STATE HOUSE – Rep. Aaron Regunberg today
introduced a House resolution urging law enforcement to recognize “white
nationalist” and neo-Nazi groups as terrorist organizations.
The legislation is a response to the
increasingly brazen activities of white supremacist groups, including the rally
of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 17, when a white
supremacist drove into a crowd of protestors, killing a women. The resolution
is based on one passed in Illinois shortly after the Charlottesville incident.
“White nationalists, neo-Nazis and other
racist and xenophobic groups have rallied around the election of Donald Trump.
And by signaling acceptance of this violent agenda, Trump has tacitly aided
their rise. Rhode Island and other states must step up and make it clear that we
will not tolerate their hate and violence here, and recognize them for what
they are: terrorists who aim to destroy what makes our nation great,” said
Representative Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence).
The resolution, which is similar to one
introduced by Sen. Gayle Goldin last week (2018-S 2696), calls the
Charlottesville incident confirmation “that white nationalism and neo-Nazism
remain very real threats to social and racial progress,” and point to the
“senseless acts of violence that continue to terrorize members of racial,
ethnic and religious minority communities” carried out as a result of white
supremacy groups’ message of racial and social intolerance.
The legislation urges law enforcement to
recognize white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups as terrorist organizations, and
to “pursue the criminal elements of these domestic terrorist organizations in
the same manner and with the same intensity used to protect the United States
from other manifestations of terrorism.”