Tuesday, December 02, 2008

More racist cockroaches

They are out there, scurrying around furtively. White supremacist organizations. They exist all over this nation. Check out this video:

They are here in Oregon, too. A couple friends were cross-country skiing near Mount Hood several years ago when they encountered a group of World War II "re-enactors." It was a group of maybe a score of men, dressed in Wehrmacht military uniforms, some of them sporting swastika armbands, skiing around in the woods.

Another time, some friends, history buffs, went to a World War II re-enactment on the Oregon coast. The event was billed as a replay of the action that occurred in Normandy, on D-Day, June 6, 1944. But, unlike the actual historical event, my friends found that the Wehrmacht troops out-numbered the small group of men play acting as Allied troops. It seems that the Axis side was the "cool" side. As my friends walked around the grounds, they saw posters and pamphlets urging them to "join" the re-enactment society.

And, of course, if you've ever been to a gun show, you don't need to look far to find the guys with the shaved heads and the tattoos.

These groups consist largely of asocial, desperately lonely people (mostly men) who need someone to blame for their misery and terror. One must imagine that the election of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land validated and confirmed their worst fears; their fear of non-being, of loss of identity, of losing their significance in a fast-changing and terrifying world of phantoms and monsters waiting to devour them should they appear weak.

Generally, the individuals that comprise these groups are worthy of nothing more than contemptuous pity.

Pitiful, disgusting creatures
The danger, as I see it, is that as we head into a severe (by all accounts) economic downturn, as more and more people become disillusioned and angry and bitter and afraid, groups like this might provide a sense of community, a sanctuary of hate. Note that in the video clip above, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke is positively smug at the spike in traffic on his web servers since the election.

Normally, one might have confidence that our Justice Department would know how to squash any of these groups that managed enough competence to actually be dangerous. But our current Justice Department is in such a state of disrepair after 8 years of the tender mercies of John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, and Michael Mukasey that one can hardly help but wonder... Obama's choice for Attorney General, Eric Holder, will have his hands full just getting the department back in to working order.

The good news is that these racists are generally so --er --rustic-- in their thinking that they rarely manage to be dangers to anyone but themselves. The bad news is that their numbers (in the short term anyway) may grow.

Be on the lookout.

1 comment:

Dan Binmore said...

Islamic terrorism didn't come about because of islam, it came about because there were groups of young men with little to no economic opportunity, low levels of education, who felt powerless in the face of powerful groups with different ideologies. It must seem very much like that to those who's education consisted of some of the horrendous high schools in parts of the USA, who's beliefs are rooted in fundamental christianity and racist beliefs, and who see no economic opportunity at all and need someone to blame.