By Devin B., Red Phoenix correspondent, New York.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that they tracked the presence of 35 hate groups in NY state in 2021, ranging from “general hate” groups to white nationalist and anti-LGBTQ organizations. The same tracking database found an additional 698 hate groups across the nation. The map also indicated that outside of the aforementioned groups in NY state, 19 hate groups can be found in the immediate tri-state area; totaling 54 hate groups across 12,093 km² in one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the world. The existence of dozens of largely white nationalist and right-wing organizations that are well organized and politically active poses a major threat to our local communities and the basic rights of the minority groups in this country (such as ethnic and national minorities, immigrants, undocumented persons, refugees and asylum seekers, disabled persons, and LGBTQIA+ people). Per the Anti-Defamation League, “White supremacists killed more people in 2021 than any other type of extremist, though not an outright majority, as is often the case. An in-depth look at white supremacist killings over the past 10 years demonstrates the dangers posed by alt right white supremacists and white supremacist prison gangs.”
Such white supremacists and white nationalists can be found in organizations like the Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and the American Freedom Party. While few such groups would likely call themselves Nazis or fascists; their politics, aesthetics, and tactics coincide heavily with these same historical Parties and organizations – all to achieve the same social and political ends. They frequently endorse the use of violence and their members and sympathizers use violence to advance their political goals. “In 2021, domestic extremists killed at least 29 people in the United States, in 19 separate incidents. This represents a modest increase from the 23 extremist-related murders documented in 2020 but is far lower than the number of murders committed in any of the five years prior (which ranged from 45 to 78). The 2021 murder totals were low primarily because no high-casualty extremist-related shooting spree occurred this past year. Such sprees are the main contributor to high murder totals.” Per the ADL, from 2012 to 2021, 443 deaths were caused by violent extremists, with 75% of such killings being perpetrated by right-wing extremists.
As the statistics show, even if these groups and their sympathizers aren’t conducting acts of political violence on a large scale, their history of behavior only leads us to believe that their killings and maimings will increase and grow in proportion to their membership. As these groups continue to feel emboldened by right-wing politicians like Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump and Mike Pence, they are likely only to grow in number with the respective popularity of the aforementioned “politicians” – even more so if these right-wing ideologues make considerable political gains such as presidency or even a competitive presidential campaign. Per PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute), “After the violent attacks on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, the prospect of political violence threatening a peaceful transfer of power has become more than an abstract question. As noted above, nearly one in five Americans (18%) agree with the statement ‘Because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.’ Republicans (30%) are more likely to agree with this than independents (17%) and Democrats (11%). Among Republicans who most trust far-right news sources, agreement increases to 40%, compared to 32% among those who most trust Fox News and 22% among those who most trust mainstream news sources.”
The extremists function as the violent arm of the fascist and white nationalist movements but the republicans and broad right-wing function as a mass support base for these extremists. They justify their actions, defend the severe consequences of those actions and empower the next group of perpetrators of fascist violence. This from a government that openly admits that these violent extremists and their growing movement “will not fade if we simply hope for its disappearance, let alone if we ignore it,” and sought to develop a whole national strategic plan to monitor and counter perpetrators of right-wing reactionary violence in particular. Yet, how can the people trust the “counter-terror” response of a government whose military is known to be tied to white supremacists and neo-Nazis?
The Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence from February 6th of this year states, “U.S. persons and interests at home and abroad will face a persistent and increasingly diverse threat from terrorism during the next year. Individuals and cells adhering to ideologies espoused by ISIS, al-Qa‘ida, or the transnational Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVE) movement pose a significant terrorist threat to U.S. persons, facilities, and interests.” In the context of the tasks of Communists, Socialists and progressive forces in the United States, the most dire and realistic threat is amongst the aforementioned “RMVE” movement that we have exemplified in this document through the white nationalist, white supremacist, fascist, and neo-Nazi movement(s) in this country.
We cannot fail to see the immense threat standing right in front of us, organizing itself all around us and openly declaring war against all the progressive and revolutionary ideals that the democratic, socialist and communist forces in this country stand for and fight for. We would be failing our mission as self described revolutionaries, activists and organizers by denying this incredibly important task we have for the immediate future. It would be nothing except the most open betrayal to the working class and to the minority communities in this country – many of which already have their basic human rights under siege – to refuse to act against these bigoted murderers. To defend our lives, our communities and all that we cherish, we have to organize ourselves and combat this open attack on democracy, diversity and in many ways human life.
We cannot sit on our hands here, we have to be ahead of the issue – we have to stomp out fascism in this country before it gets the opportunity to stomp us out. The best weapon we have as the working class against this is organization and solidarity for the achievement of a common goal and the security of the rights which we can guarantee and the active rejection of all those proposed that seek to deny us those rights. As organizers and activists, as progressives and revolutionaries, we cannot allow our ideological differences to separate us beyond the point of co-operation; it plays right into the hands of the fascists and neo-Nazis. If they plan unity for their common goal of death, deprivation and hate then let us unite for our common goal of democracy, solidarity, and anti-fascism!