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Friday, May 7th, 2021

Center for American Progress, McCain Institute issue strategy to suppress white supremacist violence

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Responding to the rise in white supremacist and racist violence in the United States over the last few years, the Center for American Progress (CAP) and McCain Institute for International Learning have issued a joint, national strategy to curb the domestic threat.

“It’s time to get serious about dealing with the long-term threat of white supremacist violence,” said Katrina Mulligan, acting vice president for National Security and International Policy at CAP. “This blueprint offers policy solutions that both sides of the aisle can support, aimed at ending the violence and addressing its root causes.”

“A National Policy Blueprint To End White Supremacist Violence” responds to a government report released last year that showed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) called white supremacist violence a top national security threat, going so far as to name racially and ethnically motivated violent extremist the most persistent and lethal threat in the nation. The uptick in violence has surged in the last four years in particular.

“White supremacist violence is a pervasive and alarming threat to our national security that requires a coordinated and comprehensive response,” Brette Steele, senior director for Preventing Targeted Violence at the McCain Institute, said. “By identifying common ground among a diverse group of stakeholders who all share the same end goal, this blueprint delivers timely opportunities for the executive branch and Congress to take action.”

The project spanned a year, consulting with a mix of more than 150 leaders from affected communities, civil rights advocates, along with experts in law enforcement, counterterrorism, and national security.

Among other things, it urged more resources to be dispatched to federal agencies to raise awareness of and directly address the threat, along with new standards to prevent white supremacist infiltration of the military, law enforcement, and the larger federal workforce. The importance of improved data collection, research, and reporting on white supremacist tactics and figures was stressed, along with the need to shore up any gaps in hate crime reporting tools and create federal incentives. The organizations likewise encouraged new legislation to allow easier prosecution of hate groups and crimes, private militias, and improper profiling.

“Guns are increasingly the weapon of choice for white supremacists and other extremists who use them to intimidate and commit acts of violence,” Nick Suplina, managing director for law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety, said. “Now, we need the political will to recognize the threat of white supremacy and invest in these critical reforms to protect our communities.”