Pascrell Assails Another Act of Rightwing Domestic Terrorism
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. reacted to the murder of two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin by a rightwing domestic terrorist.
“The cold-blooded murder of two Americans in Kenosha is an act of deranged terrorism,” said Rep. Pascrell, who has been sounding the alarm in Congress on domestic extremism for over a decade. “The fact is that domestic extremism is not a both-sides problem. Violence must never be tolerated. It is simply a vicious cycle. Reports from groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the Center for Strategic and International Studies make clear that the overwhelming majority of acts of domestic terror and homicide are being committed by rightwing extremists. Rightwing domestic terrorism is a direct threat to every community in America and it is growing. For four years, Donald Trump has openly embraced the worst elements of humanity to divide our nation and direct hate towards Black Americans. Trump's actions and rhetoric have compounded the systemic and institutional problem of racism in our society, contributing to more violence in our neighborhoods and emboldening extremists like the murderer in Kenosha to commit acts of terror.”
Rep. Pascrell has been the foremost advocate in Congress for greater scrutiny of right-wing and other domestic extremist groups and a longtime proponent of increased funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which protects religious institutions and nonprofits from acts of terrorism.
In December 2019, Reps. Pascrell and Peter King (R-NY-02) led a letter calling for the Non-profit Security Grant Program to be funded at $90 million, citing “the rise of hate groups in our nation, the record of threats facing members of our community, and the FBI’s continued concern about domestic violent extremism.” One week after their letter, the requested funding was passed by the House. In January 2020, Reps. Pascrell and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05) held an interfaith event with religious leaders, law enforcement, and cultural groups to highlight the need to combat hate in our communities. In November 2019, Pascrell, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson held a roundtable town hall discussion in Garfield with members of law enforcement, elected officials, and religious leaders in an effort to hold a dialogue with the public about the rise in domestic extremism. In September, Reps. Pascrell and Gottheimer met with state officials and local law enforcement for a briefing on the threat of homegrown violent extremists in New Jersey.
In July 2019, Pascrell outlined his decade-long efforts against rightwing extremism in an op-ed in the Bergen Record and sets out a blueprint for how to defeat it.