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A House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee subcommittee will not only take on the issue of white supremacy but how it manifested under Donald Trump–especially at the deadly clash which took place in 2017 in Charlottesville, Va.
The Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee will hold the hearing titled, “Confronting White Supremacy (Part I): The Consequences of Inaction.”
Among several speakers will be Susan Bro, whose daughter, Heather Heyer, was killed as a counterprotester at that “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August 2017, which brought together various racist and white supremacist groups. Trump’s highly divisive rhetoric has frequently been blamed for a rise in white supremacy and xenophobia.
Not only that but the Trump administration has taken efforts to de-prioritize the combat of white supremacy, according to the subcommittee.
“The hearing will examine the rising threat of extremist violence by white supremacists in the United States, government efforts to combat far-right violent extremism, and the impact on communities frequently targeted by white supremacists,” the subcommittee said in an announcement.
Among several points the subcommittee said are salient to the hearing:
- White supremacists continue to pose the most significant threat of domestic terrorism and extremist killings in the United States. In a May 2017 joint intelligence bulletin entitled, “White Supremacist Extremism Poses Persistent Threat of Lethal Violence,”the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) found white supremacists “were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016… more than any other domestic extremist movement.”
- According to the Anti-Defamation League, of the 50 domestic extremist murders in 2018, every perpetrator had ties to right-wing extremists, and 78 percent of those were committed by white supremacists. There were zero killings in 2018 related to left-wing extremism (including anarchists and black nationalists).
- The number of reported hate crimes in the U.S. has seen continual growth since 2014. The FBI reported 7,175 incidents of hate crimes in 2017, a 17 percent increase from 2016, and a 31 percent increase since 2014. The FBI also reported that in 2017, 4,131 hate crime incidents were based on race or ethnicity.
- The FBI’s official hate crimes statistics are flawed and underreport the actual number of hate crimes being committed. From 2013 to 2017, the FBI reported 7,500 hate crimes on average while the National Crime Victimization Survey estimated 200,000 hate crimes a year.
- Under the Trump administration, DHS appears to have significantly reduced resources and infrastructure that would address the increasing threat of white supremacist extremism. Reportedly, DHS recently disbanded a group of analysts focused on domestic terrorism in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, reducing the number of analytic reports on white supremacists.
The hearing is scheduled to get underway Wednesday, May 15, 2 pm ET.
A livestream will be broadcast here.