“The chemistry out here is perfect for more and more racism,” said Tom Metzger, the infamous leader of the white supremacist hate group White Aryan Resistance who lives in Southern California, about the Inland Empire back in 2005. “You’ve got all these nonwhites moving here from Orange County and Los Angeles trying to flee the crime perpetrated on them by their own kind in their ghettos, and when they come out here, they’re basically shoving forced integration down the throats of the whites who have traditional claim to this area, and that is provoking a negative racist reaction among whites, as it damn well should. It’s great!”
What has been a simmering conflict may soon be bubbling over the edge. There is almost a sense of inevitability of a spike in hate crimes.
“In the past month, there was only one reported hate crime. But you have to wonder how many go unreported. I think a lot, ” a local crime beat reporter told me. “Just go to our comments section and read what people are saying. There is definitely a perfect storm building.”
In October 2008, two teenagers belonging to a local hate group shot a black man in a liquor store parking lot. Schools have been dealing with an uptick in race-based conflicts and shooting threats. Earlier this month, one of the cars of a Jewish family was trashed inside and out, its engine destroyed and swastikas painted on its doors and hood.
As I’m writing this, news is coming out that police arrested a group of six local skinheads from Hammerskin Nation for attempted murder, witness intimidation, conspiracy to commit murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Hammerskin Nation has been stepping up recruitment lately, as has every other known extremist group across the nation.
On April 15, about 200 people, mostly white, showed up at Victorville’s Tea Party. Some were not hesitant to vow that they’ll take violent action if “Osama’s” socialist policies continued unabated.
To the protesters, the economic crisis had exposed what their government had become: a big, meddling bureaucracy that had little regard for personal liberty. Socialism was a’coming to the USA, and it was hell-bent on exploiting honest, hardworking people like themselves — whether it’s being forced to bail out delinquent homeowners or having your jobs given to illegal immigrants.
While President Obama was talking about raising taxes, redistributing wealth and carelessly spending hundreds of billions of dollars on his banker buddies, their boys were coming back home from Afghanistan and Iraq thankless and jobless. Much of their anger was aimed at new residents: Hispanics, Asians and blacks.
Nowhere is this animosity more visible than on the local Internet forums. Here are just two of dozens of similar comments posted by readers on an article about Victorville’s spike in crime rates by the Daily Press, a local daily:
Sheriff’s can’t pinpoint why there’s an increase in crime? Geez even an idiot can tell you what the problem is – low-income housing, Juan and Shanana moving up here to get little Julio and Tyron away from the gangs, but not realizing they are the gang, and welfare money running out in the middle of the month. I can’t wait to hear the remarks I’m gonna get on this comment. 5/2/2009 7:59:03 PM
No surprise here, what do you expect with all the social engineering we had via Barney Frank and the dems, too many gangbangers got loans and moved on up to the high desert. Now we the citizen pay the price while the fat cats like Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and BO laugh themselves silly. 5/2/2009 9:59:36 PM
The day after the nationwide Tea Party protests, channeling the spirit of Timothy McVeigh, the Department of Homeland Security released a perfectly timed report warning law enforcement agencies that America’s shifting political landscape, the economic downturn and influx of returning vets all combined for a perfect storm likely to cause a swell in right-wing extremist organization activity.
The report cited evidence that extremist groups are stockpiling weapons and ammo in preparation for … something.
Republicans went on a partisan offensive, slamming the report as an affront against our troops, but even a cursory look at Victorville shows how close to the bone the report really gets.
This article was first published on Alternet.org.
Yasha Levine is a gun-ownin’ editor of eXiledOnline. He is currently stationed in Victorville, California, working on a book about the end of the American Dream. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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