Students who have questioned the importance of history classes are given the same response. History tends to repeat itself, and we must learn from past mistakes to prevent them from happening again.
Unfortunately, critics of the Department of Homeland Security’s report warning against right-wing extremist groups may have slept though their history classes.
The nine-page report was distributed to law enforcement agencies across the country. It warned that the current economic conditions and a black president, as well as the debate on immigration and firearms restriction, could fuel rapid growth of right-wing extremist groups.
Critics of the report entail that it unnecessarily targets conservatives and veterans. According to CNN, Rush Limbaugh said the report “portray(s) standard, ordinary, everyday conservatives as posing a bigger threat to this country than al Qaeda terrorists.”
Unless Limbaugh is insinuating ordinary conservatives are all members of violent extremist groups, he knows they are not the targets of the report. The Department of Homeland Security is on the lookout for terrorism, not conservatism.
Homeland Security should be applauded for the report rather than chastised. Americans need to be reminded terrorists come from all ethnic and racial backgrounds and all areas of the globe.
The report should have been a wake-up call to critics like David K. Rehbein, whose response to the report was “It is important for all of us to remember Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are.”
People just can’t accept terrorists can also be white folks who were born and raised in the United States. If someone uses violence or threatens to accomplish political goals, he or she is a terrorist. Rehbein and others need to understand this includes Americans.
It is Homeland Security’s job to keep us safe within our borders. Noticing historical trends and warnings of possible threats to our safety seems like a proactive way to protect Americans.
Hitler rose to power in a time of economic trouble. An economic recession in the ’90s fueled tremendous growth of extremist action.
Unemployment and home foreclosures could cause extremist groups to take action in the near future. Hopefully, with adequate warning, law enforcement will be able to prevent attacks before innocent people are hurt.
The report expressed concerns some veterans may be active in extremist groups after returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. I will admit that the claims seem harsh against people who have risked their lives to serve our country.
It was not Homeland Security’s intent to cause suspicion toward our former troops. The department employs thousands of veterans and was merely warning that if someone with military training were to initiate an attack at home, the consequences could be more serious than if the attack was planned by someone who knows little about weaponry.
Instead of becoming outraged Homeland Security issued such a report, we should be relieved our government is taking precautions against violence at home. I think I’m a little happier with my government knowing they don’t want me to be killed by anyone — American or not.