On Thursday, President Joe Biden once again called white supremacist domestic terrorism “the most lethal terrorist threat” to the United States homeland.
“I’ve said it before and all of my colleagues here know it: according to the United States intelligence community, domestic terrorism from white supremacists is the most lethal terrorist threat in the homeland,” Biden said during a speech commemorating the anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC.
“We’re confronting the stains of what remains a deep stain on the soul of the nation: hate and white supremacy. You know, there’s a tough through-line of subjugation and enslaved people from our earliest days to the reigns of the radicalized terror of the KKK to Dr. King being assassinated. And though that line continues to be the torches emerging from the dark shadows of Charlottesville, carrying out Nazi banners and chanting anti-Semitic bile and Klu Klux Klan flags, and the violent, deadly insurrection on the Capitol nine months ago was about white supremacy in my view,” Biden said.
“The rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans during the pandemic and the rise of anti-Semitism here in America and around the world. The through-line is that hate never goes away. I thought it would go away. But it doesn’t. It only hides. It hides until some seemingly legitimate person breathes oxygen under the rocks where they’re hiding and gives it some breath,” he continued.
Biden then referenced the National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, a first-of-its-kind, four-pillared approach to improve how domestic terrorism is defined, identified, and combated. The strategy, which was announced by the White House in June, aims to target those with racist or anti-government ideology, which the administration says is espoused by domestic terrorists.
The strategy says that experts and evidence have shown today’s domestic terrorists include those who espouse “racial or ethnic bigotry and hatred” as well as “anti-government or anti-authority sentiment.” However, anti-law enforcement ideologies such as those espoused by Antifa and Black Lives Matter were not mentioned.
“Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (principally those who promote the superiority of the white race) and militia violent extremists are assessed as presenting the most persistent and lethal threats,” the strategy says.
A senior administration official told American Military News and other outlets on a press call that the strategy aims to “create conditions of public safety and ensure people can express their political views as is appropriate in a democracy.”