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”
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Pro-police movements arose with renewed vigor in reaction to the global gains of the Black Lives Matter movement. ACT for America, a primary vector of Islamophobic and anti-immigrant policy in the USA following 9/11, launched a pro-police activist campaign in 2013. While “Back the Blue” and “Blue Lives Matter” actions and organizations can arise organically and do not have a central leadership or decision making structure, their resurgence in the summer of 2020 places them firmly in alignment with white supremacist, paramilitary, and far-right forces.
The first police departments began in the mid-1800s as direct outgrowth of slave patrols, and to break strikes. The police function as a pillar of white supremacy and defense of the police or “law and order” is a common dogwhistle for white supremacy at least since Ronald Reagan’s campaign for President.
We pinpoint ACT for America as the predecessor to Back the Blue as it re-emerged in the summer of 2020 in order to illustrate the continuity of racist, anti-immigrant organizing in the wake of 9/11 through today. We note the presence of many men profiled on this website at recent Greater Boston area Back the Blue actions.
- “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