While Republicans across the country stir up a fear-mongering frenzy about Islamic terrorism, the real threat to American safety comes from radicals in their own party. The New York Times conducted a survey of 382 law enforcement agencies across the country, and 74% of them reported that right wing, anti-government extremism to be in the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdiction, as opposed to 39% considering Islamic terrorism to be a threat.
The numbers support that conclusion. Since 9/11, nine Muslim-American have been involved in around six plots a year, resulting in 50 fatalities. On the other hand, right-wing extremists have averaged 337 attacks a year, killing 254 people- including 25 police officers. It just goes to show how the propaganda of the right works to shelter their own and demonize minority groups. The constant lies and hatred, the constant denouncement of anything the government does, their attempts to convince Americans that the government wants to take away their guns and their “freedoms” spewed by FOX News and other pieces of the Republican echo chambers play an unquantifiable but certainly significant role in encouraging these kinds of attacks.
In a tragically ironic twist, police officers often find themselves targeted by right-wing extremists. Police officers have been killed in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Georgia after being targeted by right-wing terrorists. While FOX and their associates refuse to even consider the issues of unnecessary violence and racism that plague America’s police forces and automatically leap to their defense whenever they step out of bounds, but their constant preaching against the government put the lives of police officers at risk every day.
The New York Times concluded that “public debates on terrorism focus intensely on Muslims. But this focus does not square with the low number of plots in the United States by Muslims, and it does a disservice to a minority group that suffers from increasingly hostile public opinion. As state and local police agencies remind us, right-wing, anti-government extremism is the leading source of ideological violence in America.”
While the threat posed by Islamic terrorism is not to be discounted, the racist terrorist attacks in Charleston are a clear sign that the real threat to the safety of Americans and the diversity of our union. The Koch Brother/FOX News campaign to drive us apart and turn our citizens against the American government must be stopped before it destroys us from the inside.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.