Terrorism & Extremism

The Lawfare Podcast: Not Your Grandparents’ Far-Right Extremists

Gia Kokotakis, Meghan Conroy, Jon Lewis, Jen Patja
Monday, August 7, 2023, 8:00 AM
What may have caused a spike in violence against the queer community in recent years?

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In the last year, the ADL and GLAAD tracked at least 356 incidents of anti-LGBTQ+ hate and extremism in the U.S. This marks an alarming rise over the past two years of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment and violence. 49% of all incidents were perpetrated by individuals associated with extremist groups. This seems to point toward a much larger recent focus on the LGBTQ+ community by far-right extremists.

Lawfare Intern Gia Kokotakis sat down with Meghan Conroy, a Research Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab who leads its domestic extremism research portfolio, and Jon Lewis, a Research Fellow at George Washington University's Program on Extremism. Both Jon and Meghan have done significant research on far-right extremist groups and ideologies, as well as their intersections with anti-LGBTQ+ violence. They discussed the role far-right extremist groups previously played in anti-LGBTQ+ violence, what may have caused a spike in violence against the queer community, and how the extremist groups committing these acts of violence differ from our traditional conception of the far right.

Gia Kokotakis was an intern at Lawfare and is a senior at Georgetown University, where she studies government, French, and Jewish civilization. She received an Attestation d’Études Politiques from Sciences Po Lyon in May 2023.
Meghan Conroy is a US research fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.
Jon Lewis is a Research Fellow at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, where he studies domestic violent extremism and homegrown violent extremism, with a specialization in the evolution of white supremacist and anti-government movements in the United States and federal responses to the threat.
Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.

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