Back in April 2009, the Department of Homeland Security released a sinister paper. The DHS’ Domestic Extremism Lexicon made a list of groups that they deemed to be violent domestic security threats. As a reader of 71 Republic, it’s likely you’re on a number of them. By publishing this list, the DHS declared war on freedom-fighters across the country. The mainstream media, however, largely ignored the publication despite its serious ramifications.
The Domestic Extremism Lexicon: War on Peace?
The DHS could certainly learn a thing or two from Tolstoy, for it seems they have declared war on peace. The Lexicon states that the definitions for its listed groups address “the nature and scope of the threat” they pose to the United States. Towards the bottom of the list is a particularly surprising one: “violent antiwar extremism”.
The report claims that members of this group “plot acts of violence and terrorism” to oppose the United States’ involvement in foreign wars. What immediately stands out about this is that US involvement in foreign wars is exactly this. When they invade countries whose citizens have no quarrel with ours, when they bomb hospitals and school buses and fund coalitions that do the same, are they not plotting acts of violence and terrorism? War is glorified violence for political gain, and the United States government is one of the largest sponsors of it.
The DHS Twisting the Facts
Meanwhile, the DHS is releasing a statement suggesting that antiwar “extremists” are the enemy. The troubling part here is that the vast majority of antiwar activists aren’t violent at all; that’s a lot of the point of opposing war so vehemently in the first place.
Where might they be getting the grounds to say such a thing of a group of majority peace activists? In the United States, we have to look back a half-century to find any major organized violence at anti-war demonstrations. During the Vietnam War, countless protests took place throughout the United States. Of them all, only a handful ever became violent beyond minor, disorganized scuffles between police and protestors. When violence did occur, it wasn’t the protestors who shot the guns.
Two of the most notable protests occurred in 1970 at the colleges of Kent State and Jackson State. As the timelessly important Neil Young song reminds us, four students died at the hands of the United States government. Police killed two more at Jackson State, and a year later, they killed three in Los Angeles, including one reporter. Some campus clashes did have some student violence but it’s beyond obvious that antiwar protestors were not in the wrong. The DHS doesn’t seem to care, though, labeling people as domestic extremists for the crime of disagreeing with the status quo.
Further DHS Mislabeling
Unfortunately, the extremist label doesn’t stop with antiwar activists. In fact, the Domestic Extremism Lexicon has so many extremist labels that nearly anyone with a libertarian bone in his or her body is bound to fall under at least one. Chillingly, they flag “alternative media” as a term necessary to define as a threat. Giving a platform to ideas “that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets” is dangerous, according to the government. Need any more evidence that the government and the mainstream media are attempting a monopoly on information?
Unsurprisingly, anarchists also make the cut. Believe that the initiation of force is wrong and that government, therefore, is immoral? Congratulations: you’re a domestic terror threat in the eyes of the DHS. You also oppose “ownership of individual property”, apparently. Do you identify yourself as a black separatist? Have you ever been to a protest or committed an act of civil disobedience? Consider yourself a Mexican separatist, a patriot, a member of a militia, or a sovereign citizen? Believe that the income tax violates your rights? I repeat, congratulations: you’re a domestic terror threat.
Them vs You
With the Domestic Extremism Lexicon, the DHS has said one thing and one thing only: that you’re a threat if you publicly don’t like the things that the government is doing. This is precisely why Red Flag laws and similar ideas are so dangerous. When the government makes the criteria, they can disarm anyone they choose, further depriving free and generally peaceful individuals of their rights based on things that they believe or say.
The Department of Homeland Security has little regard for your or your rights. They operate as a branch of one of the more murderous world institutions. Now, they’re lashing out against people with opposing worldviews, all while the mainstream media sits back and watches. Why would they say a thing? The Lexicon helps preserve their status by considering the competition to be dangerous extremists.
The United States has a reputation of being the freest country in the world. But as opposition thought is labeled dangerous, regardless of whether it actually is violent, as questioning mass violence is extremism while supporting it is normal and just, we are undeserving of the label of free.