Are extreme right-wing militia groups becoming America’s version of Hitler’s Brown Shirts and Mussolini’s Black Shirts?

I strongly support and defend any person or group attending any peaceful rally or protest in support of their chosen candidates, elected officials or political party. I also strongly oppose and condemn any person or group that advocates or uses violence to support their political cause.

While watching the Trump impeachment trial hearings and the many disturbing videos that showed the attack on our U.S. Capitol Building, I recalled similar violent events that took place in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. They were the actions of Adolf Hitler’s SA Brown Shirts and Benito Mussolini’s Black Shirts.

The SA Brown Shirts was a paramilitary organization attached to the Nazi Party. They were used by Hitler to attack his political opponents, often violently, to eliminate their opposition and secure votes for him and the party. Mussolini’s Black Shirts were also paramilitary, violently attacking political opponents and disrupting the functions of local governments to help him gain and keep power.

What did these two “strong-arm” organizations have in common? They were fanatically devoted to their leader and extreme right-wing political ideology. They wore military-style designed clothing/uniforms with distinctive insignias and carried banners to identify themselves. They were privately trained and equipped paramilitaries. They spread misinformation, used intimidation, destroyed property and committed violent acts against persons and organizations to help their leader and political party gain and keep power.

Do you see strong similarities of America’s current extreme right-wing groups such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and others with the pre-World War II Brown Shirts and Black Shirts . Disturbingly, I do. Too many.

Do you consider these American homegrown militia groups to be patriots, as described by Donald Trump? Do they support and defend our Constitution and republic? Or are they America’s version of the Brown Shirts and Black Shirts, demonstrating a clear and present danger to our republic through their efforts to keep their chosen leader (Trump) and their political agenda in power against the will of the American voters?

Benjamin Franklin was once asked if we have a republic or a monarchy. He responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Well, can we? Or will these extreme right-wing groups damage and possibly begin destroying our republic from within. You decide. It is your republic.

BARRY CORRIVEAU

Marlow