Yesterday in Norway, a murderer apparently killed over 90 people with a bomb and automatic weapons. The knee-jerk response of the press was to speculate about which Islamic terrorist group was responsible. As of this writing, police have arrested a tall, blonde Norwegian man described as a Christian right-wing extremist. I have been warning about these groups for several years and tracing the scary growth of their influence, but we have been distracted by the preferred storyline of the brown-skinned, bearded terrorists until now.
My Landlord the Right-Wing Extremist
Since losing my job in the crash of 2008 my housing options had narrowed. I pulled up to the trailer park to ask about a rent and noticed that my potential landlord drove a huge pickup with a big Confederate flag in the back window. “Is there going to be a problem?” I wondered. I had run into plenty of racism in Deepsouth, since my daughter is bi-racial. I didn’t have a lot of choices, though. I took the rent and ended up drinking coffee every morning with my landlord, who I learned, belonged to the Aryan Nation. I also joined the group around the campfire every evening, just shooting the breeze and telling jokes. I try not to be judgmental; I try to view less-than-ideal situations as learning experiences.
My Daughter and the KKK
Strangely, my landlord was very fond of my daughter, but then she has such a sparkly personality, she had even won over a prominent member of the KKK in our previous town. The Klansman was a wealthy citizen and came to the local elementary school every St. Patrick’s Day to pass out candy to the kids. He was very friendly to my daughter. She asked him, “So I’m half black, why do you like me?” “Oh, it’s not your fault,” he answered, ruffling her curly hair. She was eleven years-old but knew what he meant by “fault.” “Whose fault is it?” she asked. “It’s your mother’s fault,” he said. “Why isn’t it my father’s fault?” she asked. “Oh, you’re father is an animal-he’s not responsible.”
Racism is Alive and Well in the USA
She wasn’t upset by this conversation. She had heard worse. I asked her what she thought about this prominent citizen’s remarks. “Nothing-he’s an ignorant bastard,” she answered matter-of-factly, and looked at me directly, daring me to rebuke her for using profanity. I did not. I realize that readers from more liberal climates may wonder why I didn’t lodge a complaint with the school system or crusade against discrimination or something. I didn’t do any of those things because I didn’t want to get killed. I had heard first-hand stories of cross-burnings and threatened lynchings and had heard the word “nigger” so often I had almost, but not quite, overcome my cringe-reflex
Eating Chicken Wings with the Aryan Nation
My landlord invited me a Christmas party he was throwing for his friends and I attended. “This gives a whole new meaning to “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” I thought as I watched the Aryan brotherhood eating their chicken wings. We talked about fishing and kids and hunting dogs, subjects where I could usually find common ground with Deepsouth racists. Talk turned to gator hunting. Having looked into getting a permit to hunt gators, I knew a little about that, too. “What’s the best gator bait,” a wiry short-haired guest asked rhetorically. “You just tie a nigger on a rope and throw him out there. If you can’t pull him in fast enough, just go get a fresh nigger and start over.”
The Coming Race War
At this point, I had a visual image and I realized I was in serious danger of throwing up. I glanced around for a wastebasket, just in case. I had to get out of there, but it was too awkward at that moment. They started talking about guns. When Obama was elected, they had started cranking up their arsenals-for when the socialists came to disarm and enslave them.
Apparently the most recent gun shows had completely sold out of firearms and ammunition and this was alarming to them. A 1,000 rounds of ammo-rationing rule had gone into effect and they were overcoming this by sending their aunties and grannies in to buy another 1,000 rounds. “A thousand rounds? That sounds like a lot. How many thousand rounds do you need?” I asked. They looked at each other like this was a new concept. Apparently there would never be enough rounds for the coming race war which would be led by a coalition of people of any color besides white (blacks, Hispanics, people from the Middle East) and the worst traitors of all-“leftist” white people. They described their arsenals and their survival camps and their plans to blow up whatever place they were in when the end came. They seemed to know a lot about blowing things up. The end was coming, they were pretty sure, but they would die with honor and take a bunch of the enemy along with them.
Right Wing Extremists Pseudo-Christianity
They knew I was a Christian from our campfire chats and they claimed to be Christian also. I asked what they did about the fact that Jesus was a Jew. They actually had a torturous explanation for this that was so convoluted, I couldn’t follow it. They used the Bible in bizarre and twisted ways to bolster their ideology: They were the only pure- blood people, the other, degenerate people were plotting to pollute their pure blood and thus destroy mankind.
Fear and the Master Race
My landlord had been adopted as a child, so I asked how he knew he had pure blood, since he didn’t know who his biological parents were. His answer was also convoluted and full of pagan and Biblical references. I realized that they were actually Hitler fans! Hitler wasn’t dead, but had sat on some magic stone and disappeared into another dimension. I looked around at the Master Race and wondered, “If you are superior, wouldn’t you be smarter, or taller, or have more teeth or something?” Didn’t they have mirrors? I did not ask this question-there was no penetrating the fear-yes-FEAR-that masqueraded as aggression.
Immigrants, Socialists, Terrorists
Never underestimate the power of fear. These people are extremely dangerous. They feed their ideology on stories of immigrants over-running the nation, Islamic terrorists, and any “socialist” government programs in the offing. Immigrants, terrorists, socialists. These code words may bring out the conservative voters, and they may get TV ratings, but they also feed the fear of the Hitler fans, sitting next to their many thousand rounds of ammo, automatic weapons, and homemade bombs, waiting and watching for the attack they are sure is coming.
You may think I am advocating for gun control. I am not. I am advocating for FEAR CONTROL. I am advocating for calling the right wing out every time they throw out hot-buttons words like immigrants, socialists and terrorists. The right wing superiority complex, pseudo-Christianity, and fear-fueled militancy is dangerous-and it is evil.