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Designating White Supremacists Groups as Terrorists Is the Right Move

Supporters of US President Donald Trump, including member of the QAnon conspiracy group Jake A, aka Yellowstone Wolf (C), enter the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC

Canada is considering designating white supremacist groups as terrorist groups, and I’ve never been prouder. Because they’re right. These people are terrorist groups, and the proof is in the domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol Building of the United States of America. This is no longer something along party lines. It’s about groups who actively terrorize, destroy, and murder facing consequences for their actions.

In case you’re confused, or need some clarification, the group that entered the Capitol Building is made up of white supremacist terrorists. (Seriously.) Yes, they are Donald Trump supporters, but they are also terrorists who forced themselves into a government building with intent of murdering politicians they disagreed with. They are not patriots or American heroes. They are domestic terrorists who should have the full arm of the law coming down on them. Designating white supremacist groups as terrorist groups is the first step in dismantling fascist, racist extremism.

White militia groups, far-right groups like the Proud Boys, and Neo-Nazis have absolutely no right to be protected or excused as just another arm of the Republican party. I wouldn’t even consider them Republicans. I would consider them hate groups who want to see the downfall of the U.S. Some might disagree, but I ask them to look back at what happened at the Capitol Building. That was a domestic terrorist attack by far-right extremists and no amount of disagreeing can win over video and audio evidence.

Designating these groups as terrorist entities could mean sweeping changes and consequences for their members. It could allow financial institutions to freeze assets, making it harder for them to pay for weapons and flights to locations they want to attack. It could empower the police to seize property, making it harder for them to meet up in groups and spread their far-right extremist propaganda. And it could make it illegal to “knowingly participate or contribute to the organization” in question.

Some worry that using this kind of tactic on a group inside the U.S., while the designation is currently limited to groups outside our borders, is the politicization of anyone who doesn’t think like Democrats, Liberals, etc., and that such a tactic could just as easily be weaponized against left-leaning groups by someone like Donald Trump.

Personally, I disagree, and I think we can find a way to make it happen without creating that slippery slope. This is about rooting out extremists who plan to kill people and subvert our democracy because they think they are the only ones who are right. This is about destroying racist rhetoric and making sure people know that it’s not welcome in the U.S. And this is about protecting those most vulnerable communities from organizations who want to end their lives because of their political views or color of their skin.

(image: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

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Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.