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What you need to know about discussing white supremacist domestic terrorism

When can you talk about politics at work?

When is something a joke and when is it a microaggression?

When is political dissent free speech and when is it domestic terrorism?

These were a few of the questions we discussed in the Anti-Defamation League’s Anti-Hate Leadership Institute last night (I’m the group’s Co-Chair, I wasn’t zoom bombing!). It’s common and normal to be confused about what’s political jockeying and what’s good old-fashioned data. When it comes to white supremacist domestic terrorism, unfortunately, there’s so much data that we don’t need to guess. Credit: ADL’s Extremism by the Numbers

In case you haven’t heard, the January 6th attempted domestic coup wasn’t surprising--it was part of a long legacy that anti-racism researchers have been tracking for years. We saw that legacy raise its gruesome head again this week when 6 Asian women were murdered. It would be really nice if extremist violence ended with the inauguration. But domestic terrorism won’t end because we want it to end.

Being able to intelligently discuss racism and violent extremism is no longer an option at work or in our communities. It’s now a core competence. But there’s no need to fake it or to cram like you’re pulling a pizza-fueled all-nighter in college. There’s tons of data to help you cut through the noise and speak intelligently.

For example, the Anti-Defamation League’s HEAT Map shows over 11,000 incidents in the US since 2019. It doesn’t matter what your politics are, it matters if you’re committed to the democratic and electoral process. Show up to the conversation. Your neighbors need you.

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