Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nuts on the loose

The shooting yesterday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum shows once again that the nuts are on the loose. This incident along with the killing of Dr. George Tiller should give people pause. It seems that home grown terrorism and terrorists is alive and well in the US.

Last night I tuned into a discussion about this. One of the people was saying that both of the incidents were by lone nuts. They further stated it is important to distinguish between one lone nut and an actual movement that is undertaking these activities. I don’t exactly understand the hair splitting.

Just because these people are not card carrying members of some extremist group does not mean these groups don’t influence these people. Or did not in some way shape or form influence their actions. The world wide web gives just about everyone access to these groups home page and the hate they spew. So you don’t have to be an official member of the group to be influenced by them. The actual numbers of these groups is probably much larger than reported because of this easy access. And why risk some of your own members in these attacks when you can stoke the “lone nut” to carry things out for you.

From the story about our current lone nut:
Von Brunn, who lives in Annapolis, was known for decades to fellow white supremacists who read his elaborate conspiracy theories on his Web site and met him through a network of radical racist groups.

And here’s a gem of a quote from an acquaintance of Von Brunn who describes himself as a white separatist:

“The responsible white separatist community condemns this,” he said. “It makes us look bad.”

If it wasn’t so scary it would make you laugh the “responsible white separatist community” who exactly would that be say the Klan.

It puts in proper perspective a Department of Homeland Security report on the threat to the US from far-right extremist groups. My friend Arthur did a post about it in April.

To me the lesson from this is we need to get over the idea of the lone nut out there. In all likelihood the net has connected these lone nuts to a great many of the same type of nuts.

1 comment:

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

I think you're right in that they're all connected with each other. The "lone wolf" description comes from both academics who study such things and the Department of Homeland Security, whose job it is to keep track of terrorist threats of all kinds.

However, even if these terrorists are acting alone—and I think this is what you were getting at—they're part of a larger, well, "community" is too nice a word, but you get the idea. You're right, the Net has connected them all, and that's actually the first line of defense: We must all call out hate speech whenever and wherever we see it. We won't stop it, but if it's less common than it is now, it'll have less influence over the people they're trying to recruit, and that's got to be a good thing.

Thanks for the link!