White supremacist violence in the United States is not new, but in recent years, it has become a top national security threat. In October 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concluded that racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists, particularly white supremacist extremists, are “the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland.”1
To confront this issue, the McCain Institute for International Leadership partnered with the Center for American Progress to conduct a yearlong research project, convening a coalition of more than 150 leaders from the communities most affected by white supremacist violence, along with civil rights advocates and experts in law enforcement, counter-terrorism, and national security. The byproduct is a comprehensive blueprint that reflects a broad consensus on policies to tackle white supremacist violence while also respecting civil liberties and protecting vulnerable communities.
- Leverage executive branch actions and authorities
- Improve data collection, research, and reporting
- Protect communities and prosecute crimes
- Counter recruiting and infiltration in military, veteran, and law enforcement communities
- Employ financial and technological tools and authorities
No single piece of legislation or executive action can effectively address all aspects of the long-standing and complex issue of white supremacist violence in the United States. The individual recommendations in the blueprint will require further steps to fully operationalize and implement, work which the McCain Institute and CAP are now continuing with state, local, grassroots, and nongovernment partners.