On April 24, 2009, Joshua Cartwright was laid off from his job. He had a history of domestic violence, having been arrested on the charge in late 2008 and ordered to attend anger management counseling. His wife would later say he failed to attend these classes.
Early the next morning, Cartwright woke up his wife and started a fight with her because "he could not find the ‘Clearasil’ in the bathroom." After an extended argument which saw her on the receiving end of both verbal and physical abuse, she was able to extricate herself from the apartment and call 911.
Sheriff’s deputies found Joshua Cartwright later that day at a shooting range and attempted to apprehend him. Cartwright shot and killed both officers. Minutes later Cartwright himself, attempting to flee the scene, was killed by law enforcement.
The police report details, in three single-spaced pages, the fight between Cartwright and his wife that morning and the subsequent actions which led to the murder of the two police officers. At the end of the ordeal, almost as an afterthought, Cartwright’s distraught wife, having just learned of his death, tells officers that "her husband believed that the US Government was conspiring against him," and that he "had been severely disturbed that Barack Obama had been elected President."
This, the Southern Poverty and Law Center would have you believe, is an example of radical "Right-wing Extremism."
Cartwright’s case is detailed in a new special report from the organization titled "Age of the Wolf: A Study of the Rise of Lone Wolf and Leaderless Resistance Terrorism." For those not familiar with the SPLC, it helpfully describes itself as a "non-profit organization that combats hate, intolerance and discrimination through education and litigation." Those more familiar with the SPLC will instantly recognize its signature left-wing propaganda.
That this report was issued just a day after a fan of the SPLC gunned down three Muslims in Raleigh, NC is an irony likely lost on the group, which has yet to acknowledge the motivation of Floyd Lee Corkins. He is the manwho used the SPLC’s website to research his attack on the Family Research Council in 2012. The SPLC to this day does not list that attack as a "hate incident" and appears to find some solace in the fact that, while they did target the group,they never published the FRC’s street address.
The language of their latest report is ominous. "No matter the source," concludes the executive summary in what is written to sound like non-partisan language, "we simply cannot afford to ignore the ongoing carnage."
What carnage? The SPLC helpfully details the deaths of 79 people during a six year period from 2009-2015, a number which includes16 assailants. The SPLC, to its credit, does document the four people killed by the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, as well as Tamerlan himself, and the thirteen people killed by Major Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas.However, it also includes, curiously, the 6 people killed by Elliot Rodger in California last year before he shot himself.
For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 28 deaths (including the three attributed to Joshua Cartwright) out of the total of 79 that have nothing to do with the right side of the political spectrum, or just over 35% of the "carnage."
"Analyzing terrorism," the SPLC wants you to know, "comes fraught with pitfalls….What if the attack has a political dimension, but is carried out by someone who is clearly mentally ill?" Ryan Lenz, the principal author of the report, tries to make the reader believe he has wrung his hands in worry over the thought of mischaracterizing an attack,but what the reportinstead demonstrates is the SPLC’s rabidly left-wing worldview.
Neo-Nazi groups are characterized as "right-wing." While this characterization may be common in the media, it makes no logical sense. If the original Nazis werethemselves a product of the left, as Jonah Goldberg has definitively demonstrated, how is it possible that a new group of Nazis find themselves on the right edge of the political spectrum? If the defining characteristic of a Neo-Nazi is a hatred of Jews, then they find some ideological common ground with many Muslims and college activists involved with the BDS movement.
The SPLC report attributes a total of 8 deaths to Neo-Nazis in thereport, which, again, covers a period of 6 years. Without diminishing the seriousness of the hatred inherent in Neo-Nazi ideology, I’ll simply point out that more children (a total of 12) drowned "inside the home in a bucket/container or trash basket that was being used for cleaning" in a five year period between 2005-2009.
If you’re looking for carnage, which the SPLC says we cannot afford to ignore but fails to deliver, then you might want to check out the number of gang-related homicidesin the US. There were 2,363 in 2012 alone (with only 80% of jurisdictions reporting data)and theaverage number of homicides was nearly 2,000 per year from 2007 through 2012.
Or if you’re looking for hate crimes, the Anti-Defamation League reported a total of 927 anti-Semitic incidents in 2012. And although they did not, like the SPLC, attempt to attribute an over-arching political motive to the attacks, one wonders how many of those incidents were perpetrated by Muslims.
But if you’re looking for right-wing terror – or anything that can, like the case of Joshua Cartwright, be tied, plausibly or not, to conservatives – look no further than the Southern Poverty and Law Center. That is the only kind of terror they see.
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