New Data Offers Clear Proof that Rightwing Groups Are Far More Likely to Commit Violent Attacks than Leftwing – a Massive 329 deaths to 1
Although Donald Trump spent two years warning Americans about antifa and “far-left fascism” throughout his re-election campaign, the reality is that leftwing attacks have not been nearly as deadly as rightwing extremist attacks, according to new research.
A study of almost 900 politically motivated attacks and plans in the U.S. since 1994 only shows one anti-fascist attack that lead to a death.
In that incident, the person killed was actually the perpetrator .
In the same time frame – 1994 until 2020 – American rightwing extremist groups, including white supremacists have left at least 329 victims dead from attacks.
The database study makes a distinction between attacks depending on their motivations. Anti-fascist attacks have had zero victims since 1994 (perpetrator death excluded from tally) while the broader data says 21 victims were killed in leftwing-categorized attacks since 2010 versus 117 victims of rightwing attacks over the same decade.
The data also shows that there were 95 people killed in attacks inspired by jihadist groups in that same time period- still fewer than the number killed by rightwing groups. The gay nightclub that was attacked in Orlando, Florida in 2016 was responsible for more than half of those victims.
Anti-Defamation League and from journalists at the Center for Investigative Reporting have noticed one trend in their studies- violent rightwing attacks pose a greater threat to Americans than violence from the far-left.
Seth Jones is a counter-terrorism expert in charge of the CSIS data and said, “Leftwing violence has not been a major terrorism threat.”
The CSIS showed that most of the attacks categorized as “leftwing” attacks were on police who were killed by men who said they committed the acts out of anger and retribution for police killings of black citizens.
In those attacks studied, some of those perpetrators have had connections to black nationalist groups, which are usually categorized as leftwing.
But today, categorizing black nationalist groups as leftwing isn’t necessarily valid since many of those prominent groups have homophobic, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic opinions.
In many of the more publicized general leftwing attacks studied in that data, the only fatality was the gunman, as was the case of James Hodgkinson, 66, who opened fire on a group of congressional Republicans during a baseball practice just outside of DC in 2017. Hodgkinson was the only fatality.
Jones said that many leftwing attacks are led by anarchists or environmental groups who just want to target businesses or buildings and “their primary weapons have been incendiaries designed to create fires or destroy infrastructure – not kill people.”
Co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, Heidi Beirich, said that while leftwing groups from the ’60s were more known for radical attacks, “It’s just not the case today.”
American law enforcement has been accused of not taking the threat of white supremacy groups seriously while overstating the threats of leftwing protests. Such was the case in a 2016 California violent rally in which officers worked in cooperation with neo-Nazis to bring charges against anti-fascist protesters but did not even recommend charging the neo-Nazis who stabbed anti-fascists.
“Antifa is not going around murdering people like rightwing extremists are. It’s a false equivalence… I’ve at times been critical of antifa for getting into fights with Nazis at rallies and that kind of violence, but I can’t think of one case in which an antifa person was accused of murder.”
The new data only goes through May 2020 and will therefore not show any events tied to the nationwide protests of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which includes the killing of two police officers in California by someone connected to the rightwing “boogaloo” movement.
“The most significant domestic terrorism threat comes from white supremacists, anti-government militias and a handful of individuals associated with the ‘boogaloo’ movement that are attempting to create a civil war in the United States.”