June 22, 2024

Extremism Headlines: Nazi imagery on Army Patch, Arizona braces for election threats

Extremism Headlines: Nazi imagery on Army Patch, Arizona braces for election threats

Anti-trans gun myths

  • Hatewatch published an analysis on March 22 that discusses how anti-trans narratives are being used to promote myths about gun violence. The analysis highlights that despite data showing that transgender people are more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators of gun violence, there has been an increase in anti-trans narratives blaming trans and non-binary people for gun violence.
  • These narratives have been particularly prevalent in the wake of several prominent mass shootings. The analysis also discusses how these narratives are being used to construct a false image of trans people as inherently violent, and LGBTQ affirmation as a form of indoctrination into a violent cult. The narratives have the aim of promoting gun sales, blocking policy changes, and reinforcing divisive far-right ideologies, according to the analysis.

Nazi imagery on Army group social media 

  • The U.S. Army is investigating a Special Forces unit for posting a photo of a soldier wearing a patch depicting a skull and crossbones image used by the Nazis during World War II, military-focused outlet Task and Purpose reported on Tuesday. The patch, featuring an SS Totenkopf or “Death’s Head” on a palm tree, similar to a patch used by Nazi Germany’s AfrikaKorps, was posted on the Instagram page of the Alabama-based 20th Special Forces Group. The account deleted the post, which was captioned “That weekend feeling. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Don’t stop training. Don’t get complacent,” after it attracted attention and criticism on social media. Col. Mike Burns, a spokesperson for U.S. Army Special Operations Command, told Task and Purpose that the use of symbols depicting historic images of hate are not tolerated and violate the Army’s values.
  • Hatewatch has previously analyzed extremism in military ranks and reported on extremism among possible recruits.

Arizona officials raise alarm about ‘election threats’

  • Arizona continues to face an outsized number of threats against election workers, according to a report from AZ CentralU.S. Attorney Gary Restaino said at a Monday press conference that “seven of the roughly 18 federal election-related threat cases nationwide involve the targeting of Arizona officials,” according to AZ Central. “We don’t really want to be a leader in this space,” Restaino said. “But we are — and we’re out there engaging.” Maricopa County Sheriff Russ Skinner has prioritized investigating threats against election workers and ensuring the 2024 elections are safe, according to the article.
  • Far-right and antigovernment groups targeted Arizona with misinformation after the 2020 election. A March 23 report from the Associated Press about threats to poll workers called the misinformation “persistent.” 

University of Utah basketball team suffers ‘hate crime’

  • The University of Utah women’s basketball team experienced “racial hate crimes” during the NCAA Tournament, forcing them to change hotels, according to a Tuesday report from local outlet KSL. The incidents occurred on March 21 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where the team was initially stationed.
  • The team, along with the band and cheerleaders, were subjected to racial slurs from individuals who followed them in trucks. The incidents left the group feeling unsafe and shocked, the article said. The NCAA and Gonzaga, the host university, worked to move the team after the first night. KSL said Gonzaga reported the event to the police but had “no updates since the report was filed.”

Read last week’s edition here: Extremism Headlines: Ghana Anti-LGBTQ bill, SB4 and immigration rhetoric

Above photo: U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Gary Restaino speaks as head of the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force during a press conference on March 25, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)

Article originally published on www.einpresswire.com as Extremism Headlines: Nazi imagery on Army Patch, Arizona braces for election threats