As Alt-America has grown, especially online, so has the savagery that inevitably accompanies it: acts of domestic terrorism, hate crimes, and threats of civil struggle backed by a wave of citizen militias
In the days before he went into Charleston’s Mother Emanuel church with a gun and murdered nine beings, Dylann Roof put together a manifesto. It was a outlandish, rambling pamphlet loaded with racial and political animus, much of it cribbed from white-supremacist radicals with ties to South Carolina’s Republican establishment. In the final part, Roof wrote:
I preferred Charleston because it is most historic metropolitan in my state, and at one time had the most important one ratio of pitch-blacks to White-hots in the two countries. We have no skinheads , no real KKK , no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the gallantry to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.
Roof’ s manifesto was suggestive of a similar document wrote in 2008 by a republican Tennessee man appointed Jim David Adkisson. Adkisson was enraged by the looming nomination of a pitch-black humankind as the Democratic candidate for the presidency.
” I’m protesting the DNC loping such a radical leftist campaigner ,” Adkisson wrote.” Osama Hussein Obama, yo momma. No knowledge , no brains, a laugh. Dangerous to America, he looks like Strange George !” He was appalled by the race-mixing mores of modern times as exemplified by Obama’s mother:” How is a white-hot woman having a niger[ sic] baby progress ?” he asked.
In July 2008, Adkisson went into a Unitarian Universalist church in downtown Knoxville during a act of a children’s musical, armed with a 12 -gauge shotgun. He opened fire, killing two parties and wounding seven more.
The image most Americans have when they think of terrorism is an act committed by someone wearing a turban. That is chiefly a result of the al-Qaida onrushes of September 11, 2001, and their remain aftermath, especially a declared’ war on terror’ that focused on duelling radical Islamists in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.
In much of the public imagery, Adkisson’s and Roof’s rampages were isolated case. In actuality, however, they were key manifestations of a greater, more disturbing phenomenon, one which has been ignored or even actively rejected by elected officials and the mainstream media- rightwing domestic terrorism.
In the seven and a half times between those two attacks, domestic terrorism in America- ordinances that are planned and executed on American soil, sent at US citizens, by performers based here- spiked dramatically. But hardly anyone noticed.
During that time span, there used to be 201 total cases of domestic terrorism in the United States- nearly three times the rate of the preceding eight years. The great majority of these crimes were committed by rightwing extremists- some 115 in all, compared to 63 cases of Islamist-inspired domestic fright, and 19 cases of leftwing-extremist terrorism.
Rightwing extremist terrorism was more often deadly than Islamist extremism: almost a third of incidents implied fatalities, for a total of seventy-nine fatalities, whereas just 8% of Islamist happens stimulated fatalities. However, the total number of deaths suffer from Islamist incidents was higher- 90- due largely to three mass shootings in which nearly all the casualties arose: in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, and in 2015 in San Bernardino, California, and Orlando, Florida, in 2016. Incidents related to leftwing dogmata, including ecoterrorism and animal privileges activities, were comparatively rare: 19 occurrences resulted in five deaths.
For at least a generation, rightwing homegrown radicals have been far from being the most important source of terrorism in the United States. The most damaging domestic terrorist attack ever committed on American clay was the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 parties and injured another 680. Initially, media opinion focused on Islamic radical terrorists as the possible source of the terrorist attack, but the perpetrators, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, turned out to be white rightwing extremists.