Empowering Communities to Address Hate-Based Violence
Targeted violence* and hate crimes, sometimes referred to as domestic terrorism, are among the most persistent and lethal threats to the United States. While discussing the increasing threat in 2021, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated, “The problem of domestic terrorism has been metastasizing across the country for a long time now, and it’s not going away anytime soon.” The total number of domestic terrorist attacks and plots decreased from its height in 2020, though 2021 still had the second-highest number of attacks and plots in the past three decades. Among domestic violent extremist movements, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security found that “racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists—specifically white supremacist extremists —will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland.”
Targeted violence is not only prevalent in the U.S.; it takes place all across the globe in many different ways. For example, the UN Secretary General has stated that “[w]hite supremacy and neo-Nazi movements are more than domestic terror threats. . . .Today, these extremist movements represent the number one internal security threat in several countries.” Addressing the mobilization from hate to violence requires innovative solutions, collaboration among practitioners and widespread knowledge sharing.
To empower communities to stand up to hate-based violence, the McCain Institute has formed the Preventing Targeted Violence Program. This program consists of student innovation challenges, creation of a prevention practitioners’ network and a National Policy Blueprint to End White Supremacist Violence.
*Targeted Violence refers to any incident of violence against a specific target based on perceived ideologies, which can be carried out by lone offenders or by individuals belonging to one or more hate groups. Targeted violence includes acts of terrorism but is much broader, also including mass shootings, attacking houses of worship, and hate crimes. It does not include domestic violence or gang violence.
Prevention Practitioners Network
The Prevention Practitioners’ Network is a national network of interdisciplinary professionals dedicated to preventing targeted violence, terrorism and their impacts within the United States.
In the past few years, our teens and young adults’ screen time has soared. Millions of messages are coming at them, including hate-based rhetoric designed to look like harmless internet activity. It’s not a matter of if they will find hate online – it’s a matter of when. Trusting that your family’s values will protect them is not enough. It’s our job to help teens and young adults screen for hateful activity online and seek help when needed.
Promoting Student Innovation
National Policy Blueprint To End White Supremacist Violence
In order to create and implement federal reforms that will encourage state- and community-level action, the McCain Institute partnered with the Center for American progress to create the National Policy Blueprint to End White Supremacist Violence.