Right-wing extremists have used extreme violence to provoke fear and intimidate.
According to the “The Tactics and Targets of Domestic Terrorism” study published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on July 30, 2020, to examine domestic terrorism in the United States, right-wing organizations have accounted for 329 deaths since 1994.
The study, conducted by the nonprofit bipartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C., divided terrorism into four broad categories: right-wing, left-wing, religious, and ethnonationalism.
Right-wing terrorists are referred to as individuals or groups whose goals may include “racial or ethnic supremacy; opposition to government authority; anger at women, including from the involuntary celibate movement; and outrage against certain policies, such as abortion.”
On the other end of the spectrum, left-wing terrorism involves the use or threat of violence by groups that “oppose capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism; advocate Black nationalism; pursue environmental or animal rights issues; espouse pro-communist or pro-socialist beliefs, or support a decentralized social and political system such as anarchism.”
The study revealed that there were 411 right-wing attacks between 1994 and 2020, which included:
-abortion-related targets, such as women’s health clinics and medical staff (27 percent);
-private individuals and property, primarily selected due to race, ethnicity or religion (25 percent);
-religious institutions, particularly synagogues, mosques and churches (21 percent); and,
-government, military and police facilities, and personnel (13 percent).
“Between 2015 and 2020, the largest percentage of targets (42 percent) were against private individuals, such as African Americans and Latinos and locations associated with them,” according to the study.
The 45th U.S. president has often been accused of being a proponent of right-wing extremism. In 2017, former KKK grand wizard David Duke told reporters in Charlottesville, Virginia, “We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believe in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump because he said he’s going to take our country back.”
Right-wing extremists eventually would clash with protestors during a “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, when a White supremacist, James Fields, used a car to plow into a crowd, killing 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer.
From 1994 to 2020, the study stated that there were 219 left-wing attacks, which included:
-government, military, and police facilities or personnel (17 percent);
-private individuals or property, particularly related to their involvement in environmental issues, animal rights, or right-wing politics (17 percent); and,
-educational institutions, particularly those conducting research on animals (7 percent).
During that period, no deaths had been attributed to left-wing extremists, the study confirmed.
In June, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who was appointed by the president, said, “We have evidence that anti-government violent extremists — including those who support the ‘Boogaloo,’ those who self-identify as Antifa, and others— will pose continuing threats of lawlessness.”
But according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, no one has died at the hands of members of Antifa.
Unfortunately, the spreading of misinformation continues to be a cornerstone of the current presidential administration.