Since launching his campaign for president, Donald Trump has espoused racist, white supremacist and degrading attacks against communities of color, people of faith, people with disabilities, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Over the same time period, hate crimes have been on the rise in America, with direct ties to his hateful language. In fact, counties hosting Trump rallies in 2016 saw a 226% increase in hate crimes.
Beto believes we need to connect the dots between the president’s words and the proliferation of hatred and violence in America—and as president, he would mobilize the federal government to combat white supremacy, racism, and domestic terrorism.
Here’s how he would do it:
Mobilize the federal government to combat white supremacy, racism, and domestic terrorism.
- Ensure that the FBI and DOJ prioritize right wing violence. As President, Beto will make cracking down on white supremacy a top priority by treating far-right violence as an organized crime problem, improving data collection regarding hate crimes, allocating resources to fight domestic terrorism based on the severity of the threats posed by groups likely to commit violent acts, and developing comprehensive strategies to protect minority communities from far-right violence.
- Identify white nationalism as a threat in counterterrorism strategy and create dedicated domestic terrorism offices within DHS, DOJ and the FBI. FBI Director Christopher Wray recently testified that there have been almost as many domestic terror arrests in the first three quarters of the fiscal year — about 100 — as there have been arrests connected to international terror. Wray also testified that the majority of the domestic terrorism cases were motivated by some version of white supremacist violence. Yet Trump has failed to make combating domestic terrorism a priority. As president, Beto will identify white nationalism as a threat in the National Counterterrorism Strategy and ensure the Department of Homeland Security has adequate resources to combat it. Beto will create an interagency task force to combat white supremacy and Neo-Nazism and restore the funding within DHS to target violence and terrorism prevention.
Hold internet companies accountable for hosting and allowing for the amplification of hate speech and domestic terrorism.
- Call on companies to block terrorist content online. The New York Times reports that, since 2011, a third of white extremists responsible for attacks were inspired by others who had carried out similar attacks. Yet the internet continues to serve as a breeding ground for the rise of domestic terrorists and white supremacists. Beto is calling on internet hosting companies to follow Cloudflare’s lead to not allow 8chan back online and supports the closure of 8chan, Stormfront and other white nationalist communities housed on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- Require large social media platforms to create systems designed to remove hateful activities on their sites. Beto would require large internet platforms to adopt terms of service to ban hateful activities, defined as those that incite or engage in violence, intimidation, harassment, threats, or defamation targeting an individual or group based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. These companies also would be required to put in place systems designed to identify and act on content violating the terms of service. Platforms must be transparent when they block content and provide for an appeal process in order to guard against abuse.
- Hold informational service providers, including domain name servers and social media platforms accountable when they knowingly promote content that incites violence.
Galvanize the international community to counter extremist and violent rhetoric.
- Donald Trump and right-wing authoritarians around the world are using racism to divide people across the globe. Combatting this requires global solutions. As president, Beto will sign the Christchurch Call to Action, which has been ignored by the Trump Administration, and will require the National Counterterrorism Center to coordinate with international partners to investigate global links to white nationalist violence.
Protect vulnerable communities from violence, particularly transgender women of color by:
- Ensuring law enforcement agencies receive training related to implicit bias, use of force, and accurately reporting the gender of victims. For hate crimes to be adequately thwarted and accurately accounted for, it is vital that law enforcement trusts and develops trust from our most vulnerable communities—which has typically not been the case.
- Directing the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the crimes against transgender people, specifically transgender women of color. Transgender people face extreme levels of violence, with more than one in four having faced bias-driven assault. Transgender women are 4.3 times as likely to be victims of homicide than the general population of women, and 87% of transgender homicide victims between 2013 and 2015 were people of color.