[Listen] @kwellscomm TLCNaptown.com “Access Indy with Kim Wells”
In President Donald Trump’s era we’re observing that hate continues across the nation. Observers are on the look out that America is becoming ‘Land of the Free…Home to Feel Free to Hate.’ We’ve not only got to pray for peace and love…but we’ve got to actively work on it too. These guys apparently didn’t get that…
A South Carolina man is under arrest after planning an attack inspired by Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof. Benjamin McDowell is accused of buying a gun from an undercover FBI agent. The 29-year-old reportedly planned to use that gun in an attack…that was supposed to be Dylan Roof-like. McDowell traded emails with the federal agent, making the admission that’s what he wanted to do. McDowell is a known white supremacist, and he’s now been charged with illegal possession of a gun because he’s a convicted felon.
Also…A Florida man is accused of a bizarre plot to blow up Target stores in a bid to make a killing in the stock market. Mark Barnett of Ocala is charged with of plotting to blow up Target stores along the East Coast. Federal prosecutors say Barnett offered an accomplice $10,000 to plant bombs in stores in several states stretching from New York in the north to Florida in the coastal south. The plot involved at least ten explosive devices, disguised as food items, which were to be placed on those Target store shelves. The plot unraveled when his accomplice instead went to the police.
Now where does the hate come in? Had Barnett been successful and Targets started to ‘go boom,’ who do you think would’ve been blamed? Who would’ve caught the latest round of hate? (Hate that manifests itself in individual and sometimes deadly attacks on the street and in vandalism and the burning of mosques.) Here’s the likelihood, based on experience. Had he been successful, the word terror would’ve been tossed around like a football in the media, and still, the face that matches that term in this country doesn’t belong to a white male when reality says it should.
I’ve told you before, here on the show, that I stay in touch with the pros who track hate, the radical right, and other such things. I’ve had them here on “Access Indy” with me in the guest’s seat. They are the Southern Poverty Law Center, of which the late-Civil Rights leader and icon, Julian Bond was the organization’s first president and was board chair emeritus at the time of his death in 2015. The work still continues at SPLC…and they remain busier than ever. This week they announced their findings on “A Year in Hate and Extremism.” They invited me to join a conference call with Mark Potok, a Senior Fellow with the SPLC. We attempt to provide information and resources to the communities we serve, even after this community feels it took a tough hit at the ballot box. Skipping the ‘snark,’ this is about the ripple effect of that outcome and continuous ripples of a Trump Administration in control and pressing forth on its mission.
Click the media player below to take a listen to what Mark Potok had to say.