Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Extremist groups tend to attract persons who are somewhat unstable, and many members of these groups will in fact radically change their lifestyles over a very short period of time. Even more amazingly, some will do a complete 180-degree turn in their politics without a second thought. Consider the case of Chris “Dirt” McIntosh. He started off as an Earth Liberation Front/Animal Liberation Front terrorist, and was convicted in 2005 of firebombing a McDonald’s location in Seattle and sentenced to eight years in prison. He received support from the Earth Liberation Front prisoner network (ELP) as well as other anarchist organizations. After a few years, McIntosh began to downplay his anarchist connections while still appealing for correspondence and funds from the outside. He stated that he could not understand “why the foremost natural law – might makes right – is not held paramount [in the anarchist movement]. The fact we have no inherent rights other than what we conquer through our manifest physical will.” This is an unusual opinion within anarchist circles, given most anarchists’ egalitarian beliefs. Perhaps even more ominously, McIntosh stated, “Ignorant behavior finds some way to oppress you no matter where you turn and creates high race tension. I have fought hard and long to combat within myself the anger and hatred caused by this tension.” Given these statements, perhaps it is not surprising that the ELP recently urged its supporters to break off contact with him. The group claims that it has letters from McIntosh in which he “uses highly offensive racist language and referred to black people as ‘fucking mud people’. In his letters McIntosh talks about white supremacy and how he would be prepared to die for white supremacy. We understand he has also talked to other supporters about his belief in white supremacy.” Further, and perhaps most horribly, they claim that he has begun eating meat. The organization therefore declares “on the grounds that McIntosh is a racist, sexist, meat eating, white supremacist, who believes it is okay for the strong to bully the weak and it is okay for a man to rape a woman, ELP is permanently ending our support for Christopher 'Dirt' McIntosh.” Perhaps “Dirt” will find the support he’s looking for among the white supremacists he seems ideologically drawn to. They have their own prisoner support networks, and their women are often a bit better groomed.