In 2009 DHS published a study on right-wing extremism; Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization. I would argue, as I did in this piece, that we still haven’t built a strategy to ‘deal’ with this problem given the resurgence.
Again, terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85). Rightwing extremism falls within that definition and should be taken seriously, as the national security threat it is to the safety and well-being of the public.
Whether we call it a hate crime or terrorism, it needs to fall under the umbrella of national security. Here is an excerpt from my blog in 2013, which is sadly still true:
We have the information and forewarning to develop a strategy and not be caught on our heels by rightwing extremist armed gunmen. Just because they look like us, talk like us and reside in the US, doesn’t make them any less of a threat than Islamic extremists. When the CIA wrote warning analysis for both Administrations on al-Qaeda, the USG didn’t respond by building a strategy or action plan. If we are aware of the problem, let’s find a solution.
Charleston and the community of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, my heart goes out to you.