An Editorial by Heather Warburton
Just last week, I attended a presentation by the NJ Attorney General about the rising levels of bias crimes and antisemitism in NJ. This comes in the wake of NJ Officials raising our threat level to high from white supremacist and extremist groups following the shooting in Jersey City. NJ isn’t unique in this respect. In 2018, A Pittsburgh man murdered 11 people in a synagogue because he believed George Soros was controlling a migrant caravan in a scheme to destabilize society and slaughter “patriots” like him. ( https://www.vox.com/2018/11/2/15946556/antisemitism-enlightenment-george-soros-conspiracy-theory-globalist )
By now you may be asking yourself what does all this have to do with the resolution the Atlantic County Freeholder Board is considering this Tuesday. Across the country we are seeing a rise in far right wing militia groups like Patriot Prayer, The OathKeeprs, and the 3%ers.
Unite The Right
Most people probably first heard of them during the “Unite The Right Rally” in Charlottesville. They showed up on the scene in military style fatigues carrying various weapons. These militias claimed they were providing “security” for the event. Scenes from Unite The Right burned into our memories. From the chants like “The Jews will not replace us” and “Blood and Soil”. To when a white nationalist drove his car into a crowd of people, murdering one and injuring dozens
These right wing militia groups share many of the same beliefs and
conspiracy theories as the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter. You can sum up the
conspiracy theory as follows:
1) Our government is illegitimate. It is being controlled by some secret elite group with the aim of destruction of what they consider the “American” way of life. Currently militias are calling them the “New World Order” , but it could be the Illuminati, The Rothschild Family or Reptilian Aliens (they all make about as much sense)
2) This secret cabal is amassing some kind of foreign army that they intend use to invade US soil.
3) This foreign army is going to strip away the right to own guns and lock us all in some sort of FEMA camp or walled cities while the shadow government enact their evil plans.
These beliefs form the basis of The Oathkeeprs “10 Orders We Will Not Follow” https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/oath-keepers
A New Trick Based in Old Biases
These anti-government extremist groups are also behind so called “Second Amendment Sanctuary” measures across Oregon and Virginia. Also like the one the Atlantic County Freeholder Board is considering Tuesday. https://www.corvallisadvocate.com/2018/new-powers-for-oregon-sheriffs/
I can’t help but ask who on the freeholder board actually believes the paranoid delusions of these conspiracy theories? More importantly do they understand this particular conspiracy theory finds its roots in antisemitism? This particular delusion is based off the so called “Jewish Puppet Master” conspiracy theory. It pops up again and again through history. Most devastatingly, when The Protocols of The Elders of Zion helped incite the violence that led to the Holocaust. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/protocols-of-the-elders-of-zion
Dig deep enough on the internet and you always come back to this conspiracy theory. ( https://www.wired.com/2017/03/internet-protocols-elders-zion/ )
Now, Atlantic County finds itself in the center of it. We all know this measure means nothing in terms of legislation. Our county sheriff is not going to ignore state and federal gun legislation. Would the freeholders even want that to happen? I am no fan of police, but do the freeholders want to empower militias to take over their jobs?
Or do they admit this is symbolic legislation? That symbolism inspires fear, distrust, and paranoia. That is what the freeholders must vote on. I question the motivation of any freeholder who votes yes on this. Are you going to score political points on the backs of your neighbors? In their fears and tears? Or do you actually agree with these militia groups and their conspiracy theories? I don’t even know which one is worse.