I remember right after Trump was elected, I had a brief discussion with Ken Silverstein about my concern that his presidency was going to bring about a level of division and hate this country has not seen in a while. I explained that the United States was about to become what Mississippi has always been, a place where people wear and fly their hate proudly because they live under a government that not only allows it but encourages through their actions and messaging.
Since then, mainstream media has predominately covered White House drama, Russia investigation, and whatever reckless policy President Trump has declared. Those things do deserve coverage on their merit, but something is missing from the national conversation. While the rise of white supremacy and white nationalism makes the headlines and hate crimes receive coverage, the attention fades away quickly, and the news goes back to their regularly-scheduled program of White House drama and the Russian investigation. Meanwhile, between the sporadic reporting from MSM on the hate crimes, hate groups and lone wolf vigilantes are growing in number, and the dog whistles from the administration are getting louder.
With issues like human rights violation at the southern border, the looming need to confront climate change, and the obscene amount of corruption within the presidential administration, hate crimes and hate groups seem to take a back seat. However, just as I was concerned right after Trump was elected, I am even more concerned now.
Folks, its time we talk about Christopher.
Christopher Hasson is a member of the United States Coast Guard working in their administration building in Washington D.C. On the surface, Christopher is just a normal husband. He is your typical white, American male. Like many, Christopher pays close attention to news and politics. He’s been listening for sure to President Trump, and like many, he appears to have bitten hard into Trump’s rhetoric regarding Democrats, the media, and democratic socialist members. Christopher is a white nationalist. The type that some in the media tell us we do not need to worry about. The kind that is just lost and lonely and would never do any real harm. Christopher is that guy we have been repeatedly told to not worry about because they don’t exist, and he was arrested last week on the grave and specific charges of domestic terrorism.
Regular, harmless Christopher had a massive cache of weapons in his basement apartment when arrested and a recorded account on his computer of what he wished to do with his arsenal and rhetoric-fueled rage. He was going to kill as many of Donald Trump’s “enemies” as possible. Suburban dad and husband Christopher Hanson familiarized himself with people who had carried out such terror. He seems to be particularly inspired by Norwegian far-right terrorist and mass murderer, Anders Breivik. Like Christopher, Anders was a remarkably regular guy, as described in the book One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre of Norway by Asne Seierstad and as shown in the recent Paul Greenglass film 22 July (click here to read Louis Proyect’s review of the film we are syndicating today.)
Hasson’s arrest did not even dominate the news cycle this week, but that seems typical of these kinds of arrest or crimes.
From the Anti-Defamation League’s report Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2018:“In terms of lethal violence, 2018 was dominated by right-wing extremism. Every one of the 50 murders documented by the COE was committed by a person or persons with ties to right-wing extremism, although in one incident the perpetrator had switched from white supremacist to radical Islamist beliefs prior to committing the murder. In fact, 2018 saw the highest percentage (98%) of right-wing extremist-related killings since 2012, the last year when all documented killings were by right-wing extremists. Right-wing extremists also killed more people in 2018 than in any year since 1995. For comparison, only 62% of extremist killings in 2017 were committed by right-wing extremists, and only 21% in 2016.”
The temperament that feeds extremism is intensifying every day. Our President and his administration not only refuse to address it, but they intentionally give them enough false propaganda to fuel their hate-filled desires.
It’s time to talk about every Christopher and every Anders. It’s time this conversation dominates our media, our social media circles, and communities daily.
If we don’t and we continue to treat them as small sporadic incidents, then we may find ourselves in a situation where it is too late to react.