Meeting the Michigan Militia: 'There's no middle ground anymore' - 2019-04-01
The militia's handbook claims the group is not a racist or right-wing organisation, instead welcoming everyone "regardless of the hue of their skin". But at a time when the visibility and threat of right-wing extremism is on the rise in America, what the militia claims to stand for and what its members say are often quite different.
More a collective of well-armed, locally-organised units than a single paramilitary force, the militia uses rhetoric that shifts between calling for the defence of citizens' rights and promoting the type of right-wing conspiracies that, over the years, have attracted the likes of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, who attended several militia meetings in the 1990s. At one of those he was asked to leave.
Some comments by members have bordered on the kind of nativism espoused by people responsible for attacks elsewhere in the US, such as the massacre of 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last October, as well as two separate foiled attacks against Democratic politicians and prominent media figures.