Researcher who tracks racist far-right groups fears the possibility of a ‘post-democratic society in America’
During the Trump era, researcher Emily Gorcenski has been carefully tracking far-right extremist groups — including the Proud Boys. Gorcenski discussed her findings in an interview with The Guardian, and they are incredibly disturbing.
The Guardian's Sam Levin explains, "Using court files and other public records, the anti-fascist researcher has catalogued hundreds of criminal cases, connected the dots of dangerous neo-Nazi networks, and revealed links that journalists and authorities have missed. These days, it can be difficult to keep up. Far-right violence has escalated dramatically under Trump, who has ignored his own government's domestic terrorism warnings and encouraged vigilante violence against leftists."
Here's the ironic part. Fearing for her safety, Gorcenski has left the United States and relocated to Berlin, Germany — a city that was overtaken by fascists during the 1930s. But in 2020, ironically, Gorcenski feels safer in Germany than she does in the United States.
During the interview, Gorcenski discussed, among many other things, Trump's endorsement of the Proud Boys. The researcher told The Guardian, "This is explicit approval of violent white nationalism from the highest reaches of the government. What this says is the president does not care about the idea of an equitable legal foundation for our country. And these groups see this as tacit permission to not only keep doing what they're doing, but to ramp it up."
Gorcenski went on to discuss her tracking of far-right white nationalists and white supremacists during the Trump era, explaining, "I started a spreadsheet…. I pull court records, and now, every weekend, I sit down and go through these cases. At this point, I have a six-month backlog of information to add. And I've given up with some protests, because I can't keep up with every case of some fucking white supremacist who drives his car into a crowd or beats up a Black Lives Matter protester."
Gorcenski described the type of inroads that white supremacists and white nationalists have been making in the Trump era and noted, "The police are deeply infiltrated by white supremacists. The FBI knows it. Police are part of this problem in both a participatory way and by permitting this to happen."
The researcher urged anti-racist protesters to keep protesting but take as many precautions as possible.
"Protest is inherently a dangerous activity, and it is getting more and more dangerous," Gorcenski warns. "So, my advice to people protesting is to spend a lot of time doing very active and intentional planning around safety and contingency plans: who looks after your pets if you're arrested, or worse? Who takes care of your kids? What is your fallback scenario if you have to leave town? It's a lot of work. But we need to start looking at a post-democratic society in America and what that is going to look like. And your priority needs to be your safety and security."