Sunday, July 10, 2016

Attacks on police: Inspired or directed by militant groups? | Assassinations of Dallas police 'touched the soul of a nation' | Dallas police shooting: echoes of Isil tactics in black militant's online 'self radicalisation'

Micah Johnson

"Yet this call for the murder of police officers was the slogan chanted by Malik Shabazz, the then leader of the New Black Panther Party, at a protest 20 years ago.
Black extremist groups are nothing new in America. They rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as an alternative to the non-violent stance of  Martin Luther King Jr, but in recent years they have found a new, more powerful tool than mass rallies: social media and the internet.
Micah Johnson, the gunman who killed five police officers in Dallas, was a follower of several of America’s most violent black rights groups, but may never have attended any of their meetings or rallies.
A group calling itself the Black Power Political Organization claimed on its Facebook account that it was behind the attack, though there is no evidence Johnson had any connection to it... 
Barack Obama will now come under pressure to explain why their online presence was not shut down before it was too late.
America's right to free speech, enshrined in the First Amendment , makes it difficult to prosecute extremists for incitement.
Black Panther Party leaders at a rally in 2015
Black Panther Party leaders at a rally in 2015 CREDIT: BARCROFT

"Ryan Lenz, online editor and senior writer at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the number of black separatist groups nearly doubled in 2015, mirroring a similar increase among white hate groups that has taken place as police killings make frequent headlines.
Still, many people who become radicalized do so without direct ties to any groups. Instead, they surf the web and grow their anger in private, Lenz said.
"In the last couple of years, we've seen this violence become an ever-present reality in our lives," Lenz said. "We are in a polarized political climate right now where the 'us-versus-them' mentality has started to reign supreme."
In addition, white supremacist groups have made a resurgence in the years since President Barack Obama was elected as the first black president." 

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