A Tuesday New York Times newsletter claimed most extremist violence in the U.S. comes from the political right.
Reporter David Leonhardt cited a report from the Anti-Defamation League, saying 450 murders were by political extremists, for his claims. “Of these 450 killings, right-wing extremists committed about 75 percent. Islamic extremists were responsible for about 20 percent, and left-wing extremists were responsible for 4 percent,” Leonhardt stated.
“Nearly half of the murders were specifically tied to white supremacists,” added the Times reporter. The newsletter noted the data looked at the years between 2012 and 2021.
Following the link provided by Leonhardt contradicts his initial assertions because the ADL statement notes 333 murders between 2012 and 2021. Further, the group asserts that 75 percent of those murders were performed by white supremacists. Reading their explanation about how they arrived at their numbers shows a twisted logic was used.
“Extremists often engage in violence related to their group or movement that may not involve attacking an enemy,” the ADL statement claimed. “For example, extremists sometimes murder suspected informants in their own ranks; they may also kill rival members of their own group or of another group.”
Anyone who has binged “Sons of Anarchy” knows “snitches get stiches.” Yet, the ADL appears to lump that into examples of white supremacy extremism, along with rubbing out rivals to gain power. Those murders are crimes, committed by criminals, but do they have anything to do with advancing a political belief?
“Additionally, members of some extremist groups—particularly those that take the form of gangs—may kill while committing ‘traditional’ crimes, such as those involving illegal drugs,” the group added. So, they appear to lump drug-related homicides in their compilation of extremist violence statistics. The authors have apparently read Mark Twain and appreciated his axiom that there are “lies, damned lies and statistics.”
The ADL manifesto slides further down their slippery slope, saying: “white supremacists and toxic masculinity extremists may play a role in enabling incidents of deadly domestic violence—or other violent acts as well.”
A report by the Daily Caller illustrated how statistics painting Republicans as extremists could be skewed by including details of one such crime.
Shawn Lichtfuss reportedly vandalized synagogues using “white supremacist graffiti” and distributed neo-Nazi fliers. He allegedly killed his wife in a domestic violence dispute in August 2021, according to the ADL report. The case was included in the total accounting of extremist violence, the Daily Caller report noted.
The report included several examples of criminals doing stupid criminal things that were clearly not examples of political extremism. Yet, they got lumped into the ADL’s numbers.
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