Dr. Erroll Southers told Jonathan Capehart that right wing violence flourishes because it has the support of the president of the United States and the U.S. Attorney General. He knows that of which he speaks, being a former member of FBI's SWAT team, and an expert in national security. So, when, in talking about the thwarted kidnapping plot of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, he warns that groups like Boogaloo Bois, Patriot Prayer, Proud Boys, and Oath Keepers know they have a friend in the White House and Department of Justice, believe him.
Dr. Southers continued, though, to caution us about our use of the term "militias." To paraphrase the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, he does not think that word means what we think it means. In fact, he knows it.
DR. SOUTHERS: The other thing that's really interesting is, as you probably know, all 50 states have statutes in place that in constitutional provisions, that can be used to control these militias. The fact the administration is not thinking about that or doing that, and instead, standing up a Department of Homeland Security private army to respond to cities that are having civil unrest, again, just echoes what was initially a dog whistle, has become a bull horn from the White House and they're taking every single thing that he says. And if you go to their websites, you'll see it being repeated. They understand they have an ally and a friend, and if not a corroborator in the White House.
Capehart then simply asked him if these groups should "flat out designated, called 'terrorists?'" Dr. Southers' answer was unequivocal and educational.
DR. SOUTHERS: Well, first of all, they fit the definition. You have violence or the threat of violence to attack a civilian with a political objective. Let's understand militias a little bit more. Militias, or creating a militia is not the same as exercising the Second Amendment defense of property. Militias operate under the authority of the president or the governor. If it doesn't, it's just an armed mob. In 1903, the United States established a statute that had an organized militia, i.e., the National Guard, and an unorganized militia, which are 17-45-year-old males that can be theoretically called up into service by the president. So, everything else is illegal. Private paramilitaries are illegal, and should be treated as such by the authority.
So, please, for the love of democracy, PLEASE stop calling these dangerous white supremacist gun-lickers "militias." Call them what Dr. Southers instructs us they truly are: armed mobs.