from Powerline on November 27th
by John Hinderaker
The Left is making a concerted effort to promote the idea that America suffers from a plague of right-wing violence. To the casual observer, such a claim might seem absurd, but it is bolstered with phony statistics. Paul noted a contribution to this theme by the Washington Post. The New York Times editorial board similarly used bogus “right wing violence” data to call for suppression of freedom of speech.
The Post and the Times both relied largely on a single statistic, which comes from the left-wing Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism. The Post writes: “[R]esearchers say at least 20 people have died this year in suspected right-wing attacks.” The Times editorial board echoes: “Last year, 20 of the 34 terrorist murders in the United States were connected to right-wing extremism.” This factoid is critical to the claim that there is an epidemic of right-wing violence. It is, however, entirely false.
The ADL “study” can be found here. It tallies 34 “extremist-related murders in 2017.” Note the careful characterization of the list. Many of the murders have little or nothing to do with extremism. For example:
* GREELEY, COLORADO, AUGUST 16, 2017. Kelly Raisley, believed to be a member or associate of the 211 Crew white supremacist gang, was arrested on first-degree murder charges for the murder of his uncle, Randy Gene Baker. Baker’s wife and sister were similarly arrested. The motive was apparently personal.
* PUTNAM COUNTY GEORGIA, JUNE 13, 2017. Ricky Dubose, a member of the Ghostface Gangsters white supremacist prison gang, and another inmate, Donnie Russell Rowe, reportedly killed two corrections officers while trying to escape from a prison bus. They were later recaptured.
* TAMPA, FLORIDA, MAY 19, 2017. White supremacist Devon Arthurs allegedly shot to death two of his roommates for making fun of his recent conversion to Islam. All three, and a fourth roommate, were members of Atomwaffen, a neo-Nazi group.
* NORTH JUDSON, INDIANA, MARCH 3, 2017. Aryan Circle member Edward Blackburn allegedly shot and killed another man who was reportedly dating his ex-girlfriend.
* LEADWOOD, MISSOURI, FEBRUARY 9, 2017. Frank Ancona, head of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was shot to death; his wife and fellow Klan member, Malissa Ancona, and her son have been charged for the murder.
* SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, JANUARY 29, 2017. Ashton Lucas Lomas was charged with capital murder after allegedly robbing and shooting to death Martin Gonzales over an alleged dispute Gonzales had with another person. Lomas and others charged in the case appear to be members or associates of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
* LAFAYETTE, INDIANA, JANUARY 16, 2017. Wesley Andrew Hampton, a self-declared white supremacist, and another defendant allegedly robbed and murdered a man in a home invasion.
Those instances comprise 9 of the 20 murders the ADL attributes to “right-wing extremists.” Meanwhile, what about the murders committed by African-Americans who subscribed to Black Lives Matter’s ideology? The ADL makes no effort to tabulate those, presumably because it doesn’t consider Black Lives Matter’s ideology to be extremist.
The Left’s “right-wing violence” theme is intended to justify infringement of the First Amendment. Thus, the Times editorial board shamefully includes “nationalism, suspicion of the federal government, [and] obsessions over individual liberty” as “hallmarks” of right-wing extremism, as it calls for a government crackdown on social media.
Another objective is to discredit mainstream conservatives. The Times promotes this ridiculous Alternative Influence Network, the purpose of which is to slander Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager, Candace Owens, Andrew Klavan, Steven Crowder and others, by associating them with people I have never heard of, but assume to be white supremacists or something of the sort.
We will see much more of the Left’s effort to delegitimize mainstream conservatism in the months to come.
STEVE adds: The Washington Post also ran with this item on their Twitter feed: