Right-Wing Extremist Groups Challenging Authority of Federal Government Find GOP Allies

Posted April 23, 2014

MP3 Interview with Devin Burghart, vice president of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, conducted by Scott Harris


In two separate incidents last week, the nation was given a stark reminder of the threat posed by right-wing extremist groups, who preach hate, employ violence to terrorize and challenge the authority of the federal government with weapons. On April 13, former “grand dragon” of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Frazier Glenn Miller, is alleged to have shot three people to death at a Jewish Community Center and an assisted living facility in Overland Park, Kansas. His virulent anti-Semitism was on display as a television camera captured Miller as he yelled, “Heil Hitler,” while sitting handcuffed in back of a police car.

Another confrontation that gained widespread media attention took place during the second week of April when armed militia groups rallied to support Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy when federal Bureau of Land Management agents attempted to seize his cattle to settle more than $1 million in unpaid fines levied for his refusal to pay grazing fees over the last 20 years. Among the 1,000 protesters who came to challenge BLM agents there to carry out a court order, dozens were armed and aimed their handguns and military-style assault rifles at the federal officers from sniper positions on a nearby highway overpass.

To avoid bloodshed, the BLM agents retreated and stated they’ll pursue Bundy by other means. But to Bundy and the militia groups there to support him, the result of the standoff was viewed as a clear victory. Many Fox News commentators and conservative legislators lauded those participating in the uprising as heroes. Nevada’s Republican Sen. Dean Heller agreed, calling them patriots in response to his fellow Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid’s labeling the armed group as domestic terrorists. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Devin Burghart, vice president of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, who talks about the danger posed by right-wing extremist groups, some of whom now receive support from Republican party-elected officials.

Find links to more views and research on U.S. hate groups by visiting the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights at http://www.irehr.org.

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