Why go back to the 1920s when the militant white supremacists of current generation are either products of, or influenced by, the “third Klan” of the 1970s and 1980s?
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Trevor Loudon might not be a name familiar to many in U.S. political circles. He certainly is no Steve Bannon or Roger Ailes, but the impact of his actions are felt just as hard as the actions of any other shadowy financier or strategist lurking behind the curtain of right-wing politics. Yet unlike the Koch brothers or Robert Mercer, if you’ve ever simply attended a political rally or merely mentioned your support for progressive policies online, you might already be on his radar and your personal information could already be published on his website.
One year ago today, a white nationalist stepped into a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed 11 Jewish worshippers. Before his shooting, Robert Bowers made clear in a social media post that he believed killing Jews would help block non-white immigrants from entering the United States and ensure the survival of his White race.
Throughout history, human civilization has been cursed by tyranny. Time and again, power is concentrated in institutions that rule by coercion and force. Humans have suffered through totalitarianism, dictatorships, and fascism repeatedly. Untold suffering and death have occurred.
But such times have always been marked by resistance. Courageous individuals and movements have fought back with a variety of tactics from open revolt to furtive sabotage. The rate of success in overthrowing particular tyrannical institutions has been mixed (though none of them ever last forever anyway of course) but that is not the only way to weigh the value of freedom fighters. Is it not worthy, in and of itself, to strive on behalf of life?