Anti-Defamation League: All “extremist” mass killings in the US in 2022 linked to the far right

A report released Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League asserts that in 2022 every “extremist” mass killing in the United States was committed by “right-wing extremists of various kinds.” Of the at least 25 mass murders last year classified by the ADL as “extremist,” the organization concludes that 21 were linked directly to “white supremacists.”

This figure, while slightly less than the 33 documented “extremist” murders in 2021, is more than the 22 recorded in 2020. The ADL found that 84 percent of the killings were linked to “white supremacy,” 8 percent were linked to anti-government/QAnon extremism and another 8 percent to “other” right-wing extremism. Ninety percent of the killings in 2022 were committed with a firearm.

While right-wing extremists every year make up a vast majority of the “extremist-related” killings in the United States, 2022 appears to be the first year the ADL did not record any by alleged “left-wing” extremism. It should be noted that the ADL’s incorrect definition of “left-wing” extremism includes “Black nationalism,” a political ideology that defends the nation-state and capitalist system on a racialist program.

Importantly, all of the “extremist” mass murders identified by the ADL in the US in 2022 were committed by fascists who either had direct connections to the Republican Party, or were inspired by anti-immigrant ideology, one of many important facts omitted in the 36-page report.

The ADL report noted that the largest mass right-wing massacre in the US last year was the grocery store shooting in Buffalo, New York in May, committed by neo-Nazi Petyon Gendron. Earlier this month the 19-year-old white supremacist was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering 10 people and injuring three more, all African Americans.

People hug outside the scene of the Buffalo shooting on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. [AP Photo/Joshua Bessex]

In a 180-page manifesto posted online by Gendron hours before the attack, the fascist terrorist laid out his assassination plans and revealed he was an adherent of the “Replacement Theory,” which posits that Jews, including Holocaust survivor George Soros, are conspiring with the Democratic Party and other institutions to replace the “white race” in the United States with “lesser” races from South America, Asia and Africa.

“Jews are the biggest problem the Western world has ever had,” Gendron wrote, “They must be called out and killed…”

Anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and other fascist agitation has emerged as the dominant feature of Republican and right-wing rhetoric since Trump’s 2016 campaign. An April 2022 investigation by the New York Times found that in “more than 400 episodes” of his program on Fox News, Tucker Carlson “amplified the idea that a cabal of elites want to force demographic change.” On their programs, Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Jeanine Pirro have likewise claimed that the Democratic Party is engaged in a plan to “replace” American citizens with “illegals” and “migrants.”

In reality, Biden and the Democrats have adapted virtually all of Trump and the Republicans’ immigration policies, including new measures aimed at preventing refugees from applying for asylum if they enter the US from Mexico.

Despite the Democrats’ anti-immigrant policies, nearly every week, neo-Nazis, Proud Boys or another fascist group is publicly protesting and intimidating LGBTQ persons, Jews, drag shows or alleged communists/socialists. On February 17, neo-Nazis of the Goyim Defense League (GDL) harassed and intimidated Jewish people outside the Chabad of South Orlando in Florida.

In a video posted on social media, GDL founder Jon Minadeo and his small group of Nazi followers insult Jews and threaten their extermination.

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Ron DeSantis, aspiring Republican 2024 presidential nominee and Florida governor, has yet to publicly denounce any of the numerous neo-Nazi demonstrations held in Florida since he took office in 2018. The ADL noted that in 2021 Florida had the third most documented anti-Semitic demonstrations, 190, nearly double the 98 recorded in 2017.

The second largest “extremist” mass killing identified by the ADL was at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado on November 20, the Transgender Day of Remembrance, when Anderson Lee Aldrich, the son of former California Assemblyman Randy Voepel, a supporter of former President Donald Trump’s failed coup, killed five people and injured 17 at the LGBTQ nightclub.

A makeshift memorial near Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sunday, November 20, 2022, that left at least five dead and 25 injured. [AP Photo/Geneva Heffernan]

Notably, the ADL report does not include the July 4, 2022 Highland Park Massacre committed by Trump supporter Robert Crimo III, which killed seven people and wounded 48 more. The ADL claims that while they found “bigoted” posts made by Crimo online, they did not “uncover sufficient evidence to confirm any extremist motivation.”

The WSWS has, however, published several articles detailing Crimo’s embrace of anti-Semitic and fascistic ideology. In addition to being a raging anti-Semite, Crimo is an avid Trump supporter, another fact omitted in the ADL report.

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Online videos and multiple reports have confirmed that in 2020 Crimo attended four Trump rallies, including a December 7 “Stop the Steal” rally in which one local resident described seeing Crimo with his friends “doing Nazi salutes and screaming statements that they ‘refused to accept a socialist-communist America ... and wouldn’t rest until the Antifa scum and Black Lives Matter monkeys get put in their place.’”

The central role of Trump and the Republican Party in promoting fascist terrorist violence is absent in the ADL’s report. The word “Republican” is mentioned only once, with no link established to right-wing violence. “Donald Trump,” “fascism,” “fascist,” and “Fox News” do not appear at all in the document. The events of January 6 are mentioned in passing once, and never referred to as a right-wing coup orchestrated by Trump and his Republican allies in Congress, the police, military, intelligence agencies and the Supreme Court.

That the ADL does not draw an explicit connection between right-wing mass murders and the Republican Party is revealing. The ADL is closely linked to the Democratic Party and, like the Democrats, seeks to whitewash the ongoing transformation of one of the two main political parties in the US into a fascist political organization.