April 9: House Judiciary to Hold Hearing on Hate Crimes & White Nationalism
Washington, D.C. – On April 9, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism. This hearing will examine hate crimes, the impact white nationalist groups have on American communities and the spread of white identity ideology. The hearing will also foster ideas about what social media companies can do to stem white nationalist propaganda and hate speech online.
Date: April 9, 2019
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: 2141 Rayburn House Office Building
Livestream: The hearing will stream live here.
Background: Communities of color and religious minorities have long been subject to discrimination and have been targeted by groups who affiliate with ideologies of hate. White identity groups have a long history of oppressing racial and religious minorities and promote individual expressions of violence with the aim of preserving white racial and political hegemony. Social media platforms have served as world-wide conduits to spread vitriolic hate messages into every home and country. The deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia served as a frightening reminder of the current threat white nationalism and hate groups pose to the nation.
Last Congress, Democrats in Congress sent letters to the Administration to demand answers about hate crimes, the targeted surveillance of minority communities, and the growing threat of white supremacy and right wing extremism. To date, the Administration has provided little or no substantive response to these requests.
On February 3, 2017, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie Thompson, and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel sent a letter to Acting Attorney General Dana Boente requesting answers to reports that President Trump intended to overhaul the government Countering Violent Extremism program in a manner that would target and single out Muslim Americans.
On February 22, 2017, Representative Stephanie Murphy and 150 Members of Congress sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary John Kelly, and FBI Director James Comey, urging federal agencies to address threats to Jewish organizations.
On June 7, 2017, the Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe, calling for the dedication of additional resources to hate crime investigations and prosecutions.
On August 2, 2018, Ranking Member Nadler and Representative Lofgren sent a letter to President Trump asking how and why he issued false statements concerning terrorism-related offenses when addressing the country before a joint session of Congress.
On November 27, 2018, Ranking Member Nadler sent a letter to Department of Justice (DOJ) acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray, notifying them of his expectation that they will address unanswered requests that Democratic Members of Congress have made concerning the increasing number of hate crimes, the targeted surveillance of minority communities, and the growing threat of white supremacy and right wing extremism.