Ex Oath Keeper exposes racist beliefs of white nationalist group and plans to start civil war


By Sara Kamali, University of California Santa Barbara

During testimony before congressional investigators, former Oath Keepers spokesman Jason Van Tatenhove left no doubt about the intentions of the white nationalist militia when its members stormed the US Capitol on January 6. 2021.

Tatenhove explained that January 6 “could have been a spark that ignited a new civil war”.

“We need to stop mincing words and just speak truths,” Tatenhove said, “and what it was going to be was armed revolution.”

In its seventh hearing on July 12, 2022, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol linked white nationalists to former President Donald Trump’s top allies. and their concerted efforts to annul the 2020 election by halting the counting of Electoral College votes and insertion of fake voters.

The committee hearings focused on the the proud boys, the keepers of the oath and their white nationalist allies in the Republican Party, including Trump.

In my book “Local Hate: Why White Nationalists and Militant Islamists Are Waging War on America,”I detailed the history, beliefs, groups and manifestos of white nationalists in the United States and around the world, including the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Three Percenters and many other individuals and groups who attempted a collective coup on January 6. , 2021.

As I explore in my book, white nationalists believe that white people and their identity are under attack worldwide from immigrants, people of color and, increasingly, progressives and liberals who do not share their racist, religious, anti-government beliefs or their conspiracy theories.

I also discuss the goal of white nationalists around the world to reclaim the land as a white state ruled and inhabited only by whites.

Law enforcement warnings

Several US law enforcement agencies called the Proud Boys “white supremacists” and “extremists.”

The Proud Boys frontman Enrique Tarrio cites his Afro-Cuban roots and brown skin color as reasons why he can’t be a white nationalist.

Co-founded by Gavin McInnes in 2016, the proud boys have participated in events with white nationalists since the group’s inception, including the March unite the right in 2017 and the violent assault on the United States Capitol.

Tarrio was arrested two days before January 6 in Washington on charges stemming from his involvement in the vandalism of a black church and burning a Black Lives Matter banner during a violent December 12, 2021, demonstration in Washington.

While the oath keepers founder Stewart Rhodes publicly claims he has Mexican and Apache heritage, the oath keepers have consistently taken racist stances and warned against an impending civil war in the USA.

In December 2018, the Oath Keepers website announced a call to action for a “Border Operation” that encouraged paramilitary activity to prevent the “invasion” of “illegals” into the country and to ensure “ranch security”. border residents and families.

This anti-immigration sentiment and warrior imagery is also found in the Trump White House.

The Southern Poverty Law Center details a series of emails sent to the conservative site Breitbart by Stephen Millerwho became a senior policy adviser in the Trump administration.

The emails promoted white nationalist literaturepushed racist immigration stories and obsessed with losing Confederate symbols.

Miller’s white nationalist ideology was central to some of Trump’s most controversial policies, such as set arrest quotas for undocumented immigrants, an executive order effectively prohibiting the immigration of five Muslim-majority countries and a policy of family separation in refugee resettlement centers.

White nationalist GOP members

A little after the Buffalo supermarket shootingwhere a self-proclaimed white supremacist allegedly shot and killed 10 black people to prevent, in her own words, “eliminating the white race”, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming lambasted her fellow Republicans.

“House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism,” Cheney said. wrote in a tweet. “History has taught us that what begins with words ends up much worse.”

Cheney, who is also co-chairman of the Jan. 6 congressional select committee, then went further, calling on Republican leaders to “renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.”

Although Republican leaders like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana denounced white supremacyseveral prominent Republicans still maintain ties to white nationalist groups.

Former Republican Congressman Steve King, who represented Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2003 to 2021, is expected to attend the American Renaissance Annual Meeting in November 2022, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. People might remember King to wonder out loud in 2019 when the term “white supremacist” became offensive.

Starts with racist ideologue Jared Taylor In 1994, American Renaissance is a website that promotes “racial differences” and its annual meetings are a haven for neo-Nazis and white nationalists.

Also planned to speak there’s GOP congressional candidate Laura Loomer of Florida, a self-proclaimed “#ProudIslamophobe” who represents “pro-white nationalism.”

Such appearances at white nationalist rallies by Republican lawmakers have drawn criticism from GOP leaders and are a potential political liability as midterm elections take place.

In February 2022, for example, members of Congress from the GOP Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona spoken to the far right America’s First Political Action Conference.

The event was organized by Nicola Fuentesa white nationalist activist who rose to national prominence after attending the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

GOP leaders quickly denounced them for speaking at the rally.

But Greene said she had no regrets.

Where is the GOP headed?

Although GOP leaders deny allegations of white supremacy and extremism within their party, their actions tell a different story.

On July 11, 2022, Senate Republicans block an invoice it would have authorized federal agencies to monitor domestic terrorism in the United States, including incidents involving white supremacy.

Called on National Terrorism Prevention Actthe bill fell short of the 60 senators needed to advance it through Congress, as the vote was 47 to 47 and split by party.

More troubling is the appeal of the white nationalist platform to elected officials and voters. Many successful local, state and federal elections in 2020 have focused on perpetuating the Big Lie, the conspiracy theory embraced by many white nationalists that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

Frank Eathorne is the Chairman of the Republican Party of Wyoming and a member of the Keepers of the Oath.

As such, Eathorne is one of the most influential Republicans officials in the country as he presides over arguably the GOP’s most high-profile primary battle in the 2022 election: unseating Cheney for his relentless criticism of the former Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.

In February 2021, Ehorne supported a successful Wyoming GOP effort to formally censor Cheney. In November, he presided over another successful vote for no longer recognizes Cheney as a member of the Republican Party.

Unsurprisingly, Eathorne supports lawyer Harriet Hageman in his main challenge against Cheney. As if House Minority Leader McCarthy.

The Republican backlash against claims that the party has been infiltrated by white nationalists was made clear at a January 2021 meeting of the Grand Traverse, Michigan, County Board of Commissioners.

Keli MacIntosh, a 72-year-old retired nurse and regular attendee at board meetings, asked the council to denounce the Proud Boys after some of its members were allowed to speak out against gun control.

As MacIntosh spoke, Vice Chairman of the Board Ron Clous stood up, left the meeting, and returned with a large gun.

Clous held the gun to his chest for a moment, then placed it on his desk for the rest of the meeting.

The January 6 hearings make it clear that American democracy is increasingly under threat from white nationalists in the Republican Party who are determined to perpetuate misinformation about the 2020 presidential election in order to retain power through the same system they deem illegitimate.

Sara Kamaliauthor and researcher, Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara

This article is republished from The conversation under Creative Commons license. Read it original article.

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