Hate to the Extreme

Don’t be hating (courtesy of http://www.radiofacts.com)

According to a recent study by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of extremist, anti-government “patriot groups” in America grew by 7% in 2012.

A patriot group is defined as an “anti-government militia driven by their fear that authorities will strip them of their guns and liberties.” And given all the recent attention on gun control and the role of government in the lives of its citizens, it is no wonder these groups keep popping up.

At the moment, there are roughly 1,360 extremist groups—or hate groups, as many call them—active in the United States. Some of them are innocent, non-violent groups that simply disagree with what our government is doing, but others are far more dangerous.

And as we all learned from Waco, Ruby Ridge and Oklahoma City, these groups can be downright deadly, too.

Based on the results of the SPLC, there are two states that have more extremist groups than any others: California and Texas.

In addition to its beautiful landscapes, thriving wine industry and Hollywood glamour, California also has the most neo-Nazi groups (9) and the most “general” hate groups (37) in the country. Some of them are anti-gay, others are racist, but all of them are divisive.

And if we learned anything from Charlie Manson and his “family,” it’s that divisive, fringe groups can sometimes turn to violence and murder to suit their evil purposes.

Texas is also a breeding ground for extremist patriot groups. At last count, the state had the most Klu Klux Klan groups (26) and “Christian Identity” groups (5). This last classification involves religions that are “fundamentally racist and anti-Semitic.” Think Branch Davidians who, incidentally, chose Waco as their home. At least until the government burned it down, that is.

Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber (courtesy of CBS News)

If I had to guess, I would say that extremist groups like these will continue to form as long as our government keeps mismanaging the country, as they have in the past and continue to do with each looming shutdown or fiscal cliff. Since Democrats and Republicans cannot seem to compromise or even coexist, it’s no surprise that some Americans are displaying similarly contentious behavior.

September 11th taught Americans a thing or two about safety, complacency and the growing threat of terrorism. But the subject of domestic terrorism has gradually faded from the national conversation as we instead focus on outside threats to our freedom and way of life.

Think about this, though.

If al Qaeda can infiltrate our airport system, hijack planes and crash them into buildings, what’s stopping our own citizens from staging a similar attack? They’re already here and need not worry about things like immigration, work visas and such. All they need is a plan, some resources, a target and, most importantly, secrecy.

Timothy McVeigh understood this when he and Terry Nichols bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. And that was almost 20 years ago!

Posted on March 7, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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