Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Leaked FBI report stokes fears of ‘Black Identity Extremists.’ We’ve seen this before.

The main message: Be afraid, white America, black people are coming to get you.

OCT 11, 2017, 3:06 PM

The FBI has prepared a nationwide warning for white Americans to be afraid of black people, an ominous siren call coinciding with President Donald Trump’s penchant for stoking racial divisions in the country.

A leaked FBI intelligence assessment obtained and released last week by Foreign Policy targeted what it calls “Black Identity Extremists,” describing them as “very likely” to perpetrate violence against law enforcement officials in retribution to the recent incidents of police shootings of unarmed black people.

The FBI document became public as concerns escalated regarding Trump’s embrace of far-right extremists and white nationalists, and as the president continues to spread racial dissension with mean-spirited tweets attacking NFL players and supportive media personalities. Clearly, the administration views criminalizing communities of color as a way to shield police from scrutiny and score points with a base of white voters.

Students of U.S. history have seen this before. These revelations of the FBI targeting of black people aren’t new and fits into a well-known pattern of the federal government officials, notably in law enforcement, responding to black political, social, and economic progress with harsh measures.

To be clear: while the FBI is supposed to operate with strict independence from the president, federal policing and surveillance of black activists have long histories of support from previous administrations. There’s no reason to suspect any difference from the Trump White House; indeed, there’s every reason to believe otherwise.

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