GOP congressman would rather not think about white supremacist violence
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has said white supremacist terrorism is the biggest threat to American safety.
Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL) said on Wednesday it was “concerning” that the House of Representatives chose to focus on white supremacists in a hearing on white supremacy and militia extremism.
Franklin also criticized the House for “choosing to zero in on” a “very small piece” of the violence in America.
Franklin made his statement during a meeting of the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, entitled “Confronting Violent White Supremacy (Part V): Examining the Rise of Militia Extremism.”
“This [Department of Homeland Security] document refers to a lot of different threats, with white supremacy only being one of those and yet that seems to be the only topic, of the only focus of this hearing today, and that’s a little concerning to me,” said Franklin.
Franklin then read off a series of violent incidents, including the Boston Marathon bombing, the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernadino, California, and the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, pointing out that each was “not white supremacy.”
“There’s a lot of violence in our country, and a lot of people are being killed unnecessarily, and yet we’re choosing to zero in on a very small piece of this,” he concluded.
But domestic terrorism perpetrated by white supremacists has consistently been a top threat to Americans.
A report released in October 2020 by the Department of Homeland Security noted, “Racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists — specifically white supremacist extremists — will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland.”
The report noted that white supremacists “have demonstrated longstanding intent to target racial and religious minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, politicians, and those they believe promote multiculturalism and globalization at the expense of the [white supremacist extremist] identity.”
Another report released that month, from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, showed that white supremacist groups carried out a majority of terrorist plots and attacks in 2020.
Out of 61 terrorist plots and attacks from the first eight months of 2020 that were examined by the organization, 41 came from white supremacist groups.
Since President Joe Biden took office, his administration has expanded grants to the Department of Homeland Security to investigate far-right extremism. Under the Trump administration, those grants had not been authorized.
Franklin has previously expressed sympathy for causes affiliated with extremism. He was among the Republican members of Congress who opposed certification of the 2020 election results, based on election lies that motivated the pro-Trump rioters who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Franklin also objected to the decision by the House to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) of her committee assignments over violent threats she had made against Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Greene’s promotion of the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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