Leading Social Justice Organizations Call for National Summit on Right-Wing Extremism
May 15, 2022
New York, NY, May 15, 2022 – Following the horrific attack in Buffalo, national organizations representing racial and ethnic groups targeted by violent extremists today urged President Biden to convene a summit to confront the threat. The National Urban League, the Anti-Defamation League, the League of United Latin American Citizens, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC and the National Action Network call for action, as we once again have witnessed in horror deadly violence fueled by white supremacist and antisemitic conspiracy theories. The murderous attack in Buffalo yesterday, resulting in 10 dead, three injured, and countless families and communities changed forever, is the latest in a long line of attacks that can be referred to simply by city names: Oak Creek, Charleston, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Poway, El Paso. We know the problem: hatred and conspiracy theories spread unchecked online, hate crimes and bias incidents increase in frequency and impact, perpetrators of violence are perversely heralded as heroes, self-appointed “saviors” with easy access to weapons target a community that they believe does not belong here. Even as we mourn this most recent tragedy, we know that it is long past time for a whole of society response.
The undersigned organizations – representing communities that have been targeted again and again – all understand that we are not safe until we all are safe and that we cannot fight hatred, violence, and white supremacy alone. Fighting this threat requires government, civil society, industry – the entire nation – to act. We, therefore, call on President Biden to convene a summit on hate and extremism this week and to develop a plan to combat hate crimes, white supremacy and violent extremism.
Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, explained, “Our duty, as responsible citizens of a nation beset with racism, violence, and rage, could not be clearer. Love of country demands that we confront racially-motivated extremism with all the energy and commitment we can muster, and a summit is the necessary first step. We cannot let despair defeat us.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League urged, “This was yet another predicable attack by an avowed white supremacist who imbibed hateful conspiracy theories online and then turned to violent action, this time targeting mostly Black victims. We know the shooter targeted the Black community, and apparently did so in part because he sought to ignite a ‘holy war’ between ‘Jews and Gentiles.’ We cannot remain complacent in the face of this continuing and serious national security threat. More must be done – now – to push back against the racist and antisemitic violence propounded by the far right.”
Sindy Benavides, CEO of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said, “The murderous attack of the gunman at the Buffalo supermarket was not an isolated hate crime, but the result of racially motivated violent White extremists who spread hate on the internet and beyond. LULAC is asking the U.S. Attorney's Office to charge this crime as domestic terrorism and a hate crime, but we are also asking law enforcement to shut down these networks of hate before more innocent people are hurt or killed. We stand with the Buffalo community in its mourning and continued healing as it confronts hate with love. LULAC will continue to fight against racism, xenophobia, and our nation’s gun violence epidemic.”
"We are heartbroken by the loss of too many innocent lives in yet another violent attack targeting the African American community,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC. “No community is safe until all of our communities are safe. As Asian Americans are speaking out about the rise of anti-Asian hate and violence, we must stand in solidarity with the African American community and allied communities of color who face race-based violence on a daily basis. Together we will fight white supremacy and racism in all its forms.”
“President Biden must immediately convene leaders in the Black, Latinx, AAPI, and Jewish communities at the White House to discuss hate crimes. Mainstream radicalism has been normalized and cannot stand. The President must use executive orders and every other power at his disposal to send the message that those who carry the banner of domestic terrorism will face federal consequences. When ideology turns violent, we need more than soundbites and press releases to protect our communities,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network.