Apparently, Violent Extremism Doesn't Exist

Michael Harriot
·4 min read

A new study on the Jan. 6 insurrection, rally and jumping-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol Building determined that most of the participants in the Mutiny on the Ballot were regular schmegular white people just like me and you.

The investigation, conducted by the George Washington University Program on Extremism, analyzed arrest information, court documents and other data, according to NBC. Aside from the Confederate flags, the flagpole police beatings and wanting to overthrow the government, analysts concluded that the insurgents “were not connected to extremist groups or to one another.”

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The report found that “33 of those charged were involved with militant networks and that 82 were connected with others through networks of like-minded believers.” But the researchers determined that 142 of the people who were charged with a crime were just self-motivated, like-minded tourists who were spontaneously “inspired by a range of extremist narratives, conspiracy theories, and personal motivations.”

NBC reports:

While only about three dozen of those charged were part of extremist groups, their participation “was likely a necessary precondition for the escalation of violence from an angry riot into a breach of Capitol security,” the report said. Prosecutors have accused members of three groups — the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters and the Proud Boys — of conspiring to come to Washington and stage violent protesters.

“The groups that these individuals represent potentially pose the largest threat of enacting follow-on attacks in the future,” the study said.

Federal prosecutors have accused members of the groups of formulating plans to attack the Capitol. But court documents have yet to disclose evidence supporting the notion that a single person or group hatched a plan to break into the Capitol and disrupt the electoral vote count, which formalized President Joe Biden’s election win, before a joint session of Congress.

But a newer report by Come On Man, a Misleading Opinion is Not Fooling Us, Cuz we Know It’s Non-Goddamned-Sensical, Even Numbskulls See the Extremism (COMMONFUCKINGSENSE) determined that George Washington University’s Program on Extremism has its own dictionary containing entirely different definitions for “extremists.” And “group.” And—according to how words work—they must also have a whole new meaning for “connected.”

Or, apparently, a group of extreme-acting white people cannot be an “extremist group.”

Perhaps COMMONFUCKINGSENSE is biased because they define a “violent extremism” as “encouraging, condoning, justifying, or supporting the commission of a violent act to achieve political, ideological, religious, social, or economic goals.” To be fair, they got that sentence from a very unreliable source that, some would argue, has no place in this discussion:

It’s the definition of violent extremism used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Wait, I may have discovered how those people were all connected.

Aside from the clothes that showed their political affiliation, supporting a political candidate and attending an event sponsored by a political party, has anyone tried to find out if the insurrectionists who committed an act of violence to achieve their political goals shared a political connection?

Of course, if there were that many of them, they probably wouldn’t be registered as a political organization. They wouldn’t gather together in the open and broadcast their extreme views to the world. They’d have to be more clandestine than that. Sure, the rank and file might be crazy, but not the leaders.

Didn’t Donald Trump, Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz “encourage the commission of a violent act” to achieve the same political goals? Who do we know that justifies violence against Black people because their group is partially funded by police unions? Is there a group that condones hatred of LGBTQ people and supports the spreading of a deadly virus because they want to achieve their economic goals?

Of course, we’ll need more research to prove this. We probably don’t have any data that shows how the extremists infiltrated the courts and treat a certain group of people differently. What if the extremists were a part of the federal legislature? Even worse, that if one became president?

I think COMMONFUCKINGSENSE may be on to something.

I think someone may want to look at that.

If only we had a federal bureau that investigated things.

OK, maybe that’s too extreme.