Right Wing Groups in the United States
Right winged groups or individuals are those who favor individual freedoms rather than the governmental regulation and may be motivated by issues of related to race, social (opposition to abortion), economic (job outsourcing and free trade) or even political themes like fascist or socialists (Horne,2006).
Right wing groups have been around in United States for a decade but got rejuvenated and became very active in late to mid 1993 right immediately after the standoff at Waco, Texas and by 1995, they had extend to nearly every state in the country. These right wing groups were led by prominent leaders like ,Randy Miller from Texas, Charlie Puckett from Kentucky, Trochman from Montana, Mark Koernke and Ron Gaydosh from of Michigan states, These leaders headed some of the notorious American militia extremists groups like Southern Ohio Defense Force, Michigan Militia, Southern California High Desert Militia, Kentucky State Militia, Arizona Viper Militia and , Southern Indiana Regional Militia. These groups often spread their operations and ideologies by the use of media like gun shows, publishing of group newsletters, holding meetings, internet services and shortwave radio broadcasting and hosting talk shows. Their ideology is that of anti-government and mostly inclined to the conspiracy theories and acquisition and use of fire arms. These militia groups usually deal with weapons, explosives and conspiracy activities which most of times has led to the arrest of some of the group members in the past (Schimitz,2006).
The history of right wing militia groups in united states especially the militia arm is dated back in mid 90’s when groups decried that the government was becoming tyrannical and was inclined on curbing of individuals freedoms. Such idea led the extremist group to plan and use Timothy McVeigh to execute the bomb attack on a federal building in Oklahoma which killed 168 people in 1995.
Issues that fueled the resurgence of right wing extremism in 1990’s were the issues related to immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social services to minority communities in the country especially the immigrants and the issue of passing of laws restricting the possession, acquiring and use of firearms. To justify their stands these extremist groups increased their violent acts by targeting governmental facilities, banks, infrastructure sectors and even the law enforcement officers (Horne, 2006).
During the 1990’s extremist groups exploited the contentious social issues and political themes to increase their networks and recruitment. Such issues included the opposition to arms and ammunition control efforts by the government, criticism of free trade with Mexico as they clamed it denied the citizens job opportunities, they perceived the government of the time was infringing on their civil liberties, apposition against legalization of abortion, occurrence and judicial judgment of interracial crimes, and the same thorny issue of legalization of same sex marriages. This led to increased growth in number of right wing groups or factions and execution of violent acts against the government and its infrastructures (Marks,1996).
Most of these extremist groups have ideological ideas that have shown that they fear, predict and even highly anticipate for the collapse of the United States and the perception of the government conspiracy theories coupled with an impending economic collapse and paranoia among those inclined to similar thinking hence the intensified recruitment during time of country’s economic uncertainties. They believe in conspiracy theories that involve impending civil strife or racial conflict, creation of civilian detention camps and declaration of martial law in the United States. Such theories have motivated extremist groups, and individuals to stock piles of food, weapons and ammunition in preparations for the end times prophesies.
The extreme anti-government ideology of groups like the Posse Comitatus believed that a legitimate government had been subverted by conspirators and then replaced with illegitimate and tyrannical government hence the need for the people to use their power and responsibilities to take back the government even if it calls the use of force of arms. Other faction of extremist groups believe that the government is involved in assisting the New World Order to taking over the world hence can not be trusted and should be prevented from doing so by all means possible and this has resulted to re-mergence of the extremist groups through renewed paramilitary training and arms acquisition in some states that had hosted most of these gangs in the 1990’s (Torr, et al 2001).
In recent times, United States has witnessed an upsurge in the number of anti-government extremist groups and armed militia whose ideologies are driven by the deepening hostility on the rise of Barrack Obama administration as wells as the increasing conspiracy theories carried by some of the mass media like the Fox News. Some of the key factors that have led to increased number of extremist group’s recruitment in the recent past are attributed to the economic recession, criticism about the out sourcing of job opportunities from Mexico through free trade and the perceived threat to United States sovereignty and power by other international powers. The Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the Unite states prominent civil rights group activists that works on hate organization said in its report that there has been a roaring come back of extremist patriot groups especially after the Barrack Obama administration took over in 2008. The report said that with the deepening ties to the conservative mainstream politics extremist groups have increased by 250% as numbers jumped 147 from last year’s (2008) to the current 512. In addition, a report by ‘he rage on right’ organization found out that the paramilitary arm of these patriot groups/militia contributed to most increase in the country as it increased from 42 in 2008 to 127 in 2009 (S. P. L.C.,2010).
These right wing groups claim that they are responding to the seething political landscape in the country where more liberal Barrack Obama’s administration has developed initiatives that they view as being socialist or even fascist and goes beyond their radical rights. Such political changes include population racial changes, bad economy, bail out of elites and banks and the increased debt. The rise of Obama an African-American to the presidency is seen as one of the main reasons why the rightwing groups have remerged very first.
Extremist groups have capitalized on related racial and political prejudices in the expanded propaganda and are able to reach to wider audience of mostly the sympathizers. They harness on issues like immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social services to minority, as well as passing of laws restricting the acquiring, possession and use of firearms.
The SPLC also reported that there has been increased number of hate groups in the recent years and they are driven by the angry backlash of increased non-white immigrants in to the country, the economic melt down and the rise of an African America to the presidency. Some of the recent groups include the Tea parties that its ideas are based on conspiracy theories and racism (Berlet,2000). These right winged groups capitalize on the idea that most Americans believe that the current government can’t be trusted. Such patriot groups have been fueled by the fact that movement ideas are being widely propagated by the mass media like the Fox news presenter Glenn Beck who believes in conspiracy theories and other prominent political leaders and they assist in portraying Obama’s administration as being evil and should be doe away with.
The activist group also says that there are grave concerns on the activities of such extremist groups and notes that group calling itself ’Racist skinheads have been in the past arrested for the murder of six law enforcement officers and for plotting to assassinate the nations first African-American president (Freeden,1996). These right wing groups are driven by the growing view that the current administration is trying to impose what they term as ‘one world government’ to the acclaimed ‘liberty loving’ Americans. Such patriot groups push for extreme anti-government doctrines that promote political conspiracy theories and though some factions are not violent they champion the extremism.
FBI reports have also supported the idea of resurfacing right wing extremists groups in the United States. The Bureau’s reports said that every eight of the fourteen terrorist acts of terrorism that were prevented between the years 2002 and 2005 were in fact planned by the rightwing groups and they have even been linked to the masterminds of the plan to bomb a Coast Guard station, the prison gang which attempted to attack military and Jewish targets in areas around Los Angels and even the influence on some individuals who attempted to establish ties with the Al Gaeda (Hamm,1994).
Basing on my reasons on the discussion on this paper concerning the past and recent occurrences by the right wing extremist groups its time the United States government do something about the increasing internal insecurity in the country. The government security agencies should focus in combating the threat to security before it gets out of hand. It should focus on the terrorism from within instead of only giving priority to international terrorism, it should realize that right wing groups pose a national security especially in this time of numerous social, political and economic transformations in the country.