Recorded on November 30th,2010 in Milwaukee,Wisconsin.The right-wing populists who spawned the "Tea Party" and town hall protests against expanding health coverage are a growing force and working to take over the Republican Party. Meanwhile, centrist Democrats are dominating the Obama Administration and dismissing populist anger at government bailouts for corporations while poverty soars and millions remain unemployed.
Now, ultra-right activists are recruiting from among the angry "Tea Party" populists and targeting immigrants, people of color, Muslims, Arabs, reproductive rights activists, and LGBT persons. And they are spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about economic woes & foreign policy.
Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates (PRA), has spent over 25 years studying far right hate groups; scapegoating; and civil liberties violations by police and government agencies.
Berlet wrote the the cover story in the Progressive Magazine last year on why to take the Tea Party movement seriously, and recently co–authored the award-winning book Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. He has appeared on many national TV & radio programs including NBC, ABC, and NPR, and he has been quoted as an authority in dozens of major papers and magazines, including the NY Times.
Berlet and his family lived for ten years in a Southwest–side Chicago neighborhood, where a white racist coalition sought to inflame existing tensions over integration into racial violence. While monitoring Klan/Nazi rallies in his neighborhood, Berlet was injured twice: while helping rescue a Black youth being beaten by racist thugs, and while photographing an attack on anti-racist protesters.
A former Vice President of the National Lawyers Guild (as a legal worker) and co–chair of its Civil Liberties Committee. Berlet has assisted lawsuits against governmental agencies’ infringement of civil liberties, including an ACLU lawsuit against illegal surveillance by the Chicago Police Intelligence Unit, dubbed the "Red Squad." For more info, and to see Chip Berlet’s full biography, visit publiceye.org.
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