As we recognize the Anti-Indian Movement on the Tribal Frontier 25-year anniversary, I recommend reading A Mandate from God: Christian White Supremacy in the US, which examines the driving force of the movement, located in Christian Identity doctrine. The Christian Patriots who adhere to this doctrine, i.e. the militias, are a much greater threat to democracy than the American Nazi Party or Ku Klux Klan.
As evidence, it was Christian Patriots who blew up the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, and Christian Patriots who, in 1997, were convicted in U.S. District Court in Seattle for building bombs to murder human rights activists (see Shining a Light). As noted in Part 1, Givers and Takers, Tom Williams (CERA board member and Minuteman militia member) co-organized the 2013 Anti-Indian Conference in Bellingham, Washington.
My focus on the Wise Use/Christian Patriot nexus of the Anti-Indian Movement helps readers understand how corporate funding combined with vigilante violence is facilitated by intermediaries in the Tea Party and GOP. As implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) becomes a significant basis for the exercise of jurisdiction by indigenous nations in Canada and the US, the most virulent opposition will come from the true believers of Christian Identity.
Understanding this milieu, and how it relates to other sectors of the anti-Indian movement, is essential to effective indigenous human rights organizing.
As noted by Paul de Armond in A Time for New Beginnings (see Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, vol 22, issue 2, 1999), Wise Use and Christian Patriots are located within the American fascist movement, as evidenced by the militia organizing drive in 1994. In his article, de Armond urged a behavioral definition of fascism, such as the Reagan administration’s use of the American extreme right to organize paramilitary action in Central America.
De Armond reminds readers that it was state and local governments that used armed right-wing paramilitaries like the Klan to attack civil rights activists in the 1960s, and that there is a continuity of the American paramilitary right that includes the Klan, Minutemen, Aryan Nations, Militia of Montana, Covenant Sword and Arm of the Lord. As he observes, there have been three waves of right-wing militia organizing since the 1960s, and that “It is only in the case of the most horrifying or politically inflammatory violence that significant law enforcement resources have been committed.”
In his end notes, Paul remarks that fascism is a rationalization of theft, just as statism is a rationalization of power, capitalism is a rationalization of acquisition, and sociopathy is a rationalization of the irrational. “Anti-fascism,” he observes, “is a form of informational public health, related to epidemiology.”
As de Armond remarked at Metafilter, 1 October 2010, the sunlight v shunning debate is an old one. Every time there has been a crisis, he says, the sunlight approach wins.
The key to defeating reactionary racist politics is education and exposure. They work mostly by deception, infiltration and subversion and these tactics are impossible when they are subject to scrutiny and exposure leading to confrontation and rejection.
As Paul notes, “The worst setbacks to the Tea Party have been due to exposure, not people trying to ignore them.”
The Christian Identity religion began in 1948, when Wesley Swift incorporated the Church of Jesus Christ Christian in Los Angeles. The central belief in Christian Identity doctrine is the existence of two races on earth: a godly white race descended from Adam, and a satanic race fathered by Satan. Swift died in 1970 and Richard Butler assumed control, moving the church to Idaho, where he renamed it Aryan Nations.
As de Armond observed, “The function of religion in the lives of these men was to provide a theological justification for their racism and anti-Semitism. Stated another way, racism and anti-Semitism were their religion.”
The white supremacist movement, which seeks to bring about the collapse of the US, might be unrealistic in its aim to establish a racial nationalist state, but it is certain they will continue to use all means at their disposal to achieve that unrealistic goal. These means include bombings, sabotage, undermining discipline in the armed forces, counterfeiting, tax evasion, bank robbery, subversion of local governments and law enforcement, fraud, and attempts at nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare.
As Paul de Armond observed in 1996, the notion of Christian Identity doctrine as the motor for militant white supremacy is widely shared among experts. Many of the most violent white supremacist groups have either been led by or composed of individuals who are identity believers. Recruitment and militant action by Christian Patriots is in essence a holy war.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here