Letter: Which extremists are we talking about?
Leaders in multiple cities are concerned that extremists and outside agitators are corrupting the intent of the demonstrations caused by the murder of George Floyd. Only the White House and Attorney General Barr have determined the culprit is Antifa, but they have not presented any evidence.
There are multiple potential suspects. For example:
Accelerationists: An extreme subset of white nationalism whose goal is chaos and destruction. They believe that Western governments are inherently corrupt, so the best solution is to accelerate the end of society by sowing chaos and aggravating political tension leading to civil war. Their membership overlaps with other white supremacists’ groups. Several Minnesota leaders have questioned their involvement in the violence during the protests.
Antifa (Anti Fascists): An extreme left-wing, loosely structured political activist group that supports direct action rather than waiting for policy reform. Activists engage in varied protest tactics, including digital activism, property damage, physical violence and harassment against those whom they identify as fascist, racist or on the far-right.
Boogaloo: Slang identification for an uprising against the federal government. It refers to a group whose primary targets are liberal politicians and the police. This extremely far-right group has seen major growth this past year through their use of all forms of social media to recruit and organize. Memes and inside jokes are major forms of communication. Pepe the Frog has been co-opted as their symbol.
QAnon (Q): An extreme right-wing online trolling and disinformation movement based on complicated conspiracy theories. They believe the current president is the only leader not put in place by cabal puppet masters. They have repeatedly shown up at Trump rallies and their leaders have been welcomed at the White House.
White supremacy: An ideology far more encompassing than simple racism or bigotry. White supremacists believe the white race is in danger of extinction due to a rising flood of non-whites who are controlled and manipulated by Jews and that imminent action is needed to save the white race.
Calling out Antifa because they are far to the left seems a bit disingenuous. These all strike me as bad actors, but neither the White House nor the Attorney General have the authority to declare any U.S. group a terrorist organization. Under the law, only foreign groups can be deemed terrorist organizations.
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