Monday, August 8, 2022

After Buffalo, Civil Rights Leaders Launch Anti-Hate Plans

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — The nation’s oldest civil rights organization said it would propose a comprehensive plan to protect black Americans from white supremacist violence in response to the hate genocide that killed 10 black people in Buffalo.New York, last weekend.

In a plan shared for the first time with The Associated Press, the NAACP suggests a policy approach to preventing future acts of anti-black domestic terrorism that includes law enforcement, trade regulation and gun control. The proposal points to measures that could be taken immediately by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

Specifically, the plan calls for holding accountable any corporation that is involved in the spread of bigotry and racism through news media and social platforms, to implement gun violence prevention measures that prevent mass casualty weapons from attackers. and improve police practices so black Americans experience the same de-escalation tactics often used to peacefully capture murdered white supremacists.

Saturday’s Planned Attack NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said an outright racist take on Black shoppers at Topps Friendly Market in Buffalo made clear that “democracy and white supremacy cannot coexist.”

A spokesman for the civil rights group said he was scheduled to meet with Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday.

The NAACP unveiled its proposal as black leaders across the country fretted about inaction on the part of elected leaders to prevent domestic terror attacks by white supremacists against black Americans. From Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Birmingham, Alabama to Charleston, South Carolina, and Charlottesville, Virginia, generations of Americans have not seen an increasing death toll from such violence with immediate legislation to prevent or reduce the threat.

The Ku Klux Klan bombings that killed four black girls at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham helped lead to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – the landmark law that outlawed segregation. It did not address Klan violence.

The gruesome images of Alabama state soldiers and white vigilantes brutally thrashing the voting rights march in Selma prompted the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965—the landmark law that outlawed black voter suppression. It did not address the excessive use of police force on peaceful protesters.

And it’s been 67 years since Emmett Till’s murderA black teen from Chicago who was kidnapped in Mississippi after a white woman was accused of whistling, lynching and dumped in a river before Congress enacted an anti-lynching law, More than a year after using his inaugural speech to warn of a rise in white supremacist ideology and domestic terrorism, President Joe Biden signed the bill in late March.

“White supremacy is a poison,” Biden reiterated during a visit to Buffalo on Tuesday. “We need to say as clearly and forcefully as possible that the ideology of white supremacy has no place in America.”

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparked anti-Asian hate crimes, Congress quickly enacted legislation that encourages the reporting of such crimes. It also gave law enforcement more resources to handle the increased reporting.

But now, in the wake of the white supremacist attack in Buffalo, black civil rights advocates are wondering whether they will see the same haste from lawmakers on anti-black hate crimes. The House passed the bill late on Wednesday night Which would strengthen federal resources to prevent domestic terrorism in response to mass shootings. Supporters of the House bill say it will help officials better monitor and respond to the growing threat of white extremist terrorism. But the bill is yet to be approved by the Senate.

Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney representing the 86-year-old family, said: “We need to know that our top leaders in America react and respond when we are hurt, just as they acted and responded when Others were hurt.” Ruth Whitfield, the biggest victim of a buffalo attack.

Andrea Boyles, an associate professor of sociology and Africana studies at Tulane University, said part of the black experience in America is seeing racial violence against black communities as a non-urgent matter.

“The message from all of this has consistently been that where there is hatred for black people, the consequences are least likely,” Boyles said. “We must be clear with elected officials, black and white, Democratic or Republican, that talking points may no longer be the trend.”

The NAACP’s policy proposal calls for systemic and institutional changes that go beyond punishing racist domestic terrorists after committing mass murder. The civil rights group works on Fox News, the cable news channel which it accuses of “sowing bigotry and racism, creating dissension, spreading misinformation, and promoting conspiracy theories that encourage persistent violence”. Allegations of using airtime.

It also named Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has openly discussed the baseless “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory cited by the Buffalo Gunman. Conspiracy is a racist ideology, which has gone mainstream from white nationalist circles, which says white people and their influence are being “replaced” by people of color.

The NACCP also called on advertisers, including the National Football League, to take an ethical stand against cable news outlets by withholding their advertising dollars.

On the prevention of gun violence, the NAACP provides for creating a “Domestic Terrorist Watch List” and prohibiting those on the list from legally purchasing a firearm. And on police reforms, the motion calls on Biden to take executive action in lieu of stalled George Floyd justice in the Police Act ahead of the two-year anniversary of Floyd’s murder next week.

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The NAACP suggests in its proposal, “All police and law enforcement officers should submit to a thorough review of their affiliation to determine whether they are not aligned with white supremacist organizations.”

Patrice Willoughby, the NAACP’s vice president of policy and legislative affairs, said the federal government already has some of the tools it needs to begin acting on policy proposals.

“Unless there is a holistic approach to eliminating hate, we will not have the type of society in which people are free to live and work without fear,” she said.

In the civil rights community, black activists echoed the NAACP’s call for action to address white supremacy and violence.

Amara Enya, policy and research coordinator for the Movement for Black Lives, said it was important to acknowledge that the shooting in Buffalo was not an individual act of violence, but rather a symptom and evidence of a systemic problem that has grown significantly in recent years. .

“These atrocities that are committed are systems, and they are a structural and systemic system of cancer,” Enya said. “You have this person who is anti-black racism and a society whose system is built on anti-black racism.

“When we understand this, it may not be surprising that this person would act in this way, as he reflects a certain worldview that is unfortunately based on the different systems on which this society was built. And Those of us who are organisers, activists, we are trying to destroy these systems because they are harmful.”

Rashad Robinson, President of Color of Change, noted that white supremacists and nationalists now have access to a wider audience and are able to spread hateful and dangerous rhetoric on various online platforms. Robinson has called for stricter regulation of social media platforms to prevent the spread of supremacist content and ideologies.

Robinson said, “With the dominance of social media platforms, what we’re seeing right now is an unregulated corporate infrastructure whose incentive structures demand the kind of engagement that’s going to go down the rabbit hole of white supremacy,” Robinson said. more likely.” “Unless we really have consequences on the 21st century, technological infrastructure, we will be in a place where it will pull us back to the 18th and 19th centuries.”

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Stafford reported from Detroit. Morrison and Stafford are members of the Associated Press’s race and ethnicity team. Follow Morrison on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/aaronlmorrison, Follow Stafford on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kat__staffford,

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