Right-wing extremism: History repeats itself — and the worst may be yet to come

Right-wing extremism: History repeats itself — and the worst may be yet to come

Supporters of former President Trump have begun organizing a Sept. 18 protest outside the U.S. Capitol to denounced the treatment of those arrested on Jan. 6 as “political prisoners” and demand “Justice for J6.” Planning for the protest occurs as a House committee moves forward with its investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection, and coincides with a recent Department of Homeland Security warning that racially motivated violence and anti-government ideologies constitute a national security priority for the United States. But extremist ideologies are not new — and America has unfortunately faced deadly right-wing violence in the past. The series of events that have played out over the past year are eerily reminiscent of the violent wave of right-wing extremism that gripped the country beginning in the late 1970s. In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, many extremists vehemently opposed providing Vietnamese refugees asylum in the United States. False conspiracy theories circulated that newly arriving Vietnamese people were carrying diseases into the United States and stealing jobs from American citizens. Tensions between white supremacists and the Vietnamese community culminated in violence in Seadrift, Texas in 1979. Other groups in the late 1970s promulgated anti-Semitic and white supremacist beliefs. White supremacist leader, William Pierce, authored the “ Turner Diaries” — a fictional story that advocated ethnic genocide in the United States. The book would later be referred to as the “bible” for racial extremists including Timothy McVeigh. In the early 1990s, gun control legislation began to serve as a focal point […]

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