We’ve mentioned this a few times: the conversation we had with Oath Keeper member and Police Academy Instructor John Karriman challenged us. Episode 5: Re: Missouri, Valid Fears is our first attempt at debriefing and following up.
We spoke with Sam Andrews on the phone this winter after he listened to an edit of our interview with Karriman. Andrews is an independent arms contractor and resident of Eureka, Missouri. During the protests in November 2014 and August 2015, he was among the Oath Keepers who went to Ferguson. During the protests, Andrews became increasingly critical of the ways that Oath Keeper leaders were approaching Black Lives Matter activists and the politics underlying their presence in Ferguson. He spoke out and has since alienated himself from the group. He spoke to us about how and why.
In our conversation with Andrews we refer to an article written by Alan Feuer for Rolling Stone, “The Oath Keeper Who Wants to Arm Black Lives Matter,” which you can read here. For Episode 4: That’s not a badge, it’s a shield, we spoke with John Karriman where he lives in Joplin, Missouri, about a four and a half hour drive from Ferguson, in the south-western corner of the state.
Re: Missouri, Valid Fears was produced by Sarah Mendelsohn and Fred Schmidt-Arenales. It was released on 3.27.2016. This episode features residual and resonant sounds that John Niekrasz produced for Episode 4. It also features “Amérique” by Mathilde Fernandez, from her EP Live À Las Vegas. Additional audio was excerpted from a video posted on YouTube by Søren Kjaer, August 10, 2015. Thank you to everyone who’s responded to Episode 4 and helped us think about the roles that extremism and bigotry play in Oath Keeper narratives and what they trigger more broadly. Please keep it coming, this is an open thread.