Right-Wing Extremist Groups Fight to Turn Back the Clock

Right-wing extremist groups are on the rise.

Although one might be tempted to assume their activity is confined mostly to social outcasts languishing in their basements on 4Chan message boards, recently leaked membership data from the neo-Confederate “Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV)” reveals military officers, elected officials, public employees, and a national security expert with “Department of Defense secret security clearance” are among its members.

Alongside them are those who participated in the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, and members of the violent neo-Confederate group League of the South (LoS).

Another extremist group bent on turning back the clock a century or more is the homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, misogynist, anti-vax, anti-choice, anti-in vitro fertilization, anti-public school, anti-premarital sex group “Operation Save America (OSA)“.

That organization has graduated from YouTube, Facebook, and Gab to open protests in streets, city council meetings, and state capitols.

The Guardian reported:

“Once at the fringes, but moving into legislative efforts are protesters like these, abortion ‘abolitionists’ who advocate for women and doctors to be prosecuted under murder statutes. Their name is an appropriation of a term used by anti-slavery organizers before the American civil war.”

OSA literature, like the Doctrine of Lesser Magistrates, encourages so-called “Christians” to defy laws with which zealots disagree.

That text’s author, Matt Trewhella, was among several anti-choice advocates proclaiming in a 1990s letter that abortion providers’ murders are “justifiable homicide.”

Another of the letter’s co-signers, John Brockhoeft, served 26 months in federal prison for the bombing of a Cincinnati, Ohio, abortion clinic and planning an attack on the Pensacola, Fla. Ladies Center.

Brockhoeft was photographed last year (below, in white shirt and baseball cap) at an Ohio statehouse protest over COVID-19 state-at-home orders.

Image credit: Feminist News via Facebook

This anti-choice rhetoric is eerily similar to a jeremiad former Fox so-called “News” anchor Bill O’Reilly used to spout about Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider assassinated in 2009, whom O’Reilly labeled “Tiller the baby killer” for whom there was a “special place in hell.”

OSA’s new leader is Jason Storms, who argues Christian ideology should be the basis of American law lest we suffer “cultural suicide”–racist code for the white “replacement theory” Fox so-called “News” anchor Tucker Carlson spews nearly nightly.

Storms recently dismissed the domestic terror attack on the Capitol Jan. 6, claiming:

“January 6th was a non-issue. There was no insurrection.”

Anu Kumar, president and CEO of Ipas, an international non-profit dedicated to expanding reproductive access, stated:

“The reason they’re [these groups] different–and it’s important–is they are not interested in incremental change. They’re not interested in using regulations. They’re not even that interested in Roe [vs. Wade]. What they’re militant about is defying the courts, defying the constitution, and defying the rule of law.”

She added:

“What’s hard for Americans to understand is the actions by these extremists seem very hyper-local. These are connected movements and the right-wing extremism is actually transnational.”

 Oklahoma, Texas, and Arizona are locations where recent legislation was introduced intending to prosecute abortion as murder.

Anu Kumar explained:

“Most Americans do not actually support these radical extreme points of view and yet we have elected officials who do. Our politics have become extreme, and these groups are responsible.”

Image credit: Wikipedia

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.