Some of the early reports out of Las Vegas characterized cop-killers Jerad and Amanda Miller as neo-Nazis and white supremacists. This talking point is likely to gain currency as teabaggers and right-wing libertarians, in government and outside it, seek to avoid scrutiny of their own extremist beliefs by creating artificial distance between themselves and the Millers. It's important that this falsehood not go unrebutted.
In fact, the Millers saw themselves as being anti-Nazi—they just thought law enforcement officers were the Nazis.
Clark County assistant sheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters at a press conference that the shooters placed a swastika on one of the two Las Vegas police officers they shot and killed Sunday at a local restaurant....An examination of Jerad Miller's public Facebook posts gives no indication of white supremacist beliefs—indeed, one post from May 25 quotes Harriet Tubman approvingly, though it spectacularly misrepresents her in service of fringe anti-tax sentiment. (The quote itself is spurious.) Instead, we see plenty of evidence of hardcore right-wing libertarian, pro-gun sentiment, interspersed with Ron and Rand Paul boosterism, right-wing hobby horses like climate change denial, and fringe conspiracy theories such as "chemtrails."
"One of the things that we believe at this point with the swastika is that we don't necessarily believe that they are white supremacists or associated with the Nazi movement," he said.
"We believe they equate government and law enforcement with fascism and those that support with Nazis," he continued. "They believe that law enforcement is the oppressor and they are associated with the Nazi movement."
In fact, those of you who have right-wing friends or relatives on Facebook may not see much difference between Jerad Miller's page and theirs. And this is exactly why I expect the mainstream conservative movement, or what passes for it today, to do what it can to create a distinction between the public views of the Millers and those of their own more fervent supporters when no such distinction exists.
When they tell you the Millers were white supremacists, demand to see the evidence.