Falling Economy, Desperation, Attracts Extremism
The Right’s ability to capitalize on people’s sense of grievance must not be underestimated.
Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party may be on the brink of financial collapse, but the neo-Nazi scene is alive and kicking. And, experts warn, it is becoming more dangerous.
BERLIN, Mar 19, 2009 — The threat of illicit neo-Nazi activity in Germany is increasing despite the financial struggles of the National Democratic Party, an expert says.
Only two months into a new year and a new administration, we are beginning to see the swift rise of anti-immigrant legislation introduced at local and state levels, an immigration raid in Washington, and an increase in the waiting list for English language courses. What we are not seeing is change from broken policies and legislation drafted by nativist lobbying groups. In times of economic recession, immigrants are scape-goated and terrorized by hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Minute-Men, despite the fact our economy relies on low-wage immigrant labor. Recent F.B.I. reports detail the increase of anti-Hispanic hate crimes in direct relation anti-immigrant legislation. How much longer can we allow hate-filled groups and rhetoric to block real
solutions to real problems?
According to the survey, carried out by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (EVA) and published on 9 March, although the “traditionally distrustful” attitudes of Finns towards immigrants softened slightly in recent years, attitudes are once again showing “renewed signs of cooling off”. 57 per cent of respondents agreed completely or partly with the statement that “Wariness of foreigners shows that Finns are wisely cautious, not ignorant or racist”. 67 per cent of respondents also believe “Finns should actively protect their cultural distinctiveness against internationalisation”.
Bigotry and xenophobia are rife in modern Italy, says Andrea Mammone – and the problem goes all the way to the top of politics
Hate groups are attracting more disenfranchised.
White supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and the Council of Conservative Citizens have seen a flood of interest from possible new members since the landmark election of the first black president in US history.
Far right groups are also capitalising on rising unemployment in the economic downturn and a demographic shift that could make whites a minority by mid-century, the Southern Poverty Law Centre said.
“We have seen a fairly dramatic backlash over the last three or four weeks, since the final weeks of the campaign,” said Mark Potok of the Centre, based in Montgomery, Alabama which monitors far right groups.
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY in 2000 Measures to combat contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
A repeat of the xenophobic violence that swept through South Africa – killing at least 62 people and displacing 100,000 others – will return if the government continues to ignore its origins, says a report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
A survey in 2006 found “pervasive xenophobic attitudes among police officers”, with 87 percent of police believing that most undocumented migrants in Johannesburg were “involved in crime, and over 78 percent believed that foreigners caused a lot of crime, regardless of immigration status.”
The study found that the “reluctance” of the police and local leaders to intervene in defence of the victims of xenophobia was because, in some cases, “They supported the community’s hostile attitudes towards foreign nationals; in others, they feared losing legitimacy and political positions if they were seen as defending unpopular groups.”
In America there are growing fringe elements that attract the despaired and disenfranchised. This article from Los Angeles City Beat is very revealing. It illustrates the attraction of identifying a tangible, mythical or mystical reason for the distress Americans experience in a treacherous economy. Doomsday cults are also on the rise.