Black nationalist terror has been around for some time. But the Obama era, especially post-Ferguson, marked a major upswing in black nationalist violence. And the FBI is belatedly addressing the threat, particularly to law enforcement.
“The FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence,” reads the report, marked for official use only and obtained by Foreign Policy.
Among the six acts of premeditated violence linked to black identity extremists — it excludes violence toward police carried out in the normal course of their duties — the reports cites the July 2016 shooting of 11 police officers in Dallas. The shooter, Micah Johnson, was reportedly angry at police violence.
“Based on Johnson’s journal writings and statements to police, he appeared to have been influenced by BIE ideology,” the FBI report states. The attack took place during a Black Lives Matter protest of police shootings, though the BLM movement is not mentioned by name in the report.
The FP piece is predictably dedicated to attacking the report. As is the general media reaction. There are accusations of racism. Which are rather backward considering that black nationalist groups tend to be rather racist themselves.
Black nationalist violence is obviously real. The bizarre attempts to argue otherwise are simply... bizarre.
“They are grouping together Black Panthers, black nationalists, and Washitaw Nation,” said the former homeland security official. “Imagine lumping together white nationals, white supremacists, militias, neo-Nazis, and calling it ‘white identity extremists.’”
The FBI is linking the people discussed in the report based only on them being black, rather than on any sort of larger ideological connection, the official said. “The race card is being played here deliberately.”
The race card is being played by black nationalists. If the FBI had grouped together BLM and the Black Chamber of Commerce, there would be reason to object. Black nationalists are being grouped together as white nationalists frequently have been.
Michael German, a former FBI agent and now a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s liberty and national security program, said manufacturing this type of threat was not new. He has criticized earlier FBI reports on “black separatists,” arguing that they conflated radical groups operating in the 1970s with attacks in 2010 and later, even though there was no obvious connection.
The use of terms like “black identity extremists” is part of a long-standing FBI attempt to define a movement where none exists. “Basically, it’s black people who scare them,” German said.
Does this level of dishonesty even need to be commented on? Or what it says about the Brennan Center?
The same folks who are very keen on fighting white supremacists urgently want to give black supremacists a pass? And what's the actual difference between them? Racism, check. Racial supremacism, check. Violence, check. Genocidal fantasies, check.
Oh right. Some forms of racism are better than others because they're "reverse racism".
In 2009, Daryl Johnson, then a Department of Homeland Security intelligence analyst, warned of the rise of right-wing extremism, setting off a firestorm among congressional critics. Johnson, who left the department in 2010, said he could think of no reason why the FBI would create a new category for so-called black identity extremists. “I’m at a loss,” he replied, when asked about the term.
There have been concerns about rising violence among black separatist groups in recent years, he said, but it does not approach the threat of right-wing extremism. “When talking about white supremacists versus black supremacists, there are way more white supremacists,” Johnson said.
There are also more white people than black people. But lately there's been more black nationalist violence than white nationalist violence.