Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Yes, the Left and Right Mirror Each Other

I found this description of the right-wing patriot movement on a Facebook page associated with a far left “anti-fascist,” “watchdog” type. What is interesting about this is that if you changes the names and terminology a bit, this could just as easily be a conservative or right-winger talking about the Left.

“The Patriot movement is more-or-less genuine in its attempts to distinguish itself from avowed White Supremacists (despite their own movement’s origins in the 70s white power movement). but what this means is that they are politically on the furtherist rightmost wing of the Trump coalition without advocating a white ethnostate.

There are a diversity of views in the movement, but in general its run by a lot of conspiracy theories (often derived from antisemitism), total hostility to Black Lives Matter and the Left, and deep and open Islamophobia and immigration. they want to use guns to intimidate their political opponents and believe in a lot of crackpot legal theories. only a small fraction (maybe a quarter) are “merely” libertarian gun nuts. so any “dialogue” with them is a dialogue with someone who SURJ would generally consider to have openly white supremacist views – whether the member is a person of color (they have a few, like Sheriff David Clarke) or white. letting them off the hook when they don’t want to be associated with Nazis is a cheap way to kosher their racism.

I think the best way to dialogue with them is to challenge their views of the Constitution – to ask why if they believe in 1A they are suppressing freedom of religion; to show that there is nowhere in the Constitution that it says that the county sheriffs can decide which laws to enforce; to argue that the NRA and Oath Keepers refuse over and over to back the rights of POC to own guns and open carry. They will listen to these arguments, but you’ll have to learn about some of this stuff (which most leftists don’t know anything about – i had to learn even the rudiments).

They also stereotype everyone from the RCP to Obama as a “Marxist” and in their world, we’re out to seize their guns, so groups like Redneck Revolt confuse them because they don’t fit cleanly into their narrative. There is some begruding respect, i think, so also getting guns and learning about gun culture will build a kind of bridge of common ground because you are doing something they valorize – kinda like if they studied white privilege theory and black history and racism in America and had a knowledgeable discussion with you about it (even if they didn’t agree with our take on these things) – you would respect them more that they are actually learning about this and engaging in these questions which are important to you and that you want people to delve into.”

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