Why would domestic terror not be something for the U.S. to focus on? Law enforcement agencies see more activities from right-wing extremist groups than Islamic extremist on U.S. soil (Source), so why is Trump removing them from the terror watch list? (Source) And, why would there be more blame on Muslims (who may not be terrorists) than White hate groups?
“There’s nothing you’re going to see today that’s not going to have already occurred in the U.S.,” David Pilgrim, founder and director of Jim Crow Museum at Ferris University, said. “If you think of these groups that behead now — first of all, beheading is barbaric but it’s no more or less barbaric than some of the lynchings that occurred in the U.S.”
There is no logical reason to remove White Supremacist groups from terror watch. There is a political reason for Steve Bannon to remove them from the terror watch and we should be careful of this turn of event.
Update: Why is Trump/Bannon upset with the attack at the Louvre but not the Quebec attack? The first was carried out by a terrorist of Egyptian origin while the other is carried out by a white French-Canadian man (who is a fan of Trump). Is this by accident? No. Trump/Bannon is cherry-picking their sources and examples rather than seeing the whole world.
Even the names of the counter-terrorism programs have changed:
An exclusive report by Reuters suggests the White House is planning to “revamp and rename a US government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism.” According to Reuters, the program, “Countering Violent Extremism” will be renamed “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” and will reportedly “no longer target groups such as white supremacists” who have been responsible for the vast majority of terrorist attacks on American soil in the last 15 years. In Trump’s world, it seems, the only extremism that matters is Islamic extremism.
It would be counter to the safety of all US citizens if all sources of terrorism was not investigated. Plus, this would lead to the alienation of Muslim Americans and Muslims abroad (a possible end-game for Bannon?).
Infiltration of the Police Force
Post-9/11, the FBI has been secretly monitoring White Supremacists and their infiltration of the police force (Source). I am not saying that all police officers are white supremacists, but that there is a problem when a hate group’s goal is to infiltrate the law.
Today, we see a 2006 prediction that white supremacist groups will be active in the police force come true (Source). A document obtained by Alice Speri in 2015 found that:
“domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers.”
Hate groups have gained access to “restricted areas vulnerable to sabotage and to elected officials or protected persons, whom they could see as potential targets for violence.”
This would be worthy for the current administration to investigate – the current law enforcement patterns – but it does not seem to be the case. The logical reason points to Trump’s own chief strategist and infiltrator of the NSC – Steven Bannon. He’s setting up the boogeyman (see below) while removing our own watch of domestic hate groups and terrorists.
The Boogeyman Theory
With founding member of the Breitbart news (alt-right group), Steven Bannon, on the Trump team, the current administration is trying to shift focus away from terrorism and hate crimes at home. The easiest way to falsely unify a nation is to create a boogeyman and use that fear to guide policy making. In this case, any Muslims. The Trump administration is pegging on the boogeyman label to anyone (think 78% of the refugees that Trump banned are women and children).
Think about the language. Why isn’t it just “terrorists” for anyone? Anyone who attacks the U.S. with intent to cause fear is a terrorist. Even if it’s harder to peg the label of terrorist to someone like Dylan Roof, a domestic terrorist, it is just that (Source). But, Trump and his administration want to use “Islamic terrorist” or “radical Islam” so that it forces the label of “terrorist” only on those of Muslims. Look at the sloppy Muslim ban that Bannon, Miller, and Trump carried out on seven countries, who’s residents have never committed an act of terror on American soil (Source). While leaving out Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey because of Trump’s business ties (Source).
Why? Because, it fits with the boogeyman narrative as well as protecting his business interests. If you explain this to a supporter and they change their tune to “well, it’s also so that we don’t have more mouths to feed.” They are missing the point. This travel ban, refugee ban, and Muslim ban is specifically to drum up fear and create the foundations of a boogeyman.
It normalizes war criminals like Mr. Assad, dictators like Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, and helps the Islamic State and Al Qaeda. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the war on terrorism and the threat of Islamist militants became central to the way the United States saw and dealt with the world. Despotic regimes exploit this American fear of Islamist militancy and get away with brutal violence against dissenting populations of varying political and religious persuasions by projecting them as jihadists.
Imagine if this Muslim ban becomes a rallying cry that causes more terrorist attacks in the world and possibly at the US. That would mean that the Muslim ban itself becomes the cause. Islamophobia, then, helps both ISIS agenda as well as alt-right minded like Steve Bannon.
I hope that those in the US would open their eyes and see that this is not the solution to making the US and the world a safer place.
P.S. In addition, I still don’t see a logical reason for removing gun sales from severely mentally ill individuals (Source).