Domestic terrorism in the United States is on the rise and the increase in hateful rhetoric only promises to exacerbate the trend. With the World Economic Forum (WEF) underway, cries of anti-Semitism are peaking yet again. Far-right actors are pointing the finger at the WEF while saying they’re glad more people are “starting to notice” what’s happening.
And while it’s one thing to criticize what happens at such corporate-driven events like the WEF, it can be easily done without the anti-Semitism. Very easily.
Similarly, a parent who wants to be involved in their children’s education by maybe opting their kid out of certain studies has a right to do so protected by the constitution. But taking on the entire system to force the miseducation of others is where we delve into the extreme. There’s no better example of this than the modern-day attacks on teaching truthful and accurate history.
It’s as if the bigotry that was supposed to have died with the election of Barack Obama suddenly came back to life. But it didn’t. It never went anywhere.
The prejudice and hate we see today are learned from centuries of upholding white power structures and centering whiteness above all else. The US is programmed to hate anyone that’s non-white while enjoying and bastardizing the cultures of those same people. The disdain shows itself whenever non-white groups begin to take pride in their respective heritage.
The attacks on Black history are just that. Racist bigots like Ron DeSantis don’t want to just keep white kids from learning the truth about the nation. They want to prevent Black people from honoring and respecting their familial history, their culture, and their ancestors. They want to stop the stories being told at all costs because they refuse to face them.
Indigenous people, Asians, and Latinos, like any other non-European group, are “othered” and looked down on by people like DeSantis, Donald Trump, Greg Abbott, and their extremist cohorts in Congress. In the US, whiteness is as much about where someone is from as it is about skin color. While nothing plays a bigger role in discrimination than melanin – the darker you are, the worse it is – white people make it abundantly clear that you aren’t white if you’re from the Global South.
Even the media has made this clear throughout history. Most recently it can be seen in the reporting about the US/Mexico border and US immigration policy. And who can forget the reporting from the earliest days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine?
Yes. Abundantly clear.
The media plays right into the hands of white supremacists and neo-Nazis whose aim is to start a race/ethnic war. White supremacist strategies for years have been focused on bringing about the collapse of society. The media, particularly cable news, sensationalizes everything big and small. Cable news, in its constant quest for content that keeps people watching, can oftentimes create a sense of chaos out of nothing that makes extremist attacks seem somewhat normal.
Print and digital media also play a huge role. The New York Times regularly publishes articles that are one-sided regarding law enforcement and its unrelenting power – often glazing over the ever-growing problem of police misconduct and brutality. Fox News, Breitbart, and other media outlets like them push the more overt bigotry we see and hear. Legacy media outlets like the times are more covert about it in a Bill Maher sort of way.
However, when their reporting results in police brutality that garners national attention, mass murder, or an insurrection, then, cue the feigned outrage and analysis. Trust in media is at all-time-lows largely because of this style of reporting. Sensationalizing the benign while turning a blind eye to major issues such as the growing fascistic dystopian police state, Christofascism, and the increase in extremist cults is doing real harm. Yet, no one holds them accountable.
Meanwhile, domestic terrorists are making great strides out in the open. Simply put, because the media refuses to focus on them. Hate groups protest harmless story hours all over the country because the person reading the books is wearing a costume they don’t like. They make false accusations to try and justify their homophobia and transphobia. They threaten people’s lives and not only do the police do nothing, but neither does major media.
Not being called out is basically letting hate groups know that what they’re doing is okay. You don’t have to cheer them on to let them know their views are accepted. You just have to be silent. That same silence has allowed these groups to grow unabated for decades. Being quiet in the face of oppression has never been acceptable. Now, with things seemingly beyond the tipping point, it’s more important than ever to speak out against extremism in all its forms.
Attacking the power grid has been on extremists’ radar for close to two decades. Part of that stems from ideas that involve creating chaos to force the previously mentioned collapse of US society. A pipe dream birthed by white supremacist gangs in prisons and beyond during the late 1980s. Today, with gangs of white thugs roaming the streets in many communities (they’ll be coming to yours soon), domestic terrorist attacks will become more likely.
For example, in 2013, extremists knocked down a 500,000-volt transmission line near a railroad track in Arkansas. A power outage followed after a train cut the line. Local law enforcement believes that someone climbed a 100-foot support tower and sawed off the shackles that held the power line in place dropping it on the railroad tracks.
Two months later, another attack in Arkansas shut down a high-voltage switching station when it caught fire after being tampered with. Then, in October of that same year, another attack happened in Arkansas. A 100,000-volt transmission line was dropped after someone sawed two power poles. While one person was responsible for several acts of sabotage, it remains unclear who was behind the other attacks.
These types of attacks have been happening with regularity and the motivation behind them is almost always the same. Yet, you wouldn’t know of these coordinated attacks by listening to major media. You have to rely on independent journalists like myself and many others who are not beholden to the corporate structure that controls what we see and hear.
If legacy media provided the public with the proper context behind domestic terrorism in the US it will allow the public to paint the bigger picture. Without that narrative, the stories seem isolated. These attacks are coordinated through various channels that many independent journalists and the federal government monitor regularly. However, the times and locations of attacks are much harder to determine. In most cases, just like in the lead-up to the January 6th attack, plans were changed at the last minute to try and throw people off.
Thanks in large part to a general complacent attitude about hate groups and extremists by the public at large, domestic terrorist attacks are becoming the new normal in the US.
I guess we need to get used to it.
The Antagonist Magazine is a project made up of journalists, activists, and writers focused on amplifying the stories of marginalized communities. The goal is to educate the public by sharing narratives focused on independent voices. Born of an online community in 2019, our platform operates independently; free of corporate influence. Please consider supporting the work of dozens of writers from various communities.