by Julie Kelly
The anti-Trump forces, now stripped of their Russian collusion ammunition, have invented another imaginary threat they hope to weaponize against the president: The public menace posed by “white supremacist” terrorism.
Much like the collusion conspiracy theory—which relied on random incidents, fictional villains, unconvincing evidence, and the Bad Orange Man in the White House—there is little substance to this purported danger.
Unironically, the whole ruse is being pushed by the same people who foisted the Russian collusion hoax on the American people for three years in the hopes of prompting President Trump’s impeachment and removal. The political agenda behind this manufactured white supremacy crisis is equally sinister because its specific purpose is to influence and undermine the 2020 elections.
The “white supremacy” canard is intended to further demonize Trump; falsely defame his supporters as white supremacists; and pressure nervous voters into defeating Trump and Republican candidates next year. The strategy is as cynical as it is pernicious.
Let’s clear one thing up before I get into the details: There is no systemic threat posed by white supremacy. Domestic white terrorists are not the same as, let alone worse than ISIS Jihadis. There has been no massive “surge” in white supremacy activity, as I wrote in November. These groups remain fringe, disorganized, and unrespected.
In his Senate testimony last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray was intentionally vague when questioned by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) about the supposed rise of white supremacy.
“In terms of number of arrests, we have, through the third quarter of this fiscal year, had about, give or take, a hundred arrests in the international terrorism side, which includes the homegrown violent extremists,” Wray explained. “But we’ve also had about the same number, again, don’t quote me to the exact digit, on the domestic terrorism side. And I will say that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence but it includes other things as well.”
Some version of what you might call white supremacist violence? Even giving Wray the benefit of the doubt, that means the FBI investigated roughly 50 or so cases of some version of white supremacy. Not exactly solid evidence to justify a law enforcement, political and media war against white supremacy.
But that is precisely what the Left and the NeverTrump Right now are demanding after the horrific mass shooting in El Paso, Texas over the weekend, when an alleged white supremacist murdered at least 22 people at a shopping center; most of the victims are presumed to be Hispanic and law enforcement officials are investigating whether a manifesto posted online was authored by the shooter.
The editors and writers of National Review are comparing the threat of domestic white terrorism with the threat of international Islamic terrorism while blaming Trump for it all. “It’s time to declare war on white-nationalist terrorism,” wrote David French, a NeverTrump promoter of the white supremacy fallacy. “It’s time to be as wide awake about the dangers of online racist radicalization as we are about online jihadist inspiration. And it’s time to reject the public language and rhetoric that excites and inspires racist radicals.”
This, according to French, would include comments made by the president related to immigration policy or criticism of Central American migrants breaking U.S. law to enter the country illegally. In his call for war and his argument that Trump has been breeding white terrorists, French posted this tweet by Trump in support of his claim: “Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”
His editors evidently agree with French’s hysteria, insisting that the country should “crush” the evil of white supremacy; Rich Lowry suggests that the FBI should go after white supremacists just like it went after the Ku Klux Klan in the 1960s.
What could possibly go wrong with a plan to ramp up an agency populated by partisan holdovers from the Robert Mueller-James Comey era? In fact, in a rambling op-ed in the New York Times the morning after the massacre, Comey warned the president, “because of what you have done, you owe us more than condolences sent via Twitter. You must stop trying to unleash and exploit the radioactive energy of racism.”
Democratic presidential candidates quickly exploited the El Paso atrocity and lined up to condemn Trump.
“Donald Trump is responsible for this,” blasted Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Democratic activists compared the shooter to Fox News’ host Tucker Carlson. “If you work for Fox News, advertise on Fox News, or support Fox News in any way, you are enabling the spread of White Nationalism in America and probably making a pretty penny doing so,” tweeted former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer on Monday morning.
The former president chimed in late Monday afternoon: “We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racists sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us,” warned Obama in a lengthy screed posted on Twitter. Trump’s predecessor then compared Trump’s language to previous political leaders responsible for the Holocaust, Rwandan genocide and Balkan ethnic cleansing.
What should frighten every American is that the emerging proposals to mitigate “white supremacy” include a jaw-dropping array of strong-arm tactics that will, in short order, violate the free speech rights of millions of Americans as the government and news media malign anyone they identify as sympathizing with “white supremacy.”
If these measures are enacted, they will give legal and political cover to social media platforms to ban Trump officials, his supporters and perhaps even the president himself—they may extend to anyone in the Republican Party. Guns will be confiscated, careers ruined, and reputations irreparably destroyed. It will be the Kavanaugh hearing and show trials on steroids.
Conservative news and opinion outlets such as this one could be placed on some kind of watch list, or worse, shuttered altogether simply for challenging immigration policy or defending the president. Private companies and financial institutions could be warned against doing business with the Trump campaign or Republican candidates and lawmakers. Donors could be censured under the guise of aiding and abetting a domestic enemy.
MSNBC already is advocating on behalf of taking that path: “Because you keep writing checks to this president, it’s on you . . . because you are funding this white supremacist campaign . . . It is your money that is funding this white supremacy,” claimed Joe Scarborough on Monday’s show.
Pending approval of a catalog of harsh policy prescriptions, the Democrats, the news media and NeverTrump Right will continue openly to brand any voter planning to reelect Donald Trump as a white supremacist. The social shame will be as destructive as any measures that could be taken by any law enforcement agency.
And while the Trump haters scream at shadows and unleash the dogs of war, the real danger—how we address the mental, emotional and social defects in a generation of isolated young men—will be ignored just so #TheResistance can move poll numbers before November 2020.
Our inner cities will continue to burn as urban violence destroys families and neighborhoods. The opioid epidemic, a true systemic threat to domestic tranquility, will rage throughout blighted communities unabated. Just like Russian collusion, our ruling class will busy themselves chasing apocryphal demons while America’s legitimate problems go unresolved.
Who, exactly, are the real political terrorists in this scenario?
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Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. After college graduation, she served as a policy and communications consultant for several Republican candidates and elected officials in suburban Chicago. She also volunteered for her local GOP organization. After staying home for more than 10 years to raise her two daughters, Julie began teaching cooking classes out of her home. She then started writing about food policy, agriculture, and biotechnology, as well as climate change and other scientific issues. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 with a degree in communications and minor degrees in political science and journalism. Julie lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and (unfortunately) three dogs.
Photo “Burning Cross” by Confederate till Death. CC BY-SA 3.0.