Devil Inside

“‘Remove his badge. Remove his gun belt. Remove his vest. His shirt. All that stuff … He walked out of here in his pants and his undershirt.” That’s how things went down when Springfield Police Chief Ken Scarlette removed an officer from his force after uncovering years of white supremacy posts (none of which the officer disavowed). That was the end of one cop’s tenure, but the story was far from over. WaPo (Gift Article): A police chief got rid of a neo-Nazi. Then came the hard part. “Scarlette’s no-nonsense response drew attention among analysts tracking the spread of far-right ideologies. Law enforcement leaders seldom act decisively when extremists are uncovered in their ranks, hate monitors say, with cases typically stagnating because of pushback from police unions, fear of expensive First Amendment challenges, or resistance to being seen as caving to anti-police activism.”

+ “The shooter who killed eight people at a Dallas-area mall was wearing a patch that read ‘RWDS’ — short for ‘Right Wing Death Squad’ — a phrase that has been embraced in recent years by far-right extremists who glorify violence against their political enemies.” The meaning behind the far-right symbol Texas shooter wore as he killed 8. (His swastika and the SS tattoos require no explanation.)

+ “It’s hard to think of a historical precedent for a society allowing itself to be terrorized in the way we have. The normalization of both right-wing terrorism and periodic mass shootings by deranged loners is possible only because McVeigh’s views have been mainstreamed. ‘In the nearly 30 years since the Oklahoma City bombing, the country took an extraordinary journey — from nearly universal horror at the action of a right-wing extremist to wide embrace of a former president (also possibly a future president) who reflected the bomber’s values.'” Michelle Goldberg in the NYT (Gift Article): Timothy McVeigh’s Dreams Are Coming True.

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