March 22, 2019 - 9:00am
When a D.C. politician invokes the Parkland shooting, it is sure to ping the radar in Florida. When that politician makes an outlandish claim about the tragedy, it deserves to be analyzed and corrected as needed.
Freshman House member Ilhan Omar's latest "comment" needs some serious correction.
In a normal climate a lightning-rod character like Omar would be discounted, and her firebrand comments would be ignored. However, the Democratic Party and the media have placed themselves in an untenable position. Omar and a clutch of the other new D.C. arrivals were so roundly praised by the press and the party leaders that now, as they act up in unacceptable fashion, their behavior is impervious to accountability.
This came to light when Democratic Party leadership called for a resolution to address the numerous instances of Omar saying anti-Semitic comments, only to issue an impotent document that did not even manage to address her by name in its final draft. While Omar deserves to be roundly ignored the fact that she is perpetually trotted out in the media as a valid voice means she needs to be exposed for the hysteric that she is.
Her latest is a comment she made using the Parkland shooting in glib fashion to sell a larger lie. She does not just make a wild generalization but she also follows it up by providing what she thinks is evidence. In a follow up tweet Omar gave, a link to a piece from the Anti Defamation League, where the group makes the same claim that “Right-Wing Extremism (is) Linked to Every 2018 Extremist Murder in the U.S.” The organization does not blatantly offer up its own study.
It becomes obvious why the ADL does not make it easy to dig up its own report on “Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2018”. The listed incidents they provide are frequently found to be inconclusive. They involve acts that are neutral but perpetrated by individuals who are classified as extremist, or even involve those who are from groups you would not declare “right-wing.” This is what is required, however, when facing sound-bite claims that are quickly disseminated.
The original ADL article stated last year saw more “extremist killings” than the country has expeerienced since 1995. But in its own report they begin with numerous charts and graphs, one showing there were significantly more of these killings in 2015, and 2016. So already they have invalidated themselves, because as they try to position Trump as being responsible for the supposed uptick in stats, there was actually a sharp drop-off since he was elected. Well done, ADL. It gets worse for the outfit, however, once you actually analyze the published findings.
There is a lengthy passage in the report dedicated to Nikolas Cruz, explaining in numerous ways how he would be considered a right-wing extremist. “The February 2018 shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, illustrates the complexity of the issue of ideology,” the report claims. It goes on to describe many details about the youth which qualifies him to be described in their estimation as having “white supremacist leanings” and was sympathetic to the ideology.
Yet, after listing more indicators the report comes to this conclusion: “The school itself was not a likely white supremacist target, nor did Cruz seem to target his victims by race, religion or ethnicity. However, little evidence has so far emerged to suggest that the MSDHS shooting spree itself was conducted as a white supremacist attack. In the end, however, it is not clear to what extent Cruz’s white supremacist beliefs may have played a role in the killings. Because of this uncertainty, Cruz’s killings have been listed here as non-ideological.”
This, after pages of descriptors to make the case that Cruz was an ideological murderer, they then declare it is not clear, and the killings were non-ideological? This should invalidate the entire report, but rather than dismiss it outright one need only to read through its listing of other killings it provides as “evidence” that EVERY extremist murder.
Here are the many others offered up as proof, with the ADL’s own summation.
-- Locust Grove, Georgia, Feb. 19, 2018 -- A man being arrested on a warrant shot and killed a police officer. He was a Moorish Sovereign Citizen, that is a Black Nationalist.
-- Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, March 12, 2018 -- A 17-year-old stabbed three friends during a sleepover. “He had become interested in radical Islam ... told investigators he had stabbed his victims because of his Muslim faith.”
-- Nashville, Tennessee, April 22, 2018 -- A shooting at a Waffle House killed four. “He was a Sovereign Citizen. However ... the shooting appears to have been non-ideological in nature.” So, either he was a Black Nationalist, or was not ideological.
Abingdon, Virginia, May 4, 2018 -- A man shot an acquaintance in a dispute. The killing was not ideological, but it is counted because the killer had “multiple white supremacist tattoos.”
Athens, Georgia, May 11, 2018 -- A man stabbed his mother and killed his brother, so how does extremism come into play at all? In a prior arrest the man claimed to be yet another Sovereign Citizen.
Dothan, Alabama, June 4, 2018 -- Another domestic issue as a couple were charged with killing their 6-month-old son. The man, though, was once part of a white supremacist prison gang.
-- Camden, Michigan, June 30, 2018 -- A man shot the male lover of his ex-wife after an argument. But the man “was involved with militia and Three Percenter groups.”
-- Robstown, Texas, July 27, 2018 -- A man shot four in a murder-suicide at a nursing home. This is counted, however, because the shooter “had been a member of a White Supremacist group while in prison.”
-- Sumter, South Carolina, Aug. 11, 2018 -- In a fatal shooting it was following a dispute about a vehicle sale at an auto repair shop. The killer was “a self-proclaimed Moorish sovereign citizen.”
-- Pittsburgh, Pa., October 27, 2018 -- The killing of 11 at a synagogue made national news as “proof” of the rise of anti-Semitism under Trump; however the shooter harbored deep resentment of the president for supporting Israel, and in fact his anti-Jewish comments are similar to those made by Ilhan Omar herself.
The conclusion here is, of the 17 incidents listed by the ADL at least 10 of them either cannot be described as “right-wing extremism”, or were not incidents involving such motivation. Four of the listed incidents involved Black Nationalists or those of the Muslim faith. But the ADL, and Ilhan Omar, feel compelled to declare that “every” extremist incident is blamed on right-wing perpetrators.
With this kind of deeply interpretational labeling by the ADL, it also completely compromises all of the charts and other metrics they employ in the pages of preamble inside its report. It stands to reason that when the outfit can count murders based not on motive but on tattoos, or words spoken years prior, then your numbers are going to inflate as a result.
It also does little to help your credibility to prove alt-right racism is in play when a large percentage of your evidence is based on crimes by Muslim and Black Nationalist individuals. This follows the style displayed by Omar since her election. Rather than be a leader, she prefers to sow division and discord.
Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the entertainment industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.