After seeing this Dylan Ratigan video from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which grouped ‘Patriot’ groups with hate groups, I decided to look into how these groups are defined.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhKjlItVhJY
From the Southern Poverty Law Center – definition of ‘Patriot’ groups:
Generally, Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the “New World Order,” engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme anti-government doctrines. Listing here does not imply that the groups themselves advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, or are racist. The list was compiled from field reports, Patriot publications, the Internet, law enforcement sources and news reports. Groups are identified by the city, county or region where they are located.
The list doesn’t imply theses groups advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, or are racist, but Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center does imply these groups advocate violence in this video.
The kinds of things we’ve seen in the last year are for instance the murder of six law enforcement officials by people, members of the radical right. We have seen plots to murder Obama, we have seen plots to murder black people, to murder jews and so on. I think these are all prompted by the rise of Obama to power. These real changes that are happening around us, people are really angry and hurting out there and many of them feel quite ready to take action.
The terms hate groups and radical right and patriot groups were used throughout this video from Southern Poverty Law Center. I can’t tell exactly which group Potok means in referring to violence, because all these organizations have become an amalgam of one group to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
But what they (Oath Keepers) are really about is the idea that Americans are about to be herded into concentration camps that martial law is going to be imposed, that foreign troops are going to be on American soil, putting Americans done and so on. If what the Oath Keepers did was merely plead one more time to defend the Constitution there would be nothing remotely bad about it.
I can’t say if Americans are about to be herded into concentration camps, but Americans were herded into concentration camp during WWII, so it’s not delusional to believe it could happen.
What is really worrying about a group like the Oath Keepers is this is a group of people who are armed by the rest of society. And in the case of police officers these are people who sometimes have the power of life and death over you or me, and what that means if these men and women are animated by ideas that are completely false, completely paranoid and groundless, you’ve got to worry about who they are going to see as the real enemy and what kinds of decisions they make in stressful situation.
Not everyone knows about the Readiness Exercise of 1984, the plan by the US to test their ability to detain large numbers of American citizens in case of civil unrest. Calling these fears completely false, completely paranoid and groundless is worrisome and inaccurate.
Whether the tea party movement becomes something more like the patriot group, more radical yet, or whether it becomes something else is something we don’t know yet.
So worrying over what the Tea Party movement might become isn’t paranoia, but worrying about what the government has done in the past being repeated is paranoia? The underlying argument is that Mark Potok’s paranoia about ‘Patriot’ groups is the good kind of paranoia and the concerns of ‘Patriot’ groups is the bad kind of paranoia.
Summing up the SPLC position on patriot groups: It’s OK to verbally defend the Constitution, but citizens possessing anything other than harsh words to defend the Constitution are dangerous.
The SPLC has a map of hate groups on their site.
Where is the map of propaganda groups?