups has emboldened just about every fringe group espousing racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic beliefs.
And it’s happening here.
If you haven’t already read the article by The Arizona Republic’s John D’Anna describing the racial divide in Prescott you should do so immediately.
It’s thoroughly researched, elegantly written and deeply disturbing.
The very individuals the FBI worries about are all there. The Proud Boys. Boogaloo Bois. Three Percenters. Oath Keepers.
According to a draft report described by Politico, Homeland Security officials said, “Among DVEs [Domestic Violent Extremists], we judge that white supremacist extremists (WSEs) will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland through 2021.”
The groups thrive in places like Prescott because Republican politicians more or less embrace them.
Rep. Paul Gosar, for example, posed for a photo or two with some of the locals espousing some of those beliefs over Fourth of July weekend.
Meet your friendly congressman
NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard tweeted the photo of Gosar in which Nick Martin, creator of The Informant (a newsletter for those looking to stay knowledgeable on the activities of extremists in America) noted a familiar face.
Martin tweeted: Here’s Congressman Paul Gosar posing for a photo with what appears to be a member of the Proud Boys, a known hate group. As a bonus, the man on the far left of the photo is wearing a T-shirt for the Oath Keepers, an anti-government extremist organization.
Gosar gets away with it because Donald Trump gets away with it.
When the FBI arrested white supremacists who had plotted to abduct Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer the president didn’t immediately condemn the terrorists but … the governor.
And even when he finally did condemn the criminal behavior Trump didn’t name the perpetrators, but instead again brought up Antifa, which has committed no such crimes.
In his debate with Joe Biden the president was asked about condemning right wing extremists. The Proud Boys were mentioned.
What Trump said to the Proud Boys was, “stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”
It was as if the president, saying “stand back and stand by,” was going to call them to action at some point.
This after the FBI Director FBI Director Christopher Wray had told Congress that white supremacists and anti-government extremists were responsible for most of the recent deadly extremist attacks.
Not long ago, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was asked about the rising insecurity Black people felt in his state.
He actually said, “I care about everybody. If you’re a young African American, an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative, not liberal.”
Is the same true now in Prescott?
Or would it even matter if such a person was conservative?