Yesterday the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held its first ever hearing into the spread of white supremacy, and this administration's role in its rise. Its purpose was to "examine the Administration’s efforts to collect accurate statistics on and combat white supremacist hate crimes and domestic terror. The hearing will also discuss the impact on the communities most victimized and targeted by white supremacists."
Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) assembled quite the group of witnesses, including Heather Heyer's mother, Ms. Susan Bro — Co-Founder President/Board Chair, Heather Heyer Foundation; Mr. Michael German — Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice; Mr. Omar Ricci — Chairman, Islamic Center of Southern California; Mr. George Selim — Senior Vice President of Programs, Anti-Defamation League; Mr. Roy L. Austin — Partner, Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, LLP and Member of The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and finally, some useless associate editor douchebro from Reason magazine.
Unsurprisingly, some of the most cogent questioning came from committee members with the most personal experience being at the wrong end of white supremacy. Rep. Rashida Tlaib spent her allotted time asking the witnesses to opine on the Trump administration's actions and inaction in the uptick of hate crimes against marginalized people in this country. Specifically, she mentioned that DHS has reassigned personnel in intelligence and analysis units tasked with tracking and combatting white supremacy.
She asked Mr. Selim if the accuracy of the statistic that 71% of white supremacist crimes were successful. He replied that not only was it correct, when it came to Islamic-inspired terror attacks, over 70% were intercepted in the planning phase. So, basically, this administration cares about stopping terrorism against white people, but not terrorism committed BY white people. This administration cares about identifying and jailing brown people who want to commit violence, but has no interest in identifying white people who plan to commit violence because, well, they agree with that violence because it's perpetrated against brown people.
Rep. Tlaib went straight to the heart of the matter with her question for the panel:
MS. BRO: I will not give you my personal opinion, but I will tell you what David Duke, Richard Spencer, and Matthew Heimbach, Jason Kessler have all THANKED the current administration for giving them support, for giving them a platform that they have been missing for many years.
DAMN. Heather Heyer's mother was UNSTOPPABLE. She went full-on Andrew Gillum on Trump. I'm not saying he's a racist, I'm saying racists believe he's a racist...
Mr. Selim answered by stating that Trump has DECIMATED the budgets on community partnerships, and local efforts to intervene in efforts to radicalize white people to violence. "That's what the budget numbers tell. That's not analysis, that's not opinion. Those are FACTS."
Mr. German pointed to the lack of law enforcement support on the local level needed to let white supremacists know they're not allowed to "come into our communities and cause harm." There's a big welcome mat, in other words.
Mr. Austin's response was succinct. "Undoubtedly. With the rhetoric, the resources, there is no doubt the administration has this completely backward."
Reason dude's answer wasn't worth the time it took me to type this sentence.