Trump riding on conflicts for his reelection pushes America to greater intensity: analysts

By GT staff reporters Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/2 19:48:40

Battle lines form between white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" against anti-fascist counter-protesters at the entrance to Emancipation Park during the "Unite the Right" rally on August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Photo: AFP

Right-wing extremist forces in the US have been rising since the US situation under Trump's administration has been aggravated during the COVID-19 pandemic, which experts warned would further deepen the US society's division, pushing the country to stronger conflicts away from the ideal of harmonious multiculturalism, as demonstrated in recent riots spreading across the states.

Riots and protests as of Tuesday have spread to at least 140 cities in the US, as well as across the world, after George Floyd's death. Though US President Donald Trump has declared left-wing movement Antifa a "terrorist organization" on his personal twitter account, it does not mean the right-wing is innocent.

Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that far-right's participation in the current riots has been found, quoting Megan Squire, an Elon University computer science professor who tracks online extremism.

John Harrington, the public safety commissioner, said at a press briefing that he now "has evidence of calls by right-wing extremists and white supremacists to come to Minnesota to foster unrest," the MinnPost reported Sunday.

Violent law enforcement by white police toward African-Americans and other ethnic minorities have been frequently reported. "I can't breathe" is just another example of the discrimination against minorities in the US. 

Such conflicts between different ethnic groups have been deepening with the rise of white supremacy, and Trump has been using it for his political gains. With the approaching of the 2020 election, the conflicts will be worsened, experts said.

Right-wing extremists were responsible for the vast majority of extremist-related murders in the US in 2019, killing 38 people, according to US' Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The extremists were also linked to 50 murders in 2018, the most since 1995.

According to the ADL, 73.3 percent of "all extremist-related fatalities can be linked to domestic right-wing extremists, while 23.4 percent can be attributed to Islamic extremists" in the past decade. The website called murders committed by right-wing extremists an "ongoing trend."

The trend was also accelerated during the COVID-19 epidemic, as the far right took the opportunity to enlarge its network and influence. For instance, they were found encouraging supporters to infect police and Jews with the virus, which were uncovered by the FBI in March. A neo-Nazi even plotted to blow up a hospital in Missouri with car bomb in March but was killed by the police, media reported.

Among the politicians, right-wing representatives such as senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton, as well as Trump himself, have been trying to smear China by spreading lies that "China produced and spread the novel coronavirus," which experts said worsened the hostility toward Asian Americans.

Trump is far-right in some degree as shown by his behavior and opinions, and the right wing's power will definitely further intensify the social confrontation in the 2020 election with the pandemic and riots, Li Haidong, an expert from China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing told the Global Times on Monday.

The result is, the right wing will be more willing to solve their problems with more intensive ways, which has turned a harmonious society to one with confrontations and hatred between the right and left wings.

Posted in: IN-DEPTH

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