David Neiwert makes sure we don't confine our opprobrium to young white males in And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing the Dark Side of the American Border. This is the story of a not-very-young white woman, a psychopath for sure, who murdered a nine-year-old little girl and her father in a remote Arizona border town. Shawna Forde, a con woman chasing prestige, power and cash, fit right in with the nativists of the Minuteman movement who briefly grabbed national attention in the middle of the last decade with highly publicized armed vigilante gatherings on the borders. She took several varieties of these guys on a dizzying ride. They provided Forde financing and a chance at attracting media attention, when she wasn't instigating conflicts among them. It all ended with the brutal killing of two U.S. citizens of Latino ethnicity and Forde sitting on death row in Arizona. It's a horror story of poverty, mutual exploitation, grandiloquence and violence.
Neiwert's concern, beyond a solid journalistic narration of an ugly, sordid tale, is to warn that U.S. right wingers almost inevitably attract deranged personalities to their organizations. Some excerpts:
David Neiwert, who blogs at Crooks and Liars, has made a career of understanding the dynamics of violent racist rightwing groups (and their only slightly more respectable allies like much of the Tea Party.) He's written about internment of a Northwest Japanese community during World War II, hate crimes, and what he names "eliminationism" in U.S. political culture. I take warnings from this student of the paranoid Right very seriously indeed. As Shawna Forde demonstrated, this kind of madness allied with fanaticism can leave dead bodies in its wake.