By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
It was the kind of story that always seems to fly just beneath the radar. You probably missed it. I nearly did. Somewhere between the Pride parades and the Fourth of July, while the country was busy hyperventilating over the latest Coronavirus spike and I was busy scrubbing the glitter and gunpowder from my crack, a memo from Attorney General and Melvin Purvis impersonator William Barr was published by those fine parasites at the Washington Post. In this memo, Barr directed the Justice Department to form a task force devoted to combating the vague scourge of “Anti-Government Extremists.” The task force was to be led by a junta of state attorneys and would gather information on individuals and organizations deemed to be a threat by the same Attorney General who brought us Ruby Ridge.
This information would then be shared with a wider junta of local Floyd stranglers in order to help those heroes in blue to better combat the amorphous boogeyman known as the anti-government extremist, a species that could easily include anyone and everyone from Black Lives Matter to your local Mennonite co-op. The language of this thing sent shivers down my spine. To a subcultural history fiend like myself it was hard to ignore the similarities between the language of Barr’s witch-hunt memo and the Nixonian double-speak of J. Edgar Hoover’s Cointelpro, the notorious FBI pogrom that worked with local law enforcement to combat the similarly vague threats to democracy posed by the likes of the Students for a Democratic Society and the Black Panther Party. Cointelpro began as a filthy little memo that ended in a veritable dirty war waged by glorified death squads with badges, stoking violence between competing radicals and assassinating them themselves when poison pen letters failed to produce the desired body count. With Trump’s law and order jihad in fool bloom, I fear that we could very well be ramping up to a bloody sequel to J. Edna’s love letter to the Third Reich, and anti-government extremists like myself could easily find our smoked and shimmering ass-cracks in the crosshairs.
The most novel thing about this underreported scoop, aside from its creepy parallels to one of the federal government’s darker chapters, was the fact that only two movements were singled out by Barr’s memo, and both were movements that I had personally held rather low opinions of until recent events led me to reconsider what I thought I knew about them, the seemingly diametrically apposed leftists of Antifa and the conservative Boogaloo Bois. Both groups have been roundly vilified by mainstream commentators on both sides of the aisle rendering them convenient scapegoats in partisan food fights. According to Fox News, Antifa is a bloodthirsty pirate army second only to Black Lives Matter in their pathological hatred for the nuclear family and traditional democratic values. And according to Roger Ailes’ neo-McCarthyite doppelgangers over at CNN and MSNBC, Boogaloo represents pretty much the same damn thing. The ironic thing is that, once again, in their downright flamboyant ignorance, they’re both kind of right, but my own ignorance needed to be confronted before I could see the revolution for the mob.