Far-Right Extremism in Orange County; It’s a Problem

Eva Smedeby, Arts and Entertainment Editor

On Sunday, March 21st 2021, the LA Times produced a spread on far-right extremism in Orange County. They discussed members of OC contributing in violent and harassing behaviors, and no matter how much I would like to refute their argument – as an inhabitant of this community – everything they said was true.

While reading the paper, it was evident that the authors were taking a close look at four specific members of Orange County, three of which could be noted as contributors in the attack and raid of the U.S. Capitol. With the addition of these far from patriotic contributions, these residents also took part in belligerent speech, including the inspirational words from one woman to, “take them out back and shoot them or hang them!,” in regards to her idea of the “American traitors” and her support for former U.S. president Donald Trump (O.C.’S RELAPSE OF FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISM). 

Although, despite the far-right extremism from these few individuals being the main target of these articles, this issue breaches far more than just 4 people. 

As we’ve seen just a few months ago with the Si family living in Ladera Ranch, OC (with whom were targeted and harassed due to xenophobia), far-right ideals surrounding racism, hostility, and other extremist ideals, have been a constant issue in OC. 

Far-right ideals surrounding racism, hostility, and other extremist ideals, have been a constant issue in OC.”

I would be a liar to say that I haven’t heard the racial slurs being spread around several OC neighborhoods, through online group chats, discords, as well as in schools. I’ve heard kids starting up racial and homophobic hostility back in elementary to early middle school, which unfortunately, has become so normalized to the point where now, as a junior in high school, I’m no longer shocked by the news of a neighbor or classmate participating in these behaviors. 

Yet, on behalf of the adolescent residents of the community, it’s no surprise as to where they are getting these ideas from. If you grow up eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich everyday, and are told by almost everyone around you that it is the only type of sandwich ever created, do you think you would believe someone else if they told you there are actually turkey, barbeque, or even vegetarian sandwiches? No, of course not, because peanut butter and jelly is all you’ve ever known, and your instinct is to trust those close to you over anyone else. Therefore, if you raise your child in an environment full of prejudices, with neighbors, friends, and sometimes even family members parking in vile conduct, the likelihood of them also growing up with these hateful ideas is painstakingly high.

The more we ignore this behavior, the more we are normalizing it, and hereby aiding the continuation of several individuals being the victims to racism, homophobia, white supremacy and Nazi praising ideologies.”

These actions mark a broad far-right extremist mark on every citizen here, which doesn’t represent the views of a lot of inhabitants – myself included. Although to simply deny the issue just because I know I’m not the one aiding its spread, I feel, is a great dishonor on my behalf. 

The more we ignore this behavior, the more we are normalizing it, and hereby aiding the continuation of several individuals being the victims to racism, homophobia, white supremacy and Nazi praising ideologies.

The thing is, if you ask around, I know for a fact that a lot of people in this area will claim that this isn’t an issue, as they are either in denial of the prejudices of their own community, contribute to this behavior themselves, or have fallen into a clouded judgement that has refused them to see past the normalization of this horrible conduct. It’s only in our nature to want to protect our home, and perceive it in a positive light, but we have far breached the point of calling Orange County this wonderful, and inclusive suburbia. 

Whether you are an individual who has seen far-right extremism or have partaken in it yourself, as a community we can do a lot better. If not for yourselves, then kids being raised here, as to see them grow up with a hateful view on the world and those around them is a shame, and will forever be held over the county who should’ve never allowed, promoted, and even participated in this behavior in the first place.