Op-Ed: Turns Out Russia Has Been Funding US Political Groups - Just Not the Ones the Media Wants
Since former President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, the media has breathlessly reported that Russia influenced the election.
Democrats have insisted Russia stole the election. Many have claimed the Russians worked through conservative groups to get Trump into office.
Now, an unsealed indictment suggests the Russians are indeed funding American political groups. It just so happens that the groups are left-leaning.
The unsealed federal indictment is from Florida. It alleges a Russian named Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov has been funding political groups in the U.S. on behalf of the Russians. According to the indictment, Ionov had the groups “publish pro-Russian propaganda, as well as other information designed to cause dissension in the United States and to promote secessionist ideologies.”
Given the media’s fury over Trump and Russia, you might be surprised to learn about this indictment. Understanding the groups involved explains why you have not heard a lot about it from various news outlets or on the front pages of Trump-obsessed newspapers.
One of the groups is called the Black Hammer Party. Described by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as “radical,” the Black Hammer Party advocates murdering police officers and believes the violent overthrowing of the United States is necessary.
As the Journal-Constitution reported, “Ionov, who lives in Moscow, paid for members of the Black Hammer Party to travel to San Francisco in March to protest Facebook’s censorship of posts supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The influence went so far as to direct Black Hammer members on the designs of signs for the protest.”
Another group involved is the Uhuru Movement, a socialist group with a chapter in Florida. The group has agitated against capitalism, claiming it has been parasitic to Africa. It is tied to the African People’s Socialist Party.
It turns out, if the indictment is to be believed, that the Russians really have been funding American political protesters, just like the media said. The only problem is that the groups being funded are black nationalist, socialist movements, not Trump supporters.
To be sure, it is only a matter of time before we find out the Russians have funded right-wing extremists too. In the ’80s, the KGB funded environmentalists and anti-nuke peace protesters throughout the West. The tactic is nothing new.
The bigger story here is that after years of the media telling us this was happening, the indictment has not been a national story.
Undoubtedly, had the indictment revealed a direct connection from the Russians to the Proud Boys or some clearly Trump-affiliated group, we would never hear the end of it. But like shootings in Chicago, if it involves non-white actors, the media prefers not to make eye contact with it. It is, in fact, not just a political double standard but a racial one as well.
There is another angle to this story that should be considered.
Back in 2020, as antifa and Black Lives Matter stormed across American cities, there seemed to be a level of coordination. In some pockets of protests, the protesters showed up more organized than local police expected. Rumors began circulating that perhaps some groups were getting organized funding. While dismissed as conspiracy talk, the unsealed indictment sure suggests that is plausible.
What we know for sure are two things.
First, the Russians do appear to be funding American political agitators to sow discord. Second, the media would be fully invested in this story as a recurring narrative if the two groups named in the indictment had been on the right.
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