Why the silence on right-wing extremism?

What comes to your mind when hearing the word terrorism?

Dale Boyd is a reporter with the Penticton Western News.

Dale Boyd is a reporter with the Penticton Western News.

What comes to your mind when hearing the word terrorism?

I wouldn’t be sticking my neck out too far to assume imagery of the 9/11 attacks, Al Qaeda, ISIS/ISIL or the Iraq War pass through many minds at the mention of the phrase.

A study recently released by the New America Foundation has uncovered some timely information in the aftermath of the Charleston shootings.

According to the study, since Sept. 11, 2001 the total number of people killed in the U.S. by deadly jihadist attacks is 26, while the amount of people killed by deadly right-wing attacks is 48.

We all clearly remember the 2012 Sikh Temple shooting, right? Well for those who don’t, on Aug. 5, 2012 Wade Michael Page killed six people in a Wisconsin Sikh temple. Page was found to be related to neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.

Or how about the 2014 Kansas Jewish Center Shooting? Not ringing a bell? Frazier Glenn Cross was arrested on April 13, 2014 and charged with murder in two shootings that took place in Jewish institutions in Kansas City. Cross was found to have connections with white supremacist movements and founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan as well as the White Patriot Party.

Cross appeared in court two weeks ago after firing his lawyers. He filed a motion calling for an acquittal on all charges, and in the document he said his actions were not a crime, but a “homicide by necessity” fighting what he called the Jewish control of the government, media and banks.

The white supremacist tendencies of alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof are coming to light as well.

So why, with nearly double the amount of deaths, is right-wing extremism not getting twice the amount of attention? This information breaks the narrative I’ve been hearing since adults struggled to explain the 9/11 attacks and subsequent war to me as a teenager.

The impact of these narrative-breaking facts is more than things not being the way we thought they were. That kind of thing happens all the time through the smoke and mirrors of politics and international relations, this is a narrative that got presidents re-elected (cough, Bush, cough), terror legislation passed and most importantly, started wars that continue to destroy a region many are willing to brush off as too far away too care.

It’s OK though, only 150 years after the civil war American politicians are finally starting to talk about taking the blatantly racist Confederate flag down from in front of the state house. It only took the death of nine innocent church-goers to get there.

It’s damning this issue is so scarcely talked about, and that right-wing politics has such an easy time creating straw men to start a war. Where’s the war on Christian nations? Obviously we have to lump in the religion with it’s most extreme examples of radicals, or else it wouldn’t be fair to the Muslim nations.

This right-wing extremism isn’t just exclusive to our neighbours to the south either.

A 2014 study entitled Right-wing Extremism in Canada authored by James O. Ellis and Richard Parent explores the issue north of the border.

Right-wing organizations, most sharing some affiliation with Christianity, like the Sons of Freedom or the Ku Klux Klan have operated in Canada and the study says “there has been a consistent level of right-wing extremism in Canada since World War II.”

You’ve probably never heard of the Canadian Ethnic Cleansing Team, I hadn’t, but one of their members was charged with uttering death threats and counselling to commit murder via a declaration of war against all London-based Jews and Muslims in September 2001.

A B.C. man was convicted of building a pipe bomb that was planted in a highway restroom in northeastern B.C. in 1999. He told a reporter at the time he was motivated by “certain political views.” Better start flying the drones over the Fort St. John.

An attempted murder of an abortion doctor by stabbing in Vancouver was claimed by the unknown group the Baby Liberation Army in 2000. Three years earlier a sniper attempted the murder of an abortion doctor in Winnipeg. Where was the public rally to launch a war on Christian groups for harbouring these extremists? Where was the graffiti on Christian churches telling them to ‘go home’ wherever that would be?

Stephen Harper recently said he was “disgusted” by the actions of ISIS and that Canada is not going to sit on the sidelines. Yet the PM tweets that his heart goes out to the victims of the Boston Bombings, the people of Jordan, terrorism in West Jerusalem.

Not a single word from PMO on the Charleston shootings. I’m sure his heart would be going out to the victims of that terrorist attack were there more oil reserves in South Carolina. But no, Harper seems content to only put his heart on his sleeve for those victims of Islamic terrorism. I guess you have to be killed by the right kind of terrorist to make the PM’s Twitter feed.

Following the Islamic terrorist narrative makes shoving legislation like Bill C-51 down Canadians’ throats a bit easier.

By the way, nine times more people die from falling out of chairs each year in the U.S. than have died from Islamic terrorist acts since 9/11. Where is all the anti-chair legislation?

Dale Boyd is a reporter with the Penticton Western News


Just Posted

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

Summerland cidery Millionaires' Row is hosting a Father's Day car and art show. (Facebook)
Vintage cars, art and cider for Father’s Day

Summerland’s Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. is hosting the car and art show

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

James Miller, the managing editor at the Penticton Herald, has been voted in for Jake Kimberley’s vacated council seat. (Submitted)
James Miller elected as Penticton city councillor

Penticton also voted yes to allowing up to 25 years for a Skaha Marina contract

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Run on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read