11/15/2011

SPLC 'Intelligence Report': War Rhetoric Intensifies on the Radical Right

Faced with a country that is increasingly rejecting their beliefs and may re-elect a black man as its president, an assortment of radical-right groups are ratcheting up talk of war, according to the Winter 2011 issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, released today.

In Montana, extremists of various stripes – neo-Nazis, white nationalists, antigovernment “Patriots” and others – are gathering as part of an apparent effort to establish a homeland and make a last stand that one leader likens to the Alamo. Elsewhere, the League of the South, a neo-Confederate group once dominated by academic discussion of secession, is urging followers to take up arms and train in survival skills. Some anti-immigrant leaders are talking increasingly of violence.

“A siege mentality is developing among many radical-right groups,” said Mark Potok, editor of the Intelligence Report. “It’s a reaction to the fact that these groups feel like the country is slipping away from them. In desperation, they’re encouraging their followers to stockpile weapons, hunker down and prepare for a fight.”

The Intelligence Report’s cover story examines how this phenomenon is evident in Montana, where neo-Nazi April Gaede has encouraged white nationalists to “come home” to the state, which is nearly 90 percent white. The issue is being released simultaneously with a report by Media Matters that focuses on extremists’efforts to take advantage of Montana’s weak firearms laws to arm themselves at local gun shows and documents their violent threats to perceived enemies.

This notion of a looming violent confrontation with the government can also be found in an article examining how the leader of the League of the South is urging members to buy AK-47s, hollow-point bullets and tools to derail trains.

In addition, a religious extremist known for his demonization of the LGBT community has in recent months aimed his vitriol at the nation’s first black president. An article examining the American Family Association’s best known spokesman, Bryan Fischer, notes how he has attacked the president by saying he “nurtures a hatred for the white man.” Fischer also has suggested that welfare incentivizes black “people who rut like rabbits.”

“Those on the radical right realize things aren’t going their way,” said Potok, citing the arrests earlier this month of four Georgia militiamen in a purported plot to murder government officials and attack cities with deadly ricin poison. “There is little doubt that some will lash out with violence.”