An interesting article appeared in the NYT a few days ago (h/t Jim) that bears on our post yesterday (Fighting Extremism In The Ranks: Progress Or Backfire?):
Oregon, California, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington, D.C., are seeking to give law enforcement agencies more power to exclude officers with ties to extremist groups.
"Hate groups", "extremist groups", "racist gangs", "white supremacist and other extremist organizations"--these, says the NYT, are some of the groups seeking to infiltrate local police departments.
Notably absent from the list? Gangs--plain and simple. Is it really the fact that legislators, law enforcement professionals, the FBI, reporters, and everyone else cited in the article are unaware that criminal gangs with no true ideologies have been seeking--often successfully--to infiltrate local police departments? Or, for that matter, federal LE?
We saw yesterday that gangs have infiltrated the military and are supplying weapons to criminal gangs in Chicago--and presumably other major cities with mind boggling crime and murder problems that are only getting worse. The gangs in question are overwhelmingly responsible for most of our country's homicide problem--which is also heavily a black on black problem. The revelation yesterday that US soldiers were contributing directly to the arming of criminal gangs wasn't exactly news, by a long shot, but the incident--three perps arrested--was definitely newsworthy.
To answer my own question: No, it is NOT the case that all those people who are concerned about "extremists" are unaware of this problem, nor are they unaware that non-ideological but definitely seriously criminal gangs are responsible for much of the violence around the country. For their own reasons, however, they don't regard murderous street gangs to be "extremists."
Go figure. Public trust in government and in our LE agencies is rapidly going to be going down the tubes.