Saturday, April 04, 2009

Pittsburgh police killer reportedly afraid Obama would take away his guns

Dave Neiwert - author of The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right, the the next book I intend to review - points out that initial reports suggest that the 23 year old Richard Poplawski, who killed three police officers and wounded five at least several others, feared that police officers were coming to take away his guns at the behest of the Obama administration, and links this sort of paranoia to the fear-mongering from the likes of Glenn Beck and Wayne LaPierre of the NRA that Democrats are coming to take people's guns away.

An additional sign that Poplawski was a right-wing extremist is that his self-described "best friend" Edd Perkovic appears to be a white supremacist whose MySpace page promotes infamous conpiratorial hate material such as The Turner Diaries (which was an inspiration of Timothy McVeigh) and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (which was a justification given by the Nazis for their persecution of Jews); and another friend has explained that Poplawski was fearful that our government is under Zionist control.

Look: Fox News has given a platform to someone - i.e. Glenn Beck - who is busy mainstreaming the sort of extremist conspiratorial worldview that Poplawski apparently inhabited. Of course, Beck isn't promoting the nakedly racist material of the right-wing as I expect he finds that stuff contemptible and he would be taken off the air if he did promote it (presumably, that is ... Sean Hannity promoting the racism of Andy Martin didn't seem to bother Fox), but the stuff about totalitarianism, FEMA concentration camps, seizure of guns, a coming militia war, and all the other insanity that Beck talks about on a daily basis provides a sanitized version of the same underlying conspiratorial beliefs.* This is troubling, to say the least.

And maybe Rep. Michele Bachmann might want to rethink encouraging her constituency to be "armed and dangerous" for a revolution against the "nefarious activities" of Democrats.

*I don't believe that Beck is a racist, or that Beck necessarily believes any of that stuff. Indeed, I am fairly certain that Beck would consider that stuff absurd hate material. But he fails to notice the underlying structure of his conspiratorial beliefs and those of racists like Perkovic. This applies also to Bill O'Reilly, who himself has been busy promoting a mainstream, sanitized version of white supremacist New World Order conspiracy theory, which, as I've noted now many times, posits the ethnically Jewish, international financier George Soros as the mastermind of a leftist one world government plot to take over America. The most significant difference between O'Reilly's version of this meme and the racist one - that I can tell - is that instead of identifying Soros as the mastermind of the Jewish plot to take over the world, he identifies him as the mastermind of the S-P plot take over the world.

Update: Neiwert has more on the emerging portrait of Poplawski as a starter white supremacist, including a long rant against the imagined Jewish control of America at the white nationalist hate site Stormfront that he apparently posted there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Regd: your footnote. I agree that Beck does not believe he is racist.

Fact is, I doubt Beck (or O'Reilly for that matter) believe any of the stuff they say. They found an unsatisfied niche in the news market (reality, with its liberal bias, lef the far right extremists quite dissatisfied) and are putting on a show to satisfy that vacuum...

Why watch news based on reality when you can watch news that claims its based on reality (and is fair and balanced to boot!) and magically fits your entire worldview?