Beliefnet
Lynn v. Sekulow

Barry, let’s call this Homeland Security report on “Rightwing Extremism” what it is – offensive and insulting to millions of law-abiding citizens – including veterans and pro-life supporters – who exercise their constitutional rights to speak about issues that matter most to them.

 

Here’s the definition of “rightwing extremism” that appears in the DHS report:

 

“Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

And, what’s even more troubling, we are now learning that the DHS issued this report after its own reviewers expressed concern about the language used in the report.

 

The Associated Press is reporting that the civil rights division inside the Department of Homeland Security expressed concern about the report – specifically about the definition of “rightwing extremism.”  The offensive definition apparently was “flagged” by the internal reviewers, but apparently, that didn’t matter.  The report was issued anyway – with the offensive language intact.

 

Of course, there are extremists on both sides of the spectrum and the federal government should do all it can to protect us from those who break the law and commit violent and deadly crimes.   But, come on Barry, this report is not narrow in its focus and is disturbing because of the sweeping characterizations that it makes.

 

Nowhere in this report is there any mention of Al Qaeda cell groups operating domestically here in the United States. DHS has taken its focus away from rooting out those people that are bent on causing harm to the United States.  Instead, they seem more interested in using government resources to monitor pro-life citizens who are exercising their free speech rights by holding up a sign in front of an abortion clinic. 

 

There’s growing outrage on Capitol Hill about this report.  The Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) said he was “dumbfounded” by how the agency could release such a report.  And, now Rep. Peter King of New York, the ranking Republican on the Committee, is calling for a hearing into the matter.

 

This just doesn’t cut it.  The DHS needs to remove this language.  Let’s go after the REAL terrorists – not the millions of law-abiding citizens who happen to have strong feelings and voice their concerns about immigration or protecting the life of the unborn.  Last time I checked, that was still protected by the First Amendment.

 

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