Are New York governments filled with white supremacists and neo-Nazis?
Assemblyman Pat Burke, D-West Seneca, wants to create a new State Department to find out. Burke introduced A.10534 to the State Assembly to establish the Office of Domestic Terrorism. The new office would monitor, analyze, investigate, and combat domestic terrorism, white supremacy, and neo-Nazi infiltration of government agencies.
“This legislation will mark important first steps to stamp out extremism at all levels of government by creating a specific department to tackle the problem of domestic terrorism,” he added. Burke wrote in his legislative rationale.
There is no companion bill introduced in the state Senate yet, and nothing could happen before the start of the state legislative session in January.
Burke proposes that the Office of Domestic Terrorism be tasked with investigating extremist beliefs or affiliations at all levels of government that may threaten or incite violence against one or more people because of a belief regarding race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation.
A pair of comments Burke made following the Buffalo shooting heralded the introduction of A.10534. On the Assembly floor May 23, Burke spoke in support of K.969, a resolution expressing the state’s condolences to the Buffalo community, and said more should be done to ensure that there are no white supremacists in any government institution. a May 16 statement at a press conference hosted by the Assembly Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus when Burke spoke most forcefully about white supremacy in government.
“White supremacy, right-wing extremism is penetrating our institutions, our institutions of government, all over this country. And if you don’t think it happens in this state, it also happens in this state. Burke said at a May 16 press conference hosted by the Assembly Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus in response to the Buffalo shooting. “Everything in our power should eradicate these right-wing extremists from our government, from our community. They facilitate white supremacy. It has to stop. »
On May 31, the Anti-Defamation League released a report on extremist threats in New York State. The league found that there are numerous extremist groups in New York State that identify as anti-government extremists, militias, white supremacists and radical Islamists. The league noted that white supremacist propaganda incidents were down 31% in 2021 from 2020, but the state still ranked seventh nationally in the number of white supremacist propaganda incidents in 2021. Hate crimes in New York almost doubled from 2020 to 2021 and anti-Semitic hate crimes had increased by 62% from 2020 to 2021. New York also had the highest number of residents (58) arrested and charged with alleged participation in the January 6, 2021 riot in Washington, DC, including a 2020 State Senate candidate and a member of the Queens County District Council.
The report is also accompanied by a list of recommendations to prevent and counter domestic extremism. While the league recommends opposing extremists in government service, it has not noted a high number of extremists in government service. The report calls on state officials to do more against domestic violent extremism, but did not call for new monitoring or investigative authorities. Instead, he called on existing state authorities to focus on domestic violent extremism.
“Elected officials and law enforcement must stand united against extremist individuals who serve in government,” indicates the league report. It is essential that all parties recognize the potential for harm when these individuals rise to positions of power, whether in government, law enforcement or the military.
To read the full Anti-Defamation League report, go to www.adl.org/resources/report/hate-empire-state-extremism-antisemitism-new-york-2020-2021.