On Sept. 25, the Forum on Women, Religion, Violence, and Power hosted a live roundtable conversation to discuss the rise of white supremacy and violent extremism.
1. Police have reported that anti-government groups pose a greater threat to local forces than radicalized Muslims; however, most groups trying to prevent extremism/radicalization focus disproportionately on Muslim communities.
2. Extremist groups prey on peoples’ fears to increase members. Many use the hate and social ostracism that comes from membership as justification for their anger and self-righteousness. According to Arno Michaelis, many members of extremist groups, such as himself, came from abusive families and/or had parents with addiction.
3. Members of the Muslim community and their allies see discrimination in the way we label extremist violence: violent Muslims are called terrorist and radicals, whereas we call white killers mentally-ill or “lone wolves.” They advocate for equal treatment by the media—calling violent whites terrorists when they commit acts of terror.
4. Americans are afraid to admit that terrorists/radicals/extremists can be homegrown, or emerge from our culture. We need to admit to ourselves that white nationalism is a growing threat, especially since Trump’s election, and do what we can to prevent extremism.
5. Since 2000, white nationalists have focused their hate on Latinos and those from majority Muslim countries. They see the white population as in danger: no longer being the majority race; losing jobs; and ethnic mixing are all possibilities the groups use to increase fear of “the other.”
Watch the archived conversation: