On Sunday, over 190 members of a biker gang were arrested after a bloody shootout in Waco, Texas, that left nine people dead. Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton said the scene was “probably one of the most gruesome crime scenes I’ve ever seen in my 34 years of law enforcement.”
But Sandy Rios, governmental affairs director for the conservative American Family Association, sees potential in these men to put their talents to good use.
“Police have their hands full fighting our real enemies — the cartels, the Islamists — and now they’re fighting motorcycle gangs?” Rios said during her radio show on Monday. “I find myself thinking, let’s have a little retraining for motorcycle gangs and put them on our side fighting our enemies. That’s what we really need.”
It might be tough to get these gangs to start combating drug cartels, since they themselves are drug cartels. Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, according to the 2013 report from the FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center, are “highly structured criminal organizations whose members engage in criminal activities such as violent crime, weapons trafficking, and drug trafficking.”
Though OMGs comprise only 2.5 percent of U.S. gang activity, an FBI survey of law enforcement officers found that 14 percent of respondents identified OMGs as the most problematic gangs in their jurisdictions due to “solid organizational structure, criminal sophistication, and their tendency to employ violence to protect their interests.”
The conversation around the biker gang shootout has been significantly different from the reaction to urban street gangs. No pundits have inquired about white-on-white violence, the lack of positive male leadership or why these bikers would ransack their own community.
Robert Bates, the Oklahoma reserve sheriff’s deputy who says he mistook his gun for his Taser when he shot and killed a man earlier this month, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to second-degree manslaughter.
A judge set a hearing for July 2. The judge allowed Bates to take a previously planned vacation to the Bahamas. Bates did not address reporters as he entered and left court.
Bates, a 73-year-old retired insurance executive who volunteered with the sheriff’s department in Tulsa, was providing backup during a sting on April 2. He shot and killed Eric Harris, who had allegedly tried to sell a gun to an undercover officer and then bolted.
Shoot a black man in the back and then head off to the Bahamas to sip Coronas and do some quality Marlin fishing on your yacht.
It’s the American Dream…
Patricia Arquette, winner of Best Supporting Actress, mentioned “Equal Pay” in her Oscar acceptance speech, and wingnuts on Twitter promptly lost their shit.
A segment on Friday’s “Fox and Friends” chastised Arizona State University for offering a course this spring that examines the “problem of whiteness.”
Co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck spoke with Lauren Clark, an ASU student who was disturbed by a course in the school’s English department titled “Race Theory & the Problem of Whiteness.” Clark is also a writer for Campus Reform, a student news website backed by the Leadership Institute, which organizes conservative groups on campus.
Clark took issue with the class book list, which included titles like “Everyday Language of White Racism” and “Possessive Investment in Whiteness.” A syllabus for the class was not available online.
“All of these books have a disturbing trend and that’s pointing to all white people as the root cause of social injustices for this country,” Clark said.
Hasselback then asked Clark whether ASU would dare offer a course called “The Problem With Blackness” or “The Problem With Being Female.”
“I don’t think that would fly at the university,” Clark responded. “Quite frankly, as an ASU student myself, I’m disappointed that my school would offer a course like this. Clearly we have a lot of work to go as a society in terms of racial tension, but having a class that suggests an entire race is the problem is inappropriate, wrong, and quite frankly, counter productive.”
Hasselback added that she thought the course seemed “quite unfair and wrong and pointed.”
Officers found two people who said they were at a stop sign when a woman pulled up in a dark-colored sedan and fired shots into their vehicle, hitting and disabling the radiator.
Then more calls reported a woman pointing a firearm at people as she passed them in her car, and that she fired at another vehicle in the same area. Police found Shields sitting in her vehicle in the Stuart Heights Baptist Church Parking lot on Hixson Pike, the release stated.
Shields sped away in her car and led officers on a chase down Highway 153 and Hixson Pike, still pointing her firearm at vehicles she passed.
Eventually, officers stopped and arrested Shields at Cloverdale Drive and Koblan Drive, near the spot where the shootings occurred and just blocks from her house. She pointed her firearm at an officer, but was taken into custody without incident or injury, the release stated.
I am so ashamed of myself for once having any respect for this guy.
It was almost certain that nothing this summer would top the absurdity of the Ku Klux Klan trying to recruit African Americans to its cause through anti-immigrant sentiments.
But then the David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC) launched its latest project, “Change the Game.” And similar to the KKK’s campaign, DHFC’s intentions are equal parts ludcrious, perplexing, and bigoted.
“Change the Game” is the group’s attempt to coax the Black community into supporting its brand of far-Right rhetoric. The problem is, David Horowitz, the group’s founder (pictured right), has previously authored and made his racist statements against those he’s now trying to attract.
A deeper look into the project’s website reveals that DHFC plans to use “Hip Hop culture” to promote its conspiracy theories. The site features various articles and videos framing progressive policies as innately racist and responsible for further perpetuating poverty in inner cities. The project’s leaders also attempt to argue that the answer to the destructive policies of the Left is good old fashioned “American Capitalism.”
Who are the white supremacists? There has been no formal survey, for obvious reasons, but there are several noticeable patterns. Geographically, they come from America’s heartland—small towns, rural cities, swelling suburban sprawl outside larger Sunbelt cities. These aren’t the prosperous towns, but the single-story working-class exurbs that stretch for what feels like forever in the corridor between Long Beach and San Diego (not the San Fernando Valley), or along the southern tier of Pennsylvania, or spread all through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, across the vast high plains of eastern Washington and Oregon, through Idaho and Montana. There are plenty in the declining cities of the Rust Belt, in Dearborn and Flint, Buffalo and Milwaukee, in the bars that remain in the shadows of the hulking deserted factories that once were America’s manufacturing centers. And that doesn’t even touch the former states of the Confederacy, where flying the Confederate flag is a culturally approved symbol of “southern pride”—in the same way that wearing a swastika would be a symbol of German “heritage” (except it’s illegal in Germany to wear a swastika).
There’s a large rural component. Although “the spread of far-right groups over the last decade has not been limited to rural areas alone,” writes Osha Gray Davidson, “the social and economic unraveling of rural communities—especially in the midwest—has provided far-right groups with new audiences for their messages of hate. Some of these groups have enjoyed considerable success in their rural campaign.” For many farmers facing foreclosures, the Far Right promises to help them save their land have been appealing, offering farmers various schemes and legal maneuvers to help prevent foreclosures, blaming the farmers’ troubles on Jewish bankers and the one-world government. “As rural communities started to collapse,” Davidson writes, the Far Right “could be seen at farm auctions comforting families … confirming what rural people knew to be true: that their livelihoods, their families, their communities—their very lives—were falling apart.” In stark contrast to the government indifference encountered by rural Americans, a range of Far Right groups, most recently the militias, have seemingly provided support, community, and answers.
In that sense, the contemporary militias and other white supremacist groups are following in the footsteps of the Ku Klux Klan, the Posse Comitatus, and other Far Right patriot groups who recruited members in rural America throughout the 1980s. They tap into a long history of racial and ethnic paranoia in rural America, as well as an equally long tradition of collective local action and vigilante justice. There remains a widespread notion that “Jews, African-Americans, and other minority-group members ‘do not entirely belong,’” which may, in part, “be responsible for rural people’s easy acceptance of the far right’s agenda of hate,” writes Matthew Snipp. “The far right didn’t create bigotry in the Midwest; it didn’t need to,” Davidson concludes. “It merely had to tap into the existing undercurrent of prejudice once this had been inflamed by widespread economic failure and social discontent.”
And many have moved from their deindustrializing cities, foreclosed suburban tracts, and wasted farmlands to smaller rural areas because they seek the companionship of like-minded fellows, in relatively remote areas far from large numbers of nonwhites and Jews and where they can organize, train, and build protective fortresses. Many groups have established refuge in rural communities, where they can practice military tactics, stockpile food and weapons, hone their survivalist skills, and become self-sufficient in preparation for Armageddon, the final race war, or whatever cataclysm they envision. Think of it as the twenty-first-century version of postwar suburban “white flight”—but on steroids.
Someone going by the name of “HamdenRice” posted this on Daily Kos. He talks about his experiences as a black man, prior to the civil rights movement, and what Dr. King’s biggest achievement really was.
This will be a very short diary. It will not contain any links or any scholarly references. It is about a very narrow topic, from a very personal, subjective perspective.
The topic at hand is what Martin Luther King actually did, what it was that he actually accomplished.
The reason I’m posting this is because there were dueling diaries over the weekend about Dr. King’s legacy, and there is a diary up now (not on the rec list but on the recent list) entitled, “Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream Not Yet Realized.” I’m sure the diarist means well as did the others. But what most people who reference Dr. King seem not to know is how Dr. King actually changed the subjective experience of life in the United States for African Americans. And yeah, I said for African Americans, not for Americans, because his main impact was his effect on the lives of African Americans, not on Americans in general. His main impact was not to make white people nicer or fairer. That’s why some of us who are African Americans get a bit possessive about his legacy. Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, despite what our civil religion tells us, is not color blind.