There are two constants in U.S. media today: terrorism and Trump. Both are scary, and they’re not necessarily unrelated. There is a lot of focus on ISIS and the homegrown threat, but less discussed is the potential for violence arising from right-wing extremists who are furious after the tenure of our first African-American president. They see Republican nominee Donald Trump as their champion.
This is not just about whether Trump is a racist. There is a real potential for violence, no matter what happens in the election. Here is a piece I wrote for US News & World Report cautioning that we need to be paying closer attention to Trump’s white supremacist followers. The results of the November presidential election could lead to an uptick in right-wing violent extremism.
The September 11 attacks were a “black swan,” a high-impact, low-probability event that is almost impossible to see coming…Since then, U.S. homeland security efforts have attempted to imagine it all, from biological attacks in subways to EMP attacks on the electric grid (neither of which we’re ready for, by the way). Yet, I fret we have slipped into another malaise of imagination. A significant, even outsized portion of law enforcement and counterterrorism efforts are focused on the threat from Muslim extremists. It dominates security policy and American politics. That threat is valid, but in all our angst over the Islamic State group and those it inspires, we may be missing some terrible dark wings flapping over the horizon.
There is plenty of solid reporting and opinion writing on how Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears to be parroting white supremacist views and ideas, for reasons debatable. I’m less concerned with whether Trump is a racist and more concerned with the number of racists who believe he is. He is the chosen leader for right-wing extremists, regardless of whether he means to be.
Read the full article.