There is “no clear evidence” white supremacists are participating in the rioting and looting sweeping U.S. cities across America following the death of George Floyd, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) conceded in a New York Times report published Sunday.
“Signs of any organized effort or even participation in the violence were relatively rare,” the Times acknowledged in the bottom half of its article, referring to white supremacists.
“I have not seen any clear evidence that white supremacists or militiamen are masking up and going out to burn and loot,” Howard Graves, an SPLC research analyst who tracks white supremacists and other anti-government extremist groups, told the newspaper.
On Monday, Politico did report an account linked to white supremacists was posing as the far-left group Antifa that espouses anarchist views and encouraging violence early last week, two days after Floyd’s death on May 25.
Citing the FBI, a May 29 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intelligence memo to authorities, marked unclassified/law enforcement sensitive, reportedly said that on May 27 “a white supremacist extremist Telegram channel incited followers to engage in violence and start the ‘boogaloo ’— a term used by some violent extremists to refer to the start of a second Civil War — by shooting in a crowd.”
A Telegram message urged potential shooters to “frame the crowd around you” for the violence, the DHS document added, according to Politico, which does not provide any evidence of white supremacists actually participating in the riots.
Some supporters of the “boogaloo” should be easy for law enforcement to detect among the rioters and looters since the Times reported they are known to wear Hawaiian shirts.
The SPLC analysts’ comments about there being no evidence white supremacists are taking part in the rioting and looting came after Democrat political leaders in Minnesota, on Saturday, indicated without evidence white supremacists were instigating the civil unrest.
Several news outlets, however, quoted an unnamed spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety admitting authorities in the state “cannot say we have confirmed we have cells of white supremacists.”
MN Dept. Of Public Safety spokesperson: “We’ve got intel reports that have been confirmed but I cannot say we have confirmed we have cells of white supremacists.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 30, 2020
Nevertheless, the Democrat-allied mainstream media, particularly CNN, appeared eager to promote the untested assertion.
By Sunday, the Star Tribune reported Minnesota officials had backed off from allegations that outsiders such as white supremacist groups were perpetrating the violence and property damage over the death of a Floyd, a black man.
Floyd died after a now-fired white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneed his neck for several minutes after arresting him. Authorities have charged Chauvin with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
“A this point, I don’t have any credible evidence of any specific group being here in Minnesota,” the state’s Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington stressed, according to the newspaper.
Still, the Times article claimed individual members of far-right groups, including Hawaiian-shirt wearing individuals promoting the second Civil War or “boogaloo,” are likely engaging in arbitrary acts of violence, noting it is likely not an organized effort.
There could also be far-right “factions that express solidarity with some in the African-American community in their animosity toward the police” participating in the rioting and looting, the Times claimed.
Over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration blamed the far-left Antifa group for the havoc engulfing many American cities.
President Trump announced his administration would deem Antifa a terrorist organization.
“Others said white supremacists and far-right groups were responsible, pointing to online statements by adherents that the upheaval would hasten the collapse of a multiethnic, multicultural United States,” the Times noted, adding:
Members of hate groups or far-right organizations filmed themselves, sometimes heavily armed or waving extremist symbols, at demonstrations in at least 20 cities in recent days, from Boston to Buffalo to Richmond, Va., to Dallas to Salem, Ore.
A common nickname for their anticipated second Civil War is the “boogaloo,” which sometimes gets mutated into the “Big Igloo” or the “Big Luau,” prompting its adherents to wear Hawaiian shirts.
Megan Squire, a professor at Elon University in North Carolina who tracks extremists online, told the newspaper posting racist jokes and memes on social media is much different than organizing an armed group to travel across state lines.
“They do not have strong real-world networks where they really trust each other,” she said, referring to far-right groups.