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Belmont Club

The Melting Plot

March 31st, 2013 - 2:56 pm

Is it a Sign of the Times or a sign from the NY Times? The NYT’s article Klan Protests in Memphis Over Renaming of Three Parks comes in the wake of a spate of accusations against extremists or ‘white supremacists’. It’s been a long time since it hogged the headlines but the “white supremacist” word is back in the news.

CBS News has broadly hinted that the murder of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland in Texas was connected with white supremacist groups. “Sources told CBS … that the DA was shot multiple times with what is believed to be an assault rifle … there were no signs of forced entry.”

The killings came less than two weeks after Colorado’s prison chief was gunned down at his front door by a white-supremacist ex-convict, and two months after Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was shot to death in a parking lot a block from his office Jan. 31. No arrests have been made in Hasse’s slaying. …

McLelland himself, in an Associated Press interview, raised the possibility that Hasse was gunned down by a white supremacist gang. McLelland, elected DA in 2010, said that Hasse hadn’t prosecuted any cases against white supremacists but that his office had handled several, and those gangs had a strong presence in the area.

Now comes news that McLelland was associated with the Tea Party, as shown in a campaign finance report form. Assault rifle, Tea Party,  suggested familiarity all confirm the darkest — or whitest — fears in the media.

Think Progress hints that a “white supremacist plot” may be behind the spate of killings.

As a possible conspiracy seems more and more likely, the FBI and ATF have gotten involved in the cases to bolster local investigations, which do not have access to the same resources as federal forces. Crowley then turned the discussion to the Senate’s gun violence prevention package, which Graham said would not pass as long as universal background checks on private gun sales were still included. Currently, criminals are able to evade background checks to purchase firearms at gun shows or from unlicensed dealers.

The Telegraph reports that “Texas police are investigating whether a white supremacist group is behind a string of murders of law enforcement officials after a local prosecutor and his wife were gunned down in their home.”

In contrast to the CBS story, the Telegraph denies there was no forced entry. “Officers discovered Mr McLelland, 63, and his wife, Cynthia, 65, at their home on Saturday, where the front door had reportedly been kicked in and piles of empty shells casings lay by the bodies. “This is unprecedented. This is unbelievable. This is huge,” one official told the Dallas Morning News.”

Cops are being hunted. It’s like Dorner all over again with a change in complexion in the assailants. “Several staff have been assigned security details at their homes.”

Suspicion is focusing on the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, which “evolved out of Texas prisons”.

“The Aryan Brotherhood is fundamentally a criminal enterprise with a kind of overlay of white supremacist ideology,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center. “They are white supremacists, but they are very happy to make deals with gangs like the Mexican Mafia and other ethnically based gangs they would normally oppose on racial grounds. They’re pragmatic criminals.”

In law enforcement circles, it’s well-known that many Aryan Brotherhood members live in and around Kaufman County.

“It’s really swimming with ABT members out there,” said one law enforcement officer who asked that his name not be published. …

Some law officers remain skeptical of ABT’s involvement in Hasse’s slaying, saying the gang would not have wanted the attention it would bring from law enforcement….

Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center said the group is one of the few organizations in the U.S. capable of gunning down a prosecutor.

In late 2012, Washington Post guest editorial writer Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite wrote “white supremacy is the true ‘homegrown’ terrorism, dating back to the 18th century in the United States.”

White supremacy is the greatest danger we as Americans face as a source of domestic terrorism, and one of the least recognized. It is difficult for law enforcement, as well as ordinary white Americans, to recognize the extraordinary threat coming from those who look like them in terms of race. That makes them all the more dangerous.

The Southern Poverty Law Center had tracked the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting suspect Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old Army veteran with links to a white supremacist movement.

Whatever the merits of Thistlethwaite’s assessment, she is certainly correct to suggest that large-scale white participation in a race war would be a serious development.  In fact race war itself would be a serious development. What is remarkable is why, despite the rise of identity politics and the unending appeal to ethnicity that things are not worse. That is probably because the majority of the population still identify themselves more as Americans than the modifier prepended to the hyphen.

The cost of hyphenation may eventually be too great to bear.

The danger of indefinitely dividing the nation into African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native-Americans, Muslim-Americans, White-Americans etc is that sooner or later the term after the hyphen gets dropped.  Then what one has left ceases to be a quilt and becomes merely confetti, and there is no longer an America but what resembles historical Europe and the present-day Middle East.  The abolition of the hyphen was the greatest innovation of the American politics. Its introduction into everything may prove unaffordable. If not now, then surely someday. But move along; as in most things, it’s kick the can down the road.


The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99

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