Murders related to right-wing extremism in US hit record high in 2018

Published 25.01.2019 00:07

Right-wing extremists accounted for a growing share of extremist-related killings in the United States with at least 50 extremist-related murders recorded in 2018, according to a report published on Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

In its annual report on extremist-related killings in the U.S., the ADL's Center on Extremism recorded the highest death toll since 1995, including the 11 individuals killed in the fatal anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The report noted that the killers were affiliated with right-wing movements and organizations, in most cases alt-right movement that includes white supremacists, neo-Nazis and supporters of the Ku Klux Klan.

"The white supremacist attack in Pittsburgh should serve as a wake-up call to everyone about the deadly consequences of hateful rhetoric," said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, the ADL's chief executive officer. "It's time for our nation's leaders to appropriately recognize the severity of the threat and to devote the necessary resources to address the scourge of right-wing extremism."

The mass shooting in Pittsburgh, the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the U.S., reveals growing fears of hatred and insecurity. The suspect in that shooting, Robert Bowers, 46, expressed hatred of Jews during the rampage and later told police that "all these Jews need to die," authorities said.

In August 2017, the quiet college town of Charlottesville, Virginia became a bloodied symbol of the nation's roiling racial and political divisions following a white nationalist gathering that left one dead. The Charlottesville violence created a fierce urgency to remove public statues, monuments and other glorified remembrances of leaders of the Confederacy in the U.S. Some believe that the statues mark history and honor heritage while others say they represent white supremacy and America's dark legacy of slavery.

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