Thursday, June 15, 2017

Violence and politics

The Trump supporting Right, be it in American or Australia is, virtually by definition, too blind and/or stupid to argue with.  

So, after the shooting in Virginia today,  they will bounce off the walls with ridiculous arguments about violence being committed only by the Left, and newspapers critical of Trump having "blood on their hands", while completely and utterly having no problem with Trump repeatedly vilifying Mexicans and other immigrants en mass for political purpose, and barely being able to find time to comment on subsequent racially motivated killings.  

They will not acknowledge the existence of Right wing violence and extremism in the US, and would not read an article such as this one, which appeared recently at PBS  putting some perspective on matters.   The point made:   Islamic extremist attacks have distracted the public (but not Homeland Security) from the very real and ongoing issue of Right wing extremist attacks:
Between 1990 and 2014, the ECDB has identified 38 homicide events motivated by Islamist extremism that killed 62 people. When you include 9/11, those numbers jump dramatically to 39 homicide events and 3,058 killed.

The database also identified 177 homicide events motivated by far-right extremism, with 245 killed. And when you include the Oklahoma City bombing, it rises to 178 homicide events and 413 killed.

Although our data for 2015 through 2017 are still being verified, we counted five homicide events perpetrated by Islamist extremists that resulted in the murders of 74 people. This includes the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, which killed 49 people. In the same time period, there were eight homicide events committed by far-right extremists that killed 27 people.

These data reveal that far-right extremists tend to be more active in committing homicides, yet Islamist extremists tend to be more deadly.

Our research has also identified violent Islamist extremist plots against 272 targets that were either foiled or failed between 2001 and 2014. We are in the process of compiling similar data on far-right plots. Although data collection is only about 50 percent complete, we have already identified 213 far-right targets from the same time period...
  Far-right extremists, who typically harbor anti-government sentiments, have a higher likelihood of escalating routine law enforcement contacts into fatal encounters. These homicides pose unique challenges to local law enforcement officers who are disproportionately targeted by the far right.
A good article.

I also thought Peter Beinart's article in The Atlantic The Blurry Line Between Violence Talk and Violent Action was moderate and balanced and appropriate.

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