The suspect in the Overland Park, Kansas, Jewish Center murders, Frazier Glenn Miller, who goes by the name of Fraiser Glen Cross, Jr., turns out of course, to be the former Grand Dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of the White Patriot Party – oh, and a supporter of David Duke.
CNN reported this morning that, “Video from CNN affiliate KMBC showed the suspect sitting in the back of a patrol car and shouting, ‘Heil Hitler.'”
Cross has called Jews “swarthy, hairy, bow-legged, beady-eyed, parasitic midgets.”
Yet Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said Sunday night at a press conference that it was “too early to label it” a hate crime. The suspect had a shotgun and possibly other guns as well. Yes, and it’s also too early to label guns deadly.
C’mon folks. The guy has been printing The Aryan Alternative since 2005,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. To have to say it’s a racist tabloid is redundant. The man is Julius Streicher reborn.
Look, I’m not trying to connect A to B here, but we just had the Family Research Council’s Jerry Boykin tell conservatives (because who else listens to him?) that “Jews are the problem” and the cause of all the problems in the world,” and Pat Robertson just quipped the other day that Jews are too busy polishing their diamonds to polish cars.
Does it surprise anyone that Religious Right Islamophobes are also anti-Semites? Does it surprise anyone at all? For 2,000 years extremist Christianity has been making a living destroying every alternative to itself, starting with the Pagans of the Roman Empire, before moving on to Northern and Eastern Europe. Along the way it persecuted Jews and Muslims and ethnic religion wherever it found it, Old World, New World, and beyond.
And yes, they’ve got plans for you, too.
In a state with a religious freedom law, could Cross’ actions be defended on grounds of religion? It is not a big step from Stand Your Ground, after all.
Anti-Semitism is as much a part of conservative Christianity as the belief that Jesus died for your sins and has been around longer. Crusaders used to slaughter Jews in the Rhineland on their way to the Middle East. Even other types of Christians weren’t safe, as the Eastern Romans found to their dismay when the fanatics of the First Crusade tramped through Roman lands.
It should surprise no one that the killer of Overland Park was a white supremacist. It should give us all pause and put us doubly on alert for Republican politicians with close ties to white supremacists, particularly in light of the new “religious freedom” bill craze, allowing extremist Christians to persecute anyone of whom they do not approve.
And yes, Rand Paul, I am looking at you.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in a press release Sunday said,
The attacks on the Jewish community centers in Overland Park are a cowardly, unspeakable and heinous act of violence,” said Karen Aroesty, ADL St. Louis Regional Director. “While it is too early to label these shootings as a hate crime, the fact that two Jewish institutions were targeted by the same individual just prior to the start of the Passover holiday is deeply troubling and certainly gives us pause. We have reached out to local, state and federal law enforcement and stand willing and able to offer guidance and assistance to the community if this incident turns out to have been motivated by anti-Semitism.
I think it is a safe bet that it was motivated by anti-Semitism. “Heil Hitler!” can hardly mean anything else. Passover was about to start and Hitler’s birthday is on April 20. White supremacists are popping up all over the place.
Just last week, ADL sent out a security bulletin to Jewish community institutions across the country warning of the increased potential for violent attacks against community centers in the coming weeks, which coincide both with the Passover holiday and Hitler’s birthday on April 20, a day around which in the United States has historically been marked by extremist acts of violence and terrorism, including the violence at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas and the Oklahoma City Bombing.
So on the one hand, we’ve got fundamentalist gun and Bible Christian fanatics who seem largely to be Tea Party supporters and we’ve got these people now demanding a military overthrow of President Obama, and we’ve got Hitler’s birthday and a bunch of white men dressed up like Nazis at a Minnesota restaurant on MLK Day…
No, you know what, you’re right Republicans: there’s no racism in America. None at all. Just like the federal government never freed the slaves, Jim DeMint. We’ll just pretend President Lincoln never signed the Emancipation Proclamation, shall we? And anyway, what does slavery matter? We all know, because you said so repeatedly, that black people were better off as slaves.
Wake up, America. Guns kill people. Racists and religious bigots with guns kill people. The Religious Right will be blaming liberalism, atheism and secularism and the lack of prayer in public schools by this morning, if they have not started already.
But this tragedy did not come about because of liberal ideals. We can’t know Cross’ motivations until he says anything, if he says anything at all. But it isn’t difficult to see a connection between a white supremacist killing Jews and the nonstop hate parade coming from Tea Party and Religious Right sources (often indistinguishable). The surprise is not that there have been shootings and deaths. The surprise is that there have not been more of them.
Image from ABC2 News
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.