In wake of conservative activist Candace Owens' testimony dismissing white nationalism as an issue, the Department of Homeland Security released a report proclaiming white terror a substantial national threat.
Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan unveiled the department's new counterterrorism strategy that now considers white nationalism a threat. During a speech last Friday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, he said white terror stemming from white supremacist groups and ideologues threatens American values.
The “continuing menace of racially-based violent extremism, particularly white supremacist extremism, is an abhorrent affront to our nation, the struggle and unity of its diverse population, and the core values of both our society and our department."
McAleenan's thinking has been laid out in a 41-page report that piggybacks off the ideas presented by other experts in white nationalism and terror. Vice reports that the department has admitted to having inadequate data regarding white terror. So, to course-correct the issue, the department will rely on state and local agencies and academic and non-governmental organizations to collect data.
Nearly a month after the El Paso shooting, the acting DHS secretary cited the shooter's motive to hunt and kill Latinx immigrants supposedly harming the American way of life.
The DHS' decision to focus its counterterrorism efforts on white nationalism came at the same time Candace Owens claimed that white terrorism was not an issue.
Owens told members of Congress last week that "based on the hierarchy of what’s impacting minority Americans if I had to make a list of 100 things, white nationalism would not make the list.”
“White supremacy and white nationalism is not a problem that is harming Black America,” she continued.
Her most recent visit was only possible by a generous invite from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Earlier this year, Owens made similar statements regarding the Black community and white supremacy which dismissed the impact of systemic issues.
The House is having a hearing on white supremacy and the Republicans invited Candace Owens who used her time to say it isn't actually an issue, that it wouldn't even rank in her top 100 issues and that the real issue is black-on-black crime & lack of masculinity in men. pic.twitter.com/kl2flYl7bK— jordan (@JordanUhl) September 20, 2019
Among the measures mentioned in the DHS report, the department will create fusion centers that combine intelligence hubs for federal, state and local law enforcement to combat domestic terrorism. Among the initiatives are those that aim to stop radicalization as well as decrease the spread of fake news and propaganda.“The United States faces an evolving threat environment and a threat of terrorism and targeted violence within our borders that is more diverse than at any time since the 9/11 attacks,” McAleenan said on Friday. “We are acutely aware of the growing threat from enemies, both foreign and domestic, who seek to incite violence in our nation’s youth, disenfranchised, and disaffected, in order to attack their fellow citizens.”