chapter  4
6 Pages

Militia nation 1

WithChip Berlet, Matthew N. Lyons

The growth of armed militias has been rapid, with new units appearing on a weekly basis. Many militia members also believe in a variety of conspiracy theories that identify a secret elite that controls the government, the economy, and the culture. Militia-like organizations have existed within the right for many years in the form of Ku Klux Klan klaverns, the Order cell, and the Posse Comitatus. To stereotype every armed militia member as a Nazi terrorist not only increases polarization in an already divided nation; it also lumps together persons with unconscious garden-variety prejudice and the demagogues and professional race-hate organizers. The armed militias are riding the crest of a historically significant Right-wing populist revolt in America. There is an undercurrent of resentment within the Patriot movement against what are seen as the unfair advantages the government gives to people of color and women through such programs as affirmative action.