In the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, a young Josh Hawley wrote a column for his hometown paper, The Lexington News, defending anti-government militia members. Hawley, who is now a Republican Senator for the state of Missouri, has been facing calls to resign in the wake of the siege on the Capitol, with many believing that his support of Trump’s ungrounded claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election helped enable the violent insurrection.
In his column, Hawley warned against calling members of anti-government militias domestic terrorists. Although Hawley’s piece didn’t explicitly defend Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the men responsible for killing 168 people in the Oklahoma City Bombing, it was known that both McVeigh and Nichols were connected to the anti-government group the Michigan Militia.
“Many of the people populating these movements are not radical, right-wing, pro-assault weapons freaks as they were originally stereotyped,” Hawley wrote of militia groups. “Dismissed by the media and treated with disdain by their elected leaders, these citizens come together and form groups that often draw more media fire as anti-government hate gatherings.”
He added: “Feeling alienated from their government and the rest of society, they often become disenchanted and slip into talks of ‘conspiracy theories’ about how the federal government is out to get them.”
In the same column, Hawley also defended Mark Fuhrman, the white Los Angeles detective involved in the OJ Simpson trial who was (accurately) labeled a racist after tapes surfaced in which he repeatedly used the n-word.
“In this politically correct society, derogatory labels such as ‘racist’ are widely misused, and our ability to have open debate is eroding,” he wrote.
It must have been a bit of an ideological stretch to defend both anti-government militia members AND a police officer in the same column, but racism will always find a way!