Moths to a flame: JT Ready and Political Extremism. Author: RaineDate:05/03/2012 14:42:27
Too many times I hear or read of these stories-- Gunman shoots family, self in murder suicide and I lament gun violence in our society... and then I think -- was it a Fox News viewer? Was it what we call a wingnut? I know that this has often created much ire, and people get pissed off if I write of this ponderance. The Arizona shooting yesterday proved to be no different.
J.T. Ready, Arizona's most prominent neo-Nazi and the one-time political protégé of recalled state Senate President Russell Pearce, reportedly is dead by his own hand in what's described as a multiple murder-suicide in Gilbert that left four others slain, including a 2-year- old.
A one-time member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, Ready, 39, was a committed white supremacist, a former Republican precinct committeeman, and a failed candidate for the Mesa City Council.
Charismatic and articulate, he was once a rising star in Arizona's burgeoning, anti-Mexican nativist movement where his inflammatory rhetoric and radical political ideas were largely embraced.
This is horrible enough. Two women, one man and a young child are dead by the hands of a man who had been the focus of hate watch groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, as well as other groups. He was well known, and embraced by some politicians in Arizona. Russell Pierce actually ordained Ready as an elder in the Church of Latter Day saints. He wasn't the only politician at the baptism. It is safe to say he was known in political circles in Arizona.
Here is J.T. being interviewed by a Ron Paul supporter at an Occupy event. People will start telling you this guy is a Dem. When they do, remind them he did so to run against Arizona's Pinal County Sheriff, Paul Babeu. You may remember him:
Sen. John McCain said he still supports friend and political supporter Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu — who has been accused of threatening to deport an ex-boyfriend.
“I appreciate the support he gave me in my campaign, always will," McCain (R-Ariz.) told ABC’s "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" Sunday.
Last week, the media reported that recognized Neo-Nazi and white supremacist Jason (J.T.) Ready switched parties to run as a Democrat for Pinal County Sheriff.
The Pinal County Democratic Party did not recruit, does not endorse or back Ready. It is without question that Ready's hate philosophy does not reflect the principles and values of the Democratic Party.
Ready must secure nominating petition signatures from Democrats to get on the 2012 ballot from Democrats in Pinal County.
The Pinal County Democratic Party urges Democrats not to sign any petitions for Pinal County Sheriff, until all Democratic candidates for the office of Sheriff enter the race.
So, to be clear, this was NOT the actions of a Dem. It was the actions of an ultra-conservative.
I'm not saying Ron Paul or Russell Pierce are in anyway, shape or form, directly responsible for what happened. I am saying that extreme talk, extreme rhetoric - spoken and embraced - have proven time and time again to lead to deadly results.
He brought an assault rifle as a private citizen to what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Now he is dead, and took 4 other people with him. Are these the kind of people we want in charge of our city councils, sheriff's offices and state legislators? I may be painting a broad brush here, but right now I don't care. This is our blog, and this is my platform to speak my mind. Too many times we are told these tragedies are isolated incidents, and this time it is clear to me many people were drawn to the flame of hatred and fear that J.T. Ready embraced and espoused. Make no mistake about this -- it is not about party -- it's about a deadly ideology.
Some people embrace it without ever realizing that YES: the worst can happen. They get caught up in a feeling that anger can be empowering. That is actually true, but what matters regarding feelings of anger and fear is what is done with those feelings. Extremism leads to deadly results. We will learn more in the coming days and weeks as to what led this man -- who was willfully embraced by people for his activism -- to commit such a violent act, but one thing I can say, it's not like he didn't warn us that he was willing to commit acts of violence upon people as a private citizen.
More than six months before his arrest, members of the National Socialist Movement were spotted in plain clothes at a Tea Party rally in the Phoenix suburbs, passing out fliers that called for landmines to be placed along the US-Mexico border.
“We all should be actively advocating daily to mainstream America the most humane, non-racist, fair border security plan available,” the fliers said. “Namely, A MINEFIELD!”
The fliers carried the name of one of the group’s local leaders, JT Ready, a man who had recruited Harbin to the cause. Another member of the group later posted photos of the rally on Facebook. In one image, Ready, two other men, a women and two young girls can be seen holding the fliers, smiling and standing next to a news van for Univision, the Spanish language television network. (...snip...) Led by longtime white supremacists JT Ready and Harry Hughes, the US Border Guard routinely treks out in the desert south of Phoenix, heavily armed for what it describes as “operations” to stop “narco terrorists.” Its members often boast of confronting immigrants and detaining them until authorities can arrive.
But Ready, the same man whose name adorned the landmine fliers in 2010, hopes the group will someday do even more.
On the US Border Guard website, alongside photos of its members wearing camouflage and carrying large guns, he recently posted a call for supporters to help the group with donations through PayPal.
The group needed more supplies, he wrote, and weapons. Among them: a tank.
In my opinion, it's not just another isolated incident-- it's not just a lone wolf or one bad apple. it is the result of terror filled policies cropping up in state/local legislatures, fueled by an anti-government hatred around our nation, and people are dying as a result. Things are going too far, too often, in this nation. Many of our politicians - federal, state, and local - have veered right to support the Tea Party with some of the same rhetoric that was espoused by this very man. Is this the kind of nation we really want to be?