In Discussing Sikh Temple Shooting, NY Times Mischaracterizes DHS Extremist Report

Who was Wade Page? He was a crazy neo-Nazi white supremacist. Why did he go shoot up the Sikh temple and the people there? We do not know yet. Good thing the NY Times is there to tell us this was about right wing extremism

Analysts for the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security routinely monitor violent extremist Web sites of all kinds, including those attracting white supremacists, according to former officials of both agencies. But the department’s work on the topic has been criticized. In 2009, conservatives in Congress strongly objected to a department report titled “Rightwing Extremism,” which speculated that the recession and the election of a black president could increase the threat from white supremacists.

Jumping in the way back machine, the problem with the report was that it didn’t deal with far, far right extremism: it turned average Republicans and Conservatives into extremists and a danger to national security because they believed in the 2nd Amendment, were pro-life, for limited government, and were against illegal immigration. Also, those who complain about jobs being lost to China (hey, wouldn’t that make Obama a rightwing extremist?). Several Republican Senators sent a letter to Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano which included

…We can assure you that these beliefs are held by citizens of all races, party affiliation, male and female, and should not be listed as a factor in determining potential terror threats. A better word usage would be to describe them as practicing their First Amendment rights.

Imagine DHS under a Republican president coming up with a report discussing “leftwing extremism”, saying that people who

  • believe in a “women’s right to Choose”
  • income redistribution,
  • nationalized health care
  • raising taxes on the rich
  • restricting gun purchases

and others being a threat to national security. Would there be an outcry? Yes. Should there be an outcry? Yes. Now, if the report was discussing those on the left who were anti-Semitic, believed in a fascistic government controlling the nation, believed that Blacks were inferior, …… hmm,

Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said Mr. Page had come to the center’s attention a decade ago because of his affiliation with rock bands known for lyrics that push far past the boundaries of tolerance.

“The music that comes from these bands is incredibly violent, and it talks about murdering Jews, black people, gay people and a whole host of other enemies,” Mr. Potok said. He added that in 2000, Mr. Page tried to buy unspecified goods from the National Alliance, which Mr. Potok described as a neo-Nazi organization that at the time was one of the country’s best organized and best financed hate groups.

Neo-Nazi’s use elements of both the extreme right and left. Neither side “owns” them. Neither side wants them. They can be described just as easily as leftwing extremists, since they are anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and believe in the power of a Big Government (run by themselves) which controls the means of production, the major component of the Democratic Socialism model.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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