Robert Sklar, Editor
In the wake of a heightening threat from right-wing extremists, WDETFM,the Detroit public radio station
owned and operated by Wayne StateUniversity, is piloting a thought-provoking,issue-oriented collaboration with four of Metro Detroit’s most-read independent ethnic newspapers: the JewishNews, the Arab-American News, theMichigan Chronicle and Latino.The five media entities have developed a partnership to spotlight the growth of radical right-wing movements in Michigan and nationwide. The partnership’s centerpiece is an enlightening essay by the Southern Poverty LawCenter (SPLC), a Montgomery, Ala.-based nonprofit civil rights organization and one of America’s research authorities in the areas of hate groups, discrimination and exploitation.“The explosive growth of three distinct groups — the Tea Party Movement, the Patriot Movement with the militias as their paramilitary arms, and the nativist anti-immigration movement — has been under way for the past year,” says Mikel Ellcessor, WDET’s general manager.“While these distinct movements have their own animus, there is a well documentedand rising level of extreme rhetoric coming from all three groups.This rhetoric has contributed to an environment that is fostering violence from the extreme right and multiple instances of domestic terrorism.“This editorial project is designed to raise awareness of this issue and to challenge the people of Michigan to ask hard of their politicians and the media,” he added. “Because of Michigan’s unique relationship with the militia ,movement, we encourage every citizen to understand the ways extreme rhetoriC with violent imagery has permeated our society.”On March 27-30, the FBI arrested nine members of Hutaree, a right-wing extremist group of alleged Christian fanatics hoping to incite an uprising against the U.S.government that would lead to the biblical“end of times,” according to the U.S. Justice Department. The raids were in Michigan,Ohio and Indiana.