In Texas a deranged gunman, Mauricio Garcia, stormed an outlet mall in north Dallas, killing at least eight people. Like many recent mass shooters, he was a Nazi. He wore a patch on his chest that read “RWDS,” which stands for Right Wing Death Squad. This phrase is frequently used by white supremacists.
The mass shootings by homegrown right-wing extremists are becoming so commonplace, that it’s difficult to keep track. We remember Dylan Roof from the church in Charleston. There was a slaughter in El Paso, another in Buffalo, a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The list keeps growing.
America must admit that our country is under siege. It’s a one-sided war where right wing nuts—who have been given access to weapons of war by Republicans beholden to the NRA—are open firing on civilians. Their goal is to destabilize America and start a race war. A number of these unsavory elements participated in the January 6 insurrection.
After September 11, the United States declared a War on Terror. We should be no less vigilant when the terrorists are born and raised on American soil.
While conservatives love to blame the left, our homegrown terrorists overwhelmingly come from the far right. The Anti-Defamation League has counted about 450 U.S. murders committed by political extremists in the last decade. Of these 450 recorded killings, right-wing extremists are responsible for about 75 percent of deaths. Left-wing extremists were responsible for 4 percent. Nearly half of the murders were specifically tied to white supremacists.
Right wing religious groups are also fueling violence. An August 2021 Public Discourse and Ethics Survey found that 27 percent of White evangelicals agreed that “true American patriots may have to resort to physical violence in order to save the country,” roughly double the percentage for other religious groups.
Stephan Goetz, a researcher at Penn State, found that “for every 10 percent more evangelicals that reside in a county, the number of hate groups in that county increases by 17 percent.”
Are these churches or indoctrination centers fomenting rage and retribution among their followers? When Americans see hate coming from radical Pakistani madrassas, we say, “Let’s act to stop this deadly ideology.” We need the same sense of urgency to combat the threat at home.
What we are facing is a warped sense of white grievance and false victimhood that is nurtured by the MAGA-wing of the Republican Party. We have nuts like Georgia Representative Margorie Taylor Greene calling for the states to divorce. The part of the country she wants to keep, would be a homeland for white Christian nationalists. Isn’t her dangerous and unpatriotic vision giving the crazies an incentive to further destabilize the country?
Recently fired FOX News hero, Tucker Carlson, pushed the Great Replacement theory – which posits that Jews are using immigration to push out white, Christian Americans. Donald Trump dined with white supremacist Nick Fuentes. What message are these messianic messengers sending to their bellicose base.
You can’t separate this neo-Nazi violence from the ability to secure weapons of mass murder. These extremists have the will to kill, and Republicans are providing the way. The GOP’s refusal to deal with America’s glut of 400 million guns, is assisting white supremacists with their deadly dreams.
If Republicans offer only thoughts and prayers after each mass shooting, Americans don’t stand a prayer against violent ideologues with extremist agendas who are armed to the teeth.
The time for prayers is over. The time for new policies is now.