Given the chaos of domestic news these days, its difficult for a good many issues to penetrate the media for any period of time. One of those issues is the extent to which the internet is being used for domestic radicalization and incitement to violence.
Certainly I’m not ignoring the foreign aspects of the information warfare being waged within social media, but with the launch of Killing King on the anniversary of MLK’s assassination, Stu and I were both surprised to find virtually a total lack of interest in its implications related to contemporary acts of violence.
Given that, I though I would post a couple of excerpts from the one interview (VICE Magazine) we did where that subject was addressed. I’ll put in the full interview link after those excerpts:
How do you think the white supremacist moment we’re in right now, with Trump and the Alt Right, compares to what went on back then in the late 60s?
Larry Hancock: What’s happening now is an enabling thing. Whenever these folks are able to get broad attention, as we saw during the 1960s, more recruiting happened. In 1967, the White Knights recruited young people. They used these people basically as their terrorist foot soldiers. They were young, relatively naive, and easily manipulated. It was the groups of older, more experienced radicals who actually were able to recruit young people like this and send them out on major terror attacks.
I’m afraid that’s exactly what we’re seeing now. If you look at the connections of some of the recent church shootings and school shootings, you will find that these are young people who have been radicalized by the same sort of racist, nativist network that has the same footprint that it did back in the 1960s.
There’s this giant continuum of Klan violence from the time the Klan was formed in the later 19th Century until the present. Wesley Swift’s influence on white supremacy is so profound that it’s now in the ether of what the white supremacist movement breathes. Specifically the focus on a race war. This wasn’t something that you saw as part of the motivation for racial violence before the 1960s. But in 1968, that’s what we believe motivated the people to kill King, and in 2016, virtually everybody who commits these racist acts, people like Dylann Roof, they’re talking about race war. That’s because Wesley Swift’s Christian Identity ideas, over a period of five decades, filtered into the white supremacist movement. Even the groups that say they’re not Christian Identity or that broke away from Christian Identity, this notion of a race war is very profound.
For those who might be skeptical that such groups still exist or are increasingly active – and that acts of violence result from their influence – you might check these two links: