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NAT’L – OPINION – Why We’re Not Prepared to Prosecute White Nationalist Violence

In the wake of the devastating January 6th attack on the Capitol, White nationalist domestic terrorism, once relegated to the political extreme, is now mainstream. Under the guise of stopping the spurious ‘steal’ of the 2020 presidential election, individuals and groups subscribing to a combination of an antigovernment mindset, racism, belief in one of the many racist theologies based on White supremacy, and a conspiratorial worldview convulsed that day in Washington, DC to violently demand a White state. However, even though such domestic terrorism is now recognized by President Biden and members of his Cabinet as the most pressing national security threat to the United States, what remains murky is whether or not to enact a federal criminal statue for domestic terrorism. Currently, such a law does not exist. While there are arguments supporting its creation—namely, federal resources would be allocated toward relevant counterterrorism initiatives—157 civil rights organizations signed a letter opposing such a charge. History, past and present, testifies that such a criminal statute would only be wielded against people of color, already marginalized by that which is called the justice system.  [full article]

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