Speaking in Memphis, TN, on Sunday, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren compared white nationalism to the terrorism of ISIS and Al Qaeda, and said she’d employ the Department of Justice to challenge its rise.
“In the same way ISIS and Al Qaeda and terrorism pose a threat to the U.S., so does the rise of white nationalism,” Warren said at the first stop of a three-state tour. “Leadership starts at the top, it’s important to call it out and then to use the Justice department to fight back hard against it.”
Warren’s comments come days after a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi espousing white supremacy killed 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand. The main suspect, who police now believe to have been the lone gunman in the attack, entered no plea to one count of murder related to the killings, according to the Washington Post. Officials say he’ll face additional charges, and has another court appearance in April.
The Post reported that 36 victims remained in the hospital over the weekend, two of them in intensive care.
While President Donald Trump seemed driven to spend the least amount of time possible condemning Islamophobia and white supremacy following news of the attack on Friday, Democrats hoping to challenge him in 2020 tweeted messages of solidarity with the Muslim community in New Zealand and platitudinal condemnation of varying targets, ranging from broad hate to white supremacy and white nationalism. (Since Trump took office, funding and resources for efforts to fight white supremacy and domestic terrorism have been slashed.)
Last week, Splinter reached out to every Democratic presidential campaign to ask how they specifically planned to tackle the rise of white nationalism is elected. Of the major candidates, the campaign of Cory Booker pointed us to comments he made in New Hampshire criticizing tech companies for “giving a platform to hate.” New York Sen. Gillibrand’s campaign office, meanwhile, directed us to a clip of Trump’s acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney criticizing Gillibrand on Fox News for calling attention to Trump’s emboldening of white supremacists.
In an email, the campaign of long-shot candidate Andrew Yang told Splinter that the candidate would “reverse any cuts in federal funding for groups fighting right-wing violence and restore the funding to previous levels or even increase funding,” and that Yang “would make fighting domestic terrorism a priority.”