THE WASHINGTON POST.- The People’s New Black Panther Party and the Washitaw Nation have vastly different ideologies and no direct ties to each other, but they are part of a broad landscape of black nationalist groups playing a role in America’s violent summer 2016.Más...
“There are a few big groups and a lot of little ones, and they are growing in an echo chamber where all they hear is ‘anger, anger, anger, anger, anger,’ ” said J.J. MacNab, an author and George Washington University researcher who specializes in extremism.
Some of these groups espouse extremist, anti-government views, and their numbers jumped from 113 groups in 2014 to 180 last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremism.
Ryan Lenz, an SPLC analyst, said that increase has partly been a response to a rise in white supremacist and white nationalist activity amid the racially charged environment of past two years, including the 2016 presidential campaign. For example, SPLC figures show that the number of Ku Klux Klan chapters increased from 72 in 2014 to 190 last year.
There is tremendous racial tension in this political environment,” Lenz said. “The idea of an ‘us-versus-them’ ideology is being pushed very heavily no matter what political camp you are from.”
Analysts said it was impossible to determine exactly how many people are involved in black nationalist groups. But officials at both the SPLC and the Anti-Defamation League, which also tracks extremism, said the numbers were probably in the hundreds at most. A former FBI official who supervised domestic terrorism cases in recent years also said, “We are talking dozens of people.”
Most of the black nationalist groups have formed in response to a perception that U.S. society is deeply racist against black people. How they organize themselves and what they actually do to achieve those goals varies greatly.
Some simply seem to exist as online forums for expressing rage, often against police. One group Johnson had “liked” on Facebook was the African American Defense League, which has a photo of an arsenal of guns as its profile picture.
Even though the group has more than 1,000 likes on Facebook, Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, called it “one guy with a Facebook page” and limited influence.
Following the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., the Anti-Defamation League said the site featured a photo of Wilson with this notation: “When you find Dar¬ren Wil¬son you know what to do! Who-ever finds him knows what must be done! Take every¬thing that he took from Mike Brown.”
A similar group, the Black Riders Liberation Party, which calls for armed revolution against racism in America, has a Facebook page with more than 9,600 likes. It is run by a man who calls himself General T.A.C.O. — short for “Taking All Capitalists Out” — who calls police “pigs.”
Earlier this month, the group posted on its Facebook page in response to police killings in Louisiana and Minnesota: “It’s on in 2016! R.I.P. to Alton Sterling in La and Philando Castile in Minnesota! We need recruits everywhere! Arm yourself of Harm yourself!”
Segal said those smaller groups “orbit around” the New Black Panther Party, a black militant separatist group started in Dallas in 1989, but don’t directly coordinate their efforts with them.
Other groups are larger and more formally organized, holding meetings and attending rallies, often wearing the classic militant uniform of black clothes and a black beret. In some cases, they carry weapons.