ADL: White House Needs Clear Action Plan in Wake of Charlottesville

New York, NY, August 14, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on President Donald Trump to follow up his words earlier today with a strong plan of action that will ensure the kind of white supremacist violence and anti-Semitic and racist incitement witnessed in Charlottesville will not happen again.

Earlier today in remarks from the White House, President Trump denounced the haters and white supremacists involved in the violence in Charlottesville, and called out the tragic loss of life that came about as a result of the so-called “Unite the Right” rally. But his statement came two days after the events, and after a disappointing initial reaction from the President that seemed to equate the haters with counter protesters.

“This is a moment when we desperately need leadership,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “But I think we should expect our leader in the highest office in the land to step above the lowest possible bar. Statements are not sufficient at this stage in the game. We need to move from words to action. The threat is not over. The hate groups are feeling emboldened and are already organizing a number of other rallies. The President needs to engage broadly, with leaders in Congress and others in the civil rights community, to execute a plan to stop the threat of further violence.”

Among the displays of hate witnessed during the Charlottesville rally were anti-Semitic chants such as “Jews will not replace us!” and “Sieg Heil”; people bearing torches marching through the town doing “Heil Hitler” salutes; swastikas and confederate flags carried side by side by racists; and chants of “Blood and Soil,” which are ripped directly from Nazi-era slogans.

ADL today called on the White House to take the following action steps:

  • Directing the Department of Justice and the FBI to ensure all law enforcement is trained on how to deal with hate and extremists.

  • Tasking the Department of Education to prioritize anti-bias, anti-hate content in schools across America, and reteach the value of pluralism.

  • Engaging the Department of Homeland Security to expand the Counter Violent Extremism grant program, which was originally defunded in the budget, and ensure funds are allocated to fight all forms of extremism.

ADL’s Center on Extremism is currently monitoring additional rallies and other activity by white supremacist and all types of extremists.