Things That Matter

As Trump Moves To Label ANTIFA A Terrorist Group, Why Hasn’t The KKK Been Labeled One?

ANTIFA has been the headlines recently as protests against the murder of George Floyd turned violent in some cities – with many groups blaming the group for the violence. In fact, the group has gained so many headlines that it drew the attention of Donal Trump, who now says he is working to label the organization as a domestic terror group.

However, white supremacist hate groups – like the KKK – have caused the vast majority of violence in the United States for generations. Yet the group, which has been around since the Civil War – has no such designation.

Association with a U.S. hate group is not illegal, and despite terrorizing minorities, gays, Jews and Catholics for over a century—committing atrocities designed to induce a state of terror among the public—the Klan is not designated as a terrorist organization. Why is that?

In the wake of marches and protests that turned violent, Trump has threatened to label ANTIFA as a terror organization.

Antifa, short for anti-fascists, describes a broad group of people whose political beliefs lean toward the left – often the far left. Antifa positions can be hard to define, but many members support oppressed populations and protest the amassing of wealth by corporations and elites. Some employ radical or militant tactics to get out their messages but many are peaceful protesters.

Whether you agree with antifa’s ideology or approach, the president’s announcement is shocking, given that many of the most violent hate groups in the United States aren’t designated as terrorists. One notable example is the Ku Klux Klan, which for decades has used bloodshed, intimidation and crime to terrorize Americans – especially Black Americans.

Trump should be more concerned about white supremacy-related violence since it’s the most deadly threat facing the U.S.

Credit: Anthony Cridder / Flickr

Antifa is responsible for zero deaths, ever. Right-wing terrorism is more common in the United States than Islamic terrorism, and, if not for two outlier events of Pulse and 9/11, would have a higher body count.

White supremacist extremism is currently the most lethal form of extremism in the U.S.,” American University professor Cynthia Miller-Idriss told Congress in September. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the far-right was the source of 73% of domestic extremist-related slayings from 2008 to 2019. 

However, Trump has been much more hesitant to declare these menacing groups as terrorists. In fact, Trump isn’t only ignoring the threat of white supremacist terrorism, he’s actively pushing government institutions to overlook it.

According to Reuters, Trump attempted to rename the Countering Violent Extremism program to “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism” — erasing white nationalist violence from its mission entirely. Under the current administration, federal prosecutors are limited in how they can bring white nationalists to justice. 

If Trump wants to label ANTIFA a terror organization, many are asking why not the KKK?

Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The original Ku Klux Klan, formed in the 1860s, was the largest and most violent domestic terrorist organization that the U.S. has ever known. It only lasted about 10 years, though.It’s since gone through several iterations but the current Klan is a hodgepodge of loosely organized groups with no central leadership.

For this reason, many legal experts agree that would be very difficult – if not unconstitutional – to label any domestic organization a terror group, including ANTIFA and the KKK.

As soon as Trump announced his intentions, a Change.org petition popped up urging him to label the KKK a terror group.

Over one million people have signed a Change.org petition urging the U.S. government to list the Ku Klux Klan as a domestic terror organization. The potion was launched in response to Trump’s plan to do just that against ANTIFA.

“This group has a long history of murder & intimidation of people based on colour and religion,” the petition outlines.

It goes onto say that the campaign aims to make racially motivated crime an act of terror and declare hate groups terrorists.

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Trump Labels Cuba A State Sponsor Of Terrorism As His Own Supporters Face Similar Allegations

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Trump Labels Cuba A State Sponsor Of Terrorism As His Own Supporters Face Similar Allegations

Yander Zamora/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In a move that is sure to complicate things for the incoming Biden administration, Trump has moved to put Cuba back on the list of nations that allegedly sponsor terrorism.

Obama had taken Cuba off of that list in 2015 and with four years to Cuba back on the list, many agree that Trump has simply put Cuba back on the list to make life difficult for President Biden.

The Trump administration has put Cuba back on the list of countries that “sponsor terrorism.”

With just days left in office, Trump has moved to label Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism” in a last-minute move that is sure to complicate things for the incoming Biden administration.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo justified the controversial move which reverses Barack Obama’s 2015 decision to remove Cuba from the list after more than three decades – by accusing Havana of “repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbour to terrorists”.

Pompeo also alleged Cuba was engaging “in a range of malign behavior across the region”, highlighting its support for Venezuela’s authoritarian leader Nicolás Maduro who Trump has unsuccessfully tried to overthrow.

The controversial step places Cuba alongside Iran, North Korea and Syria as state sponsors of terror.

However, most officials agree that Trump’s claims about Cuba are bogus.

Many international observers – including U.S. allies – aren’t impressed by the administration’s claims that Cuba is sponsoring terrorism.

In an interview with The Guardian, Christopher Sabatini, a senior fellow for Latin America at Chatham House, said “These are trumped up charges. Terrorism as an international definition is committing acts of violence against unarmed civilians intended to frighten the population. Cuba doesn’t do that. Yes, it represses its own people – but so does Saudi Arabia.”

Groups that favor greater U.S. engagement with Cuba criticized the announcement.

“There is no compelling, factual basis to merit the designation,” according to Ric Herrero, executive director of the Cuba Study Group, a Washington DC-based organization that supports engagement with the island. “Instead it appears to be another shameless, last-ditch effort to hamstring the foreign policy of the incoming Biden administration and set the stage for the next election in Florida, all at the expense of the Cuban people and relations between our countries.”

Many observers agree that Trump’s move is simply a gift to party hardliners in Florida, and likely a deliberate attempt to make life difficult for the incoming Biden administration who may wish to end deténte with Cuba.

Of course, Cuban officials reacted angrily to the announcement.

After the announcement, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez tweeted: “We condemn the US announced hypocritical and cynical designation of #Cuba as a State sponsoring terrorism. The US political opportunism is recognized by those who are honestly concerned about the scourge of terrorism and its victims.”

Reversing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s action would require the Biden administration to certify to Congress that there has been a fundamental change in leadership in Cuba and that the government is not supporting acts of international terrorism, has not for the previous six months and will not do so in the future.

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Someone Mutilated A Manatee With The Name ‘Trump’— Now There’s A Federal Investigation

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Someone Mutilated A Manatee With The Name ‘Trump’— Now There’s A Federal Investigation

Michael Wood/Stocktrek Images

Just when we thought Trump supporters couldn’t disgust us more, one disfigured a manatee by etching “Trump” into its back.

Sadly, over the weekend, a manatee was found in Florida’s Homosassa River with the name “Trump” scratched into its back. The discovery has prompted federal officials to open an investigation into the disfigurement of the threatened species.

A mutilated manatee was found over the weekend with the name Trump scratched into its back.

According to a report published by the Citrus County Chronicle, it is unclear when and how the manatee was mutilated. It is also unknown whether the current investigation has made any leads in regards to the perpetrators. Still, footage of the abused animal has sparked outrage online.

Douglas Nowacek, a professor of Conservation Technology at Duke University told Vice that the incident is “one of the most horrifying things I have ever seen done to a wild animal.” In a separate email, Ruth Carmichael, a Senior Marine Scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and a Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama described the act a “horrific” to VICE saying “I have no words to express how deeply troubling, thoughtless, and potentially cruel this is.” 

Marine biologists say that it is unclear just how much harm the mammal endured.

“It’s a little hard to see the extent of damage from the video,” Carmichael explained. “It is harassment regardless. If the scrape penetrates the skin, then it likely caused some pain and stress. The animals have nerves and sensory hairs in the skin. Additionally, open wounds could become infected.” 

According to Graham Worthy, Department Chair and Pegasus Professor at the University of Central Florida who spoke to VICE the letters could mostly be shallow, and may mostly be algae scraped off the animal’s back making“ injury would be virtually non-existent.”

Still, physically hurt or not, the manatee in question was clearly harassed by a person. As such the perpetrator could face severe penalties if found. 

“Violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act may result in fines of up to $100,000 and one year’s imprisonment for individuals and up to $200,000 for organizations,” Worthy told Vice. “It is illegal to approach and make contact with these animals let alone deface or injure them. It is illegal to feed or harass wild marine mammals including dolphins, porpoises, whales, seals, sea lions, and manatees. You are not allowed to feed, swim with, or harass these marine animals… They should be observed from a distance of at least 50 yards.”

The mutilated manatee is a West Indian manatee and is a herbivorous mammal found in coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Up until 2017, the species was considered endangered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Today, conservation status is listed as “threatened.”  

As many users of social media have noted, perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of the images that humans already cause so much pain and suffering to innocent animals. When does it stop?

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