Barely a day goes by without another ISIS scare-story emanating from the paranoid far-right. Donald Trump was so eager to blame ISIS for the recent explosion in New York, that he immediately used the term “bombing” before any investigation had taken place, playing on conservatives’ overblown fears of so-called ‘Islamic terror’. But behind the smokescreen of bearded Muslim boogeymen, there is a far more sinister and real threat developing within our own borders.
On January the 16th, a group of armed white militants invaded and occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The group, led by the notorious Ted Bundy, was attempting to intimidate our Federal Government into dropping arson charges against two convicted Oregon Ranchers. The incident left the country in a state of shock, and served as a stark reminder of how violent and dangerous many of America’s predominantly white militias and right wing advocacy groups can be. This horrific act of white, right wing, domestic terrorism is by no means isolated or uncommon. America has a long history of similar attacks by right wing domestic terrotists such as the Oklahoma City bombings and the Ted Bundy rancher stand-off, all of which demonstrate the real and pressing danger that these segments of society pose to the peace and stability of our nation.
America’s flyover states are littered with militias and extreme political groups, such as the ‘Sovereign Citizens’ and ‘Oath Keepers’. These groups predominantly consist of angry white males, and they routinely advocate violent uprisings against our government. The people in these groups are very volatile and aggressive, and they routinely advocate tax avoidance, openly carrying dangerous firearms, disobeying our Federal Government, and fighting our government over land disputes concerning land that rightfully belongs to the Native Americans.
These right wing groups feel morally justified in attacking our government, which is the very foundation of our society. The same government that provides us with high quality schools, responsive fire departments, affordable healthcare and clean drinking water. They are literally targeting our very way of life, and are about as anti-American as humanly possible. America has always been about diversity, and it’s sad that Islamaphobic conservatives choose to target Muslim Americans and Muslims overseas over a scattering of isolated incidents, while they ignore the far more pressing issue of domestic right wing terrorism. Progressives like to refer to these right wing groups as the ‘white ISIS’, as they truly are radical terrorists of the worst kind. Our anti-terror policies need to focus more on these extreme domestic groups, and less on the imaginary threat of Islamic terror, which really only plays into the hands of Islamaphobes and racists.