The revelation that Scott Roeder, the alleged murderer of Dr. George Tiller, belonged to an anti-government, white separatist group called the Montana Freemen might seem like an unlikely twist. After all, such groups are generally thought of as either indifferent to the issue of abortion or actively enthusiastic about its potential for reducing the nonwhite population. As it turns out, however, the journey from radical racialist to anti-abortionist isn't as unusual as you might think.
Many reporters, particularly those on the Right, have gleefully commented on Roeders involvement with the Anti-Government "Freemen" from Montana. Few have simultaneously mentioned the groups virulent Racist Streak, or how many of their issues began in ways simular to what we've seen lately.
As Tax Protesters.
His ex-wife, Lindsey, said that after a few years of marriage, Roeder became increasingly involved with the Freemen and its anti-government ideology. "The anti-tax stuff came first, and then it grew and grew. He became very anti-abortion…That's all he cared about is anti-abortion. 'The church is this. God is this.' Yadda yadda."
Lindsey eventually left Scott largely because of his radical views.
Then came the racism.
Roeder and the Freemen belonged to a little-recognized nativist political movement that began in the early 20th century.... This movement was often called "the posse," after a core group named the Posse Comitatus. ..., they all held tightly to the notion that the true white sovereigns, who had rightfully been given this land by God, were being threatened by
race traitors"inferior races" creeping across the borders from Mexico and lands farther south.
Hey, Tancredo and Dobbs - are you Listening???
Originally the Klanish elements of the far right saw abortion as a benefit, since it would help stem the tide of black and brown babies over-running this "naturally white nation". But that eventually changed during the 80's under the leadership of Bob Mathew's, head of the Terrorist Group known as "The Order" who saw abortion as the "Suicide" of the White Race, and railed against Jewish doctors who helped perform them. Members of "The Order" - who took they name and inspiration from virulently racist novel "The Turner Diaries" which also inspired Timothy McVeigh - were prosecuted for the assasionation of Jewish/Progressive Radio Talk Show Host Alan Berg in 1984.
It really shouldn't be all that surprising then that a member from that movement is now responsible for the murder of the most prominent abortion Doctors in the nation, George Tiller. As I wrote the other day, the White Supremacist Movement has found common cause with the Tax-Day Tea Baggers and the virulent anti-Abortionist such as Army of God leader "Rev." Donald Spitz.
But we should all know this, we were all warned weren't we?
[R]ightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.
Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and
white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool. Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.
DHS/I&A assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo
the 1990s, including heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms restrictions and returning military veterans, as well as several new trends, including an uncertain economy and a perceived rising influence of other countries, may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements. To the extent that these factors persist, rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength.
All the warning signs are there, we just need to seriously listening to them. Hopefully we start to do so before the bodies begin to pile up.