But what some consider ACT’s most frightening project is the Thin Blue Line project, conceptualized in 2013 by former FBI agent and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist John Guandolo. Under the veneer of a tool for law enforcement, at the Thin Blue Line’s core is the “Radicalization Locator,” an interactive map that indicates “potential targets for law enforcement.” Yet these “targets” sole criterion appear to be links to Islam, ranging from Muslim Student Associations, mosques, organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations and even the personal homes of Muslim community leaders.Gabe Meadow, “Profile on the Right: ACT For America”
Relevance to the New England Landscape:
Pro-police movements popped up with new vigor in reaction to the global Black Lives Matter movement. ACT for America has been a primary agent of Islamophobic and anti-immigrant policy in the USA following 9/11.
ACT for America launched a pro-police activist campaign in 2013. This campaign inspires the de-centralized groups and events across the country. “Back the Blue” and “Blue Lives Matter” actions and organizations can appear on their own. But they are not random – they represent a white supremacist backlash in direct response to #BlackLivesMatter.
In the mid-1800s, the first police departments in the US grew out of slave patrols and strike-breaking gangs. The police are a pillar of white supremacy. Defense of the police or “law and order” is a common dog whistle for white supremacy at least since Ronald Reagan’s campaign for President.
We underline ACT for America as the predecessor to Back the Blue as it re-emerged in 2020 to show the continuity of racist, anti-immigrant organizing after 9/11 through today. Many people profiled on this website appeared at Back the Blue actions.
Back the Blue becomes a culture war issue that connects more organized white supremacist organizations with individual racists in white suburban communities.
Super Happy Fun America/Resist Marxism‘s “Back the Blue” action in February 2020 shows how culture war issues go dormant until needed to activate racist organizing. SHFA organized the action outside of Boston Police Department in protest of DA Rachael Rollins dropping charges on Straight Pride Parade counter-protesters.
After Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, SHFA and their allies went right back to that old rallying cry to build support in white suburbs.
Resources & Links:
- “Inside The Seething White Heart Of The Blue Lives Matter Movement,” Jake Offenhartz, Gothamist, August 19, 2020
- “The Short, Fraught History of the ‘Thin Blue Line’ American Flag,” Maurice Chapman, Cary Aspinwall, The Marshall Project, June 8, 2020
- “Profile on the Right: ACT for America,” Gabe Meadow, Political Research Associates, March 1, 2018
- “Extremist Files: ACT for America,” Southern Poverty Law Center
New England Known Supporters:
New England Events Since 2017:
- Back the Blue in West Roxbury
September 15, 2021
- Watertown Backs the Blue
March 3, 2021
- Back the Blue in Quincy
October 7, 2020
- Back the Blue in Mansfield
September 27, 2020
- Back the Blue in Arlington
September 10, 2020
- Back the Blue
February 22, 2020
Super Happy Fun America