We often discuss our age of rage and how many people seem addicted to rage. That concern was evident this week in two stories in which individuals are facing criminal charges for fueling rage by pretending to be KKK or BLM supporters.
In Minnesota, Ivan Harrison Hunter, 24, pleaded guilty to a count of rioting. He is a member of the far right Boogaloo Boys group so that is hardly surprising. However, he was not rioting as a Boogaloo Boys member but rather pretending to be a Black Lives Matter member.
Hunter fired 13 rounds from an AK-47-style rifle into the 3rd Precinct police station as rioters set the building alight in May 2020. He was then filmed yelling “Justice for Floyd!” He was later identified by a distinctive skull mask that matched to a video on his Facebook page.
In the meantime, in Georgia, Terresha Lucas, 30, is charged with eight counts of making terroristic threats. In a release posted on Facebook, the Douglasville Police Department in Georgia alleged that she left “racially-charged” notes in mailboxes in December posing as a KKK member. The note threatened to burn down homes and kill people.
The notes also described the author as “a six-feet-tall white male with a long, red beard who did not live in the neighborhood.” According to news reports, one note “threatened to burn their houses down and kill them and said that they didn’t belong in the neighborhood.” Lucas is African American.
There are many who traffic in rage today in politics and the media. It can drive votes and ratings. There are others who simply enjoy watching rage tear apart society or see it as a means for social change.
The question is how the vast majority of society will respond to such efforts to convert them into rage-filled marionettes. The people driving much of our divisive news and politics are on the extremes of our politics. Yet, this country remains distinctly moderate and non-violent. It is that vast center of our politics and society that protects this country from this type of orchestrated chaos.