Elizabeth Warren Unveils Plan To Fight White Nationalist Violence

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren Unveils Plan To Fight White Nationalist Violence

Here’s how the Democratic presidential candidate plans to combat hate crimes if elected.

Published November 19, 2019

Written by Zayda Rivera

Elizabeth Warren is rolling out a new plan aimed at defeating white nationalist crime

If elected, the Democratic presidential candidate would use every tool in her administration to combat white nationalist crime, making it a top priority for the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, according to a press release sent to BET. 

“The FBI logged over 7,000 hate crimes last year, and the government’s own survey suggest there are hundreds of thousands more that go unreported or uncategorized,” Warren said in the press release to BET. “These crimes could -- and should -- have been prevented.” 

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Under Warren’s plan “Prioritizing the Prosecution and Investigation of White Nationalist Violence,” she would use the investigative and prosecutorial resources of those Federal Departments to go after any white nationalist crime involving a threat of life or associated with a broader white nationalist organization that has previously engaged in violence, according to the press release.

“Since the attacks of 9/11, the FBI and Department of Justice have prioritized investigating and prosecuting international terrorism. But domestic terrorism, including right-wing and white nationalist violence, has not received the same attention, and hate crimes and other civil rights violations rank as the FBI’s fifth priority,” she said in the press release. 

According to the press release, highlights of the plan include:

  • Collecting better data, which includes requiring state and local governments to report suspected incidences of bias-motivated crimes. 

  • Reversing the pattern of referring significant hate crimes to state and local jurisdictions, and instead, having the FBI investigate these crimes. This strategy would also improve training for law enforcement to recognize and investigate hate crimes, and push all states to pass inclusive hate crimes statutes that cover race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity. 

  • Directing federal prosecutors to seek similar penalties for individuals who commit similar crimes -- regardless of their race, ethnicity, or supposed ideology, including consistently designating hate crimes as domestic terrorism. 

  • Pushing for police reform to protect targeted communities by establishing a zero tolerance policy for any federal law enforcement officer who participates in, cooperates with, or assists individuals who commit white nationalist crimes. 

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  • Directing the National Counterterrorism Center to work with international partners and allies to investigate multinational efforts to instigate white supremacist violence. When those partners and allies designate white nationalist groups as a threat to their home government, Warren will add them to the State Department’s life of foreign terrorist organizations. 

  • Directing the Pentagon to tighten its background check process and to better track incidents of bias crimes and reports of affiliation with white nationalist or neo-Nazi groups in the ranks.   

  • Investing in early intervention to prevent extremist violence, including by pushing to close the health provider gap in schools. If police officers have to be in schools, they should receive training on discrimination, youth development, and de-escalation tactics. Warren will also establish a commission to work out ways to combat violent extremist content on the Internet in a manner consistent with freedom of expression. 

  • Keeping weapons out of the hands of violence domestic extremists and others committed to violence, through her gun safety plan

  • Working with local leaders to combat hate and research the public health effects of white nationalist violence. 

“Unfortunately, the current administration has chosen to ignore the threat posed by white nationalists and affiliated violent extremists,” Warren said in the press release. “Donald Trump has openly stoked these fires. He has cozied up to white nationalists -- even hiring some, like Stephen Miller, into his White House. Trump has made on racist remark after another. He has put in place racist policies, from the Muslim Ban to his ongoing effort to build a monument of hate on our southern border.”

Warren added, “Domestic right-wing terrorism is completely incompatible with American values. It is a threat to American safety and security. In a Warren administration, we will use every tool we have to defeat it.” 

(Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

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