I was born and brought up in Britain, as a British citizen. I am not blind to its faults, nor do I deny its many virtues. But ask me how I identify myself and I will reply with a long list: I’m British, I’m European, I’m a Londoner, I’m a male, I’m a journalist, I’m a father and a husband. Less than two weeks before I acquired my German citizenship, a gunman in Pittsburgh murdered 11 Jews in a synagogue. The following day I received an email from a woman I met four years ago on a visit to Germany with my father. She wrote from Magdeburg, an ancient university town where some of my father’s family had lived, and from where three of his cousins were deported to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. This is what she said: “It is 80 years since the synagogues were attacked here, and we all know that it was the prelude to millions of murders. Since 1945, and every year since then, when we remember what happened, we realise how important it is to fight back from the beginning.”
This Latino family was detained by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office for approximately four hours, without any reason to believe that they had committed a crime. During the detention, the deputy – who announced that he was looking for “illegals” – confiscated the family’s passports and valid immigration documents, and repeatedly threatened the father, Marcos Martinez, with losing his lawful permanent residency if he did not admit to possessing drugs. Despite two invasive searches and extensive questioning during last year’s stop, no drugs or any other evidence of criminal activity was found. The family’s only “crime” was that they looked Latino.
Sheriff Geoff Dean said his department had had several interactions with Long, including a call to his home in April for a complaint of disturbing the peace. Deputies at the time said Long was irate and acting irrationally, Dean said. They called in mental health professionals to evaluate him, and they concluded he did not need to be taken into custody.
Videos appearing to feature Scott Paul Beierle include complaints about how black people dress and speak, and a rant about women
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In March 2018, a 20-year-old white evangelical Christian named Mark Anthony Conditt laid a series of homemade I.E.D.s around Austin, Tex., in largely minority communities. The bombs killed two African-Americans and injured at least four others over the course of several weeks, terrorizing the city, yet the local authorities preferred to describe Conditt, who committed suicide, as a “very challenged young man.” Also last spring, another white man, 28-year-old Benjamin Morrow, blew himself up in his apartment in Beaver Dam, Wis., while apparently constructing a bomb. Federal investigators said Morrow’s apartment doubled as a “homemade explosives laboratory.” There was a trove of white-supremacist literature in Morrow’s home, according to the F.B.I. But local cops, citing Morrow’s clean-cut demeanor and standout record as a quality-control manager at a local food-processing plant, made sure to note that just because he had this material didn’t mean he was a white supremacist. “He could have been an individual that was doing research,” the local police chief said.
Trump does not need to mention Soros’ Jewish identity at all; the implication of mentioning Soros in the first place is totally clear. That’s the beauty of dog-whistling — the president doesn’t have to talk about “the Jewish agenda” to make clear to his followers who or what he is referring to. And while Trump may actually only be talking about Soros — who holds significant political and economic power — his most radical followers make no distinction between Soros as a person and Soros as codeword for “Jews.” Robert Bowers may have despised HIAS and its support for refugees and immigrants, but his attack on a Jewish place of worship is proof that Trump’s brand of veiled anti-Semitism is no less dangerous than the kind one finds on the front page of the Daily Stormer. That is what precisely makes it so sinister: the president knows exactly what he is doing. He is well aware of what kind of violence his remarks can inspire and fuel, yet he continues to make them anyway.
Earlier last week, Mr. Dobbs tweeted twice claiming that bomb threats aimed at the news media and prominent Democrats were false. He later deleted the tweets.
After Pittsburgh, Americans need to ask more of their leaders, and of each other.
Responses to the three attacks have been predictable. Far-right pundits and websites claimed the pipe bombings were a “false flag” operation, continuing to spread bizarre conspiracy theories even after the suspect was arrested. Conservatives pulled out their usual “crazy person” defense, calling attack after attack an “incident”. Trump functioned, as always, as the amplifier-in-chief, initially suggesting a false flag operation with regard to the pipe bomber and calling the Pittsburgh shooter “a maniac”, before using the tragedy to call upon houses of worship to arm themselves and to openly muse about the importance of reinstating the death penalty – nationwide, I assume. Advertisement The media played its usual role, too. Don’t even try to look for the words “terror” or “terrorist”. The suspects are “attackers” or “shooters” and journalists bend over backwards to not “jump to conclusions” on their motives. Instead, they are happily speculating about their mental health, as if that would exclude the possibility of far-right terrorism.