White supremacist violence is a long-standing scourge on American society, security, and democracy that has tragically escalated in recent years. In 2020 alone, there was an alarming spike in racially motivated hate crimes, particularly targeting Black and Asian American communities, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concluded that white supremacist extremists present a “ persistent and lethal threat” to the country.
This past April, the Center for American Progress and the McCain Institute for International Leadership released a blueprint providing a comprehensive set of federal policies critical to combating white supremacist violence that was developed after a yearlong convening of leaders from affected communities, civil rights advocates, law enforcement stakeholders, and counterterrorism and national security experts. A central pillar of this blueprint is the need to curb white supremacist activities and infiltration in law enforcement, military, and veteran communities. Law enforcement and military institutions are core government entities charged with embodying and protecting American ideals and security. They are also prime targets for recruitment and infiltration by violent white supremacists seeking to gain enhanced tactical skills and credibility for their activities. Earlier this year, the federal government instituted a national strategy for countering domestic terrorism that includes efforts to prevent individuals who pose domestic terrorist threats from holding and abusing positions of government trust. There is also federal legislation pending in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to address growing extremism in the military.
Please join the Center for American Progress Action Fund for a discussion on the path forward for federal policy efforts to counter white supremacist activities and infiltration in law enforcement, military, and veteran communities.
Daniella Gibbs Léger, Executive Vice President for Communications and Strategy, Center for American Progress Action Fund
Nicole Lee Ndumele, Vice President for Racial Equity and Justice, Center for American Progress Action Fund