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Extremism Watch: The Holocaust Museum Shooter and Immigration

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 06/10/2009 at 7:42pm

HateIn “Holocaust Museum Shooter Raises Concerns About ‘Crazed Conspiracies’ From Hate Groups,” the Wonk Room’s Andrea Nill reports:

Shortly after opening fire at the National Holocaust Museum today, James Wenneker von Brunn, the suspected shooter, was identified as a white supremacist with a “history of associations with prominent neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Brunn’s hateful rhetoric followed by today’s violent outburst chillingly echoes a controversial warning issued by the Department of Homeland Security concerning a rise in “rightwing extremist activity.”

Groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center have consistently documented the links between white nationalism, anti-immigrant activism, and the rising tide of extremism in the United States, but their warnings are only now gaining wider visibility. When the Department of Homeland Security released their report on “rightwing extremism” back in April, warning the public:

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

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