JANUARY 29, 2020: UNPRECEDENTED STATE BAR ASSOCIATION PANEL EXAMINES WHITE NATIONALISM AND DOMESTIC TERRORISM IN AMERICA
An extraordinary panel of legal, national security and other experts examined “White Nationalism and Domestic Terrorism in America” at the New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA) Presidential Summit Jan. 29 as part of the association’s weeklong 143rd Annual Meeting in New York City.
“The surge in white nationalist groups and home-grown extremists in recent years, and the increased frequency of violent incidents, demands that law enforcement, our elected officials and the general public work together to eradicate hate groups from our society,” said Henry M. Greenberg, NYSBA’s president. “Not only are hate crimes on the rise but attacks on the rule of law and our constitutional norms and traditions are now commonplace.”
The event, with a crowd of over 500 attendees, was moderated by Craig M. Boise, dean and professor of law at the Syracuse University College of Law.
The panelists were: David D. Cole, national legal director, American Civil Liberties Union; Frank Figliuzzi, Jr., former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, NBC News/MSNBC national security analyst; Hon. Letitia James, New York State Attorney General; Hon. Nan Whaley, mayor of Dayton, Ohio; and Leonard Zeskind, founder & president, Institute for Research and Education of Human Rights, author of “Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream.”
“Given the rise in hate crimes, to sit idly by and do absolutely nothing to me is not the answer. Lastly, let me just say we failed to mention the elephant in the room: why are we talking about white nationalism at this point in time in the history of this country? And the question is 2016. You had a President who basically has denigrated women, Mexicans, disabled, Muslims and the list goes on and on and refuses to denounce white nationalism,” said Attorney General James.
“What we need is moral leadership in this country again. What we need is someone who will not be afraid to stand up and call it as is: and that is hate. And we find ourselves in this country now divided more than ever before since the Civil War. And what we need is decency back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and to make changes to the law to hold these individuals responsible so they will go back to covering themselves under the sheets.”
Law enforcement is paying increased attention to home-grown extremists, including radicalized white nationalists, who have been responsible for the rising number of hate incidents and mass shootings in the United States.
About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.
Contact: Dan Weiller