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Far-Right Violence Expected to Continue, Expert Warns

Los Angeles, CA — Dr. Erroll G. Southers has studied hate crimes as a police officer, FBI agent and as a college professor. He says former President Donald Trump inspired an increase in hate crimes. And although Trump is no longer in office, the hate hasn’t gone away.


Southers, who is now associate senior vice president of Safety & Risk Assurance at USC, cited two recent hate crimes in Los Angeles County. There was an anti-Semitic shooting in Los Angeles, and a cross burning at an African American church in Sylmar.


Trump and his movement remain a threat to the United States. According to Southers, there is still a lot of resentment in the right-wing about Trump’s loss in the 2020 election. Many of them don’t believe he lost fair and square and believe he should still be in power.


The former president has continued to claim he won the 2020 election, even though there is no evidence to back this up. His election legal team lost about 60 cases trying to overturn the election. Also, former Attorney General Bill Barr stated that Trump lost, and this was confirmed by two firms Trump hired to look into alleged election fraud.


Southers said that many on the far-right have an alternate-reality view of the world. For example, he said that among the far right, Jan. 6 insurrectionists are seen as “patriots.”


One of the dangers of Trump was his ability to motivate far right-hate groups and so-called lone-wolf terrorists.


Recently Taylor Taranto, a Jan. 6 insurrectionist, was arrested not far from President Barack Obama’s Washington, D.C. residence. This was a few hours after Trump posted the information on Truth Social. Taranto was carrying two guns, 400 rounds of ammunition and explosives. He’s currently facing two felonies, as well as charges for entering the Capitol on Jan. 6.


Southers also said the Proud Boys were a great example of how Trump inspires violent extremists.


During the presidential debates, Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” The Proud Boys, a white nationalist street gang, were one of many far-right groups that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6.


Enrique Tarrio, former national chair of the Proud Boys, and several other members were recently convicted of seditious conspiracy for their actions on Jan. 6.


Trump is currently facing a federal indictment over his handling of secret documents. He was recently arraigned in a Florida courtroom and authorities prepared for violence.


However, few Trump supporters showed up


Southers said Jan. 6 convictions are working. So far about 1,000 Jan. 6 insurrectionists have been arrested. And some of them have received long sentences, such as Elmer “Stewart” Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers. He was sentenced to 18 years in jail.


And the Department of Justice is recommending that his sentence be lengthened.


“Far-right extremists are getting the message,” said Southers. “If you attack the government, Trump won’t bail you out. You will go to jail.”


Southers also said Trump’s comments were also responsible for an increase in hate crimes directed at the Asian -American community during the COVID pandemic.


According to Southers, one-third of anti-Asian hate crimes occurred in the Bay Area. Many people listened when Trump commented, “It came from China” and “China virus.”


“A lot of people bought into COVID was their (Asian Americans) fault,” said Southers.

Southers is currently serving on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Commission on the State of Hate. It is the only commission of its kind in the country. Southers is also working on a subcommittee helping police better classify hate crimes.


The former president is a candidate for the GOP 2024 presidential nomination. However, he’s facing several legal challenges in the form of indictments in New York and Florida. He’s also likely to face an indictment in Georgia for election tampering. There is a good chance he could go to jail.


However, Southers said that even if Trump is incarcerated, Trumpism remains a threat to the country. His followers will be aggrieved by the imprisonment of the leader of their movement.


“He’ll be a martyr,” said Southers.


“This grant is provided by California Black Media through work from the State of California Library Stop The Hate grant campaign”


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