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Extremism expert warns MAGA propensity towards violence


Cite high profile murders of African-Americans

Supporters of former President Donald Trump are growing increasingly enraged over their political defeats — and more likely to turn to violence, extremism analyst Tim Wise warned in an interview with Salon magazine that was published on Sept. 14.

His warning follows a number of high-profile recent murders driven by White supremacy, most prominently the shooting in Jacksonville, Fla. which some Democrats have blamed on a climate of backlash over racial diversity accelerated by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“I am obviously horrified and concerned that we’re going to see more white racist terror attacks and hate crimes. When they figure out they can’t win legitimately at the ballot box, they’re going to turn to the bullet,” said Wise. He added, “They certainly have a lot of guns, and they have a lot of rage. I don’t mean that in a prophetic way; it is pretty obvious.”

That being said, he added, there are reasons to be hopeful — namely that the Republican-backed war on “wokeness” appears to be starting to backfire.

“They thought that attacking wokeness and critical race theory, attacking LGBTQ+ folk, was going to allow them to just, you know, just run the board,” said Wise. And while those attacks have appeared to work in some circumstances, DeSantis “overplayed his hand” and is starting to create “pushback,” he said.

DeSantis’ culture wars don’t appear to be helping him win among GOP primary voters, with whom he is polling distantly behind Trump.

The danger, Wise argued, is further driven by the fact that the media, and American voters and politicians, don’t really know how to recognize fascism when they see it.

“In terms of fascism and racial authoritarianism like we are seeing with Trumpism and today’s Republican Party and conservatives, many Americans really believe that ‘it can’t happen here,’” said Wise, arguing that even Democrats largely think this way.

“Too many people are so desperate to find the good in people and have convinced themselves that America can’t produce evil leaders – or followers of an evil movement – that they just deny what they are seeing with fascism right here at home.”

This article is a part of a series of articles for Our Weekly’s #StopTheHate campaign and is supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. #NoPlaceForHateCA,

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