Filed under: The Grouch
John Guandolo, a “disgraced” former FBI agent who now tours the country promoting the idea that there are no “moderate” Muslims, ISIS carried out the Las Vegas mass shooting, and that Mosques in the US are just fronts for organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, took to social media today to complain that hotels were closing their doors to his current speaking tour of the MidWest.
In the past, Guandolo has stated that Muslims “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything,” but has also complained that Fusion Centers, staffed in part ironically by FBI agents, aggressively monitor far-Right activists and also are “supporting our enemies (Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood).” Such a claim flies in the face of the fact that far-Right arson attacks, bombings, and killings have risen in the wake of Trump, while Fusion Centers have shifted their focus instead on anti-pipeline protesters, Black Lives Matter demonstrators, anarchists, and antifascists.
But while Guandolo touts his FBI background as a badge of authority, the story of how we resigned in shame from the organization is more telling about who he is as person. As the SPLC wrote:
Guandolo touts his FBI background to lend credibility to his training courses, which are offered to law enforcement and civilians alike. Often omitted, however, is the controversial manner in which he departed the federal law enforcement agency. In 2008, Guandolo resigned from the Bureau in disgrace after a number of ethical breaches and bizarre conduct, including admitting to having affairs with female FBI agents and a confidential source he was assigned to protect during the corruption case of former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA); he also solicited that witness for a $75,000 donation for an anti-terrorism group.
But it seems fucking-up at his former place of business isn’t the only thing that has landed Guandolo on the news. As the SPLC wrote:
Guandolo made headlines last month for racially profiling an unsuspecting Southwest Airlines employee on social media. The inflammatory post caused such an uproar that the airline was forced to respond, calling the now-deleted tweet “cruel and inappropriate.” He later doubled down on his post during a recent episode of UTT’s radio show. As it turns out, this was not the first time Guandolo has posted pictures of unsuspecting airline employees and accused them of being “jihadis.”
Up until recently, Guandolo’s speaking events often attracted members of law-enforcement, but due to an “altercation, which later led to a restraining order against Guandolo, [which] stemmed from him accusing Sheriff Richard Stanek of working “with jihadis in the community,” law enforcement participation has since deflated. Instead, Guandolo has instead shifted his focus on speaking to the far-Right.
But as word of the tour began to spread, people began calling into the various hotels that Guandolo was scheduled to be speaking at. On Friday, April 6th, Guandolo tweeted out that two of the hotels had already cancelled on him which “made doing the other 2 not feasible.” One speaking event in Iowa, Guandolo had already completed. Currently, it’s unclear if this means the rest of Guandolo’s tour is completely called off, or if he will continue forward in some capacity.
In a rambling video posted on Periscope and Twitter, Guandolo discussed the recent call-in campaigns, stating that SPLC gave a green light to violent and “terrorist” “ANTIFA” (gotta have it all capitalized, because no one actually does that except batshit wingnut far-Right idiots) to unleash a wave of violent threats against the various venues. In reality, the call in campaigns simply asked people to implore venues not to host racist, conspiratorial, and Islamophobic speakers.
Guandolo went on to state that “ANTIFA” were working with Jihadi elements, which is a new trope that has been picked up by much of the far-Right. In recent years, many far-Right commentators have switched out established conspiracy theories that the “Jews” were the evil masterminds behind the globalist conspiracy, and instead replaced them with “Muslims.” Other far-Right commentators have taken it even farther, stating that Muslims have a secret history of working with Communists, and both desire a globalist takeover of the world. At its heart, Islamophobia remains at the center of what often glues the far-Right together, along with a hatred of Blacks, immigrants, feminists, and ‘the Left.’
Islamophobia is important to the far right because it can fill the same political role as the old anti-Semitic narratives, and draw on the same emotional power — but it is far more socially acceptable and appeals to a larger audience. For example, in some parts of the far right, Muslims have replaced Jews as a feared unassimilable religious minority that seeks to undermine the moral fabric of our society. Muslims are also perceived by many on the right to be lower on the socioeconomic ladder than US Jews, and therefore an easier target.
These Islamophobic narratives also update 1950s anti-Communist conspiracy theories — especially the notion that the major US institutions are controlled by a foreign fifth column — with a new enemy. The two get combined as well. While anti-Semites have long claimed a “Judeo-Bolshevik” conspiracy was at work, today, Islamophobes see a “Marxist-Islamic” conspiracy.
The vast amount of violence in our society comes from the day to day realities of life under capitalism: deaths from drug overdoses, accidents at work, traffic, and lack of access to medical care. One in three people who are killed by a stranger in the US are killed by a police officer, and members of the far-Right in a post-9/11 world have carried out the vast majority of violent acts against the everyday population, while white men have gone on to commit more mass shootings than any other group. Moreover, for the first time in history, life expectancy even for white men, is declining.
Shit clowns like Guandolo peddle in lies and nightmare bedtime stories for adults that don’t want to face the realities of what is killing us in our society; not immigrants, not Black people, and not the poor.