Apr 28, 2014
“This is making sure justice is done,” said Stephen M. Howe, a district attorney in Overland Park, Kansas, after charging Frazier Glenn Miller for shooting and killing three people at a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish assisted-living complex.
Justice? Not hardly. Not for William Corporon, Reat Underwood and Terri LaManno. They are dead because Miller, an avowed Klansman, Nazi and white supremacist with a long history of racist violence, decided to kill Jews. If they are dead, it is because the authorities had no qualms about leaving Miller free to murder again.
The 73-year-old Miller had made a long career out of violence, murder and openly calling for genocide. In 1979, Miller belonged to a Nazi group called the National Socialist Party of America. He was with them in Greensboro, North Carolina, when they attacked an anti-Klan protest march and murdered five communists. But the cops gave Miller a free pass.
Not even an arrest.
Miller went on to found and lead the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party. He got part of the 3.8 million dollars stolen in an armored truck robbery. He stockpiled weapons and explosives stolen from Fort Bragg and other military bases – including armor piercing anti-tank rockets and C-4 explosives. He and his buddies marched in military formation up and down the Atlantic Seaboard, threatening black people, Jewish people and “traitors to the white race.” They burnt crosses. They meted out violence against anyone they crossed paths with. They planned assassinations.
And the police gave them a free pass.
At one point the cops put Miller away for a couple of years on a charge of attempting to obtain stolen Army weapons! But he was out soon enough, free to spew his poison and hate. It was hardly a slap on the wrist.
The authorities in this country have always nurtured and protected groups like the Klan, Nazis – or in earlier times, the Black Legion and the White Citizens Councils. In a society divided into rich and poor, into capitalists and workers – those on top use violence to maintain their rule against all the working people of this country.
The police are used to break strikes. The FBI gathers information about people who would dare to organize the oppressed or oppose U.S. wars. But there are also unofficial groups. These groups may be made up of hoodlums and thugs, or ruined members of the middle class. But behind the scenes, they have ties to law enforcement, just as Miller had ties to the army and local sheriffs. And they get funding from local businesses and big companies alike.
During the civil rights movement in the South, the FBI had informers and agents inside the Klan and they often took part in attacks, sometimes led them. Local police barely hid their faces behind Klan robes. During the union organizing drives of the 1930s, GM bankrolled the Black Legion and relied on foremen and managers to run the Legion.
Today, extreme right wing groups maintain themselves on a daily diet of racism and hatred. Some patrol the Southern border and attack immigrants. Others carry out campaigns against abortion and women’s health clinics. Some blow up buildings. Others assassinate doctors. And, as always, black people are their special targets.
In the future, when economic conditions get worse and anger grows, we can be sure that these groups, which look somewhat marginal today – “Kooks” – will be at the forefront of attacks against the working class when it fights.
It would be an enormous mistake for workers to think these extreme-right wing groups are not a danger. And it would be a tragic mistake for white workers to succumb to their racist poison. The working class, the whole working class, will have to prepare to defend itself against these violent defenders of capitalism.