Fact-checking Trump's notion that white nationalism is not a rising threat
Having enemies seems to be a good political tactic. It can mobilize your base. It is a tactic much used by the Left. They exaggerate even the slightest opposition to their schemes -- and anything untowards happening in the world is due to bad men whom they know all about. And a favourite mythical beast that they are fighting is "white nationalists" or a "white supremacists". Anybody who mentions any human group can be declared a "white supremacist" at the drop of a hat. And often you don't even need to drop the hat.
So anybody who is critical of the doings of any Muslim becomes an "Islamophobe" for starters and he doesn't have to say much more to become a "white supremacist".
No doubt there are some real white supremacists about the place. Some people believe that the earth is flat. But do they exist in any numbers? There is no evidence of it. There are some people who attack minorities from time to time but none of them seems to be part of any organization or even have many friends. And why would anybody be bothered to proclaim white supremacy when it is perfectly obvious that whites do have overwhelming influence in the world? You might as well go around making proclamations that that the sky is blue.
So Mr Trump was right when he said recently of white nationalists that "I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems"
But that could not be allowed to pass, of course. And CNN did a "fact check" of what Trump said. It is below. And they do list a number of individuals whom they allege to be white supremacists -- but at no point do they make the slightest effort to show that any of the individuals concerned were in fact white supremacists. If they were truly white supremacists a sentence or two from each of them confirming that they were white supremacists would have given the needed confirmation.
But no such evidence is given, We are expected to accept the assertions of CNN as all the evidence we need.
Just to illustrate how quickly they would become unglued if they tried to back up their assertions, just consider the man of the hour, the NZ gunman. Every leftist alive would fervently assure us that he is a white supremacist despite that fact that many of his targets were a passable shade of white. Does that upset the applecart at all? If it doesn't, try this: The person whom the gunman stated was the greatest influence on him was Candace Owens. Candace is an American black. So is the gunman a black supremacist? In the insane world of the Left, he might as well be.
On my reading of his manifesto he is principally concerned about the large influx of foreigners into European-origin countries. He identifies with white Europeans and sees himself as conducting a defensive operation. He is not asserting the dominance or superiority of white Europeans but simply wants them not to fade away under immigration pressures. He says that wherever he goes he sees invaders and that disturbs him. So he is certainly a racist of sorts but not a white supremacist.
Is he a white nationalist? Maybe but that depends on your definition of nationalism. On Orwell's definition he is not, as he shows no interest in conquering other countries
So Mr Trump again gets it right. Even the NZ gunman is arguably not a white nationalist. He is in fact something of an internationalist. His concern is for the survival of European civilization as a whole
During a press conference Friday, President Donald Trump was asked if he "see(s) today that white nationalism is a rising threat around the world?" in the wake of the terrorist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, which left at least 50 dead.
"I don't really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess," the President said. "If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case, I don't know enough about it yet. They're just learning about the person and the people involved. But it's certainly a terrible thing."
The man charged with murder in the New Zealand attack cited a list of white nationalists who inspired him in his putative manifesto posted online.
Facts First: White nationalism is certainly a rising threat in the US, with plenty of evidence to back it up.
In the past two years there have been a number of high profile incidents involving white nationalists, perhaps most notably the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. One woman was killed and 19 were injured when a speeding car slammed into a throng of counter-protesters.
Last year's shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh claimed the lives of 11 people. Federal prosecutors charged the gunman, an avowed white nationalist, with hate crimes. In February, authorities arrested a Coast Guard lieutenant, an alleged white supremacist, who was planning an attack on several television anchors and elected officials.
The data suggests these are all part of a broader rise in white nationalism across the US.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization focused on tracking extremist activity, found last year that white supremacist murders in the US "more than doubled in 2017," with far-right extremist groups and white supremacists "responsible for 59 percent of all extremist-related fatalities in the U.S. in 2017." They were responsible for 20% of these fatalities the year before.
"This attack (in New Zealand) underscores a trend that ADL has been tracking: that modern white supremacy is an international threat that knows no borders, being exported and globalized like never before," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a press release.
ADL also reported that propaganda efforts from white supremacist groups increased by 182% in the US in 2018; causing the number of incidents to jump from 421 the previous year to 1,187.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank based in Washington, DC, reports that "the number of terrorist attacks (in the US) by far-right perpetrators rose over the past decade, more than quadrupling between 2016 and 2017."
White nationalism, supremacism, and far-right extremist attacks and propaganda are on the rise. The President is incorrect in suggesting that these groups do not present a growing threat.
Domestic terrorism -- as a whole -- has seen a recent uptick in the US, with nearly 25 related arrests in the last three months of 2018, an FBI official told CNN. These cases are separate from plots relating to international terrorism investigations, like those involving al Qaeda and ISIS.
As CNN recently reported, the FBI has approximately 900 open domestic terror investigations.