MILWAUKEE – State Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement in response to the recent white supremacy-inspired terrorist attacks in Gilroy, California and El Paso, Texas:

“While some in our State and country run away from the term, it is time to recognize the horrific acts like those recently carried out in California and Texas for what they are: cases of domestic terrorism in service of a White supremacist agenda. As long as we continue to consider incidents like these only as ‘hate crimes’ or ‘shootings,’ we will not see the necessary mobilization of resources needed to identify radicalized individuals and combat their hateful ideologies. Without concerted action by law enforcement to counter these White supremacist terrorists, I am afraid that we will continue to see a rise in similar terrorist attacks.”

In the span of a week, mass shooters in Gilroy, California and El Paso, Texas caused at least 63 casualties in shootings seemingly driven by White supremacist sentiments. Additionally, while the motive in the recent shooting in Dayton is yet to be determined, the majority of those killed were people of color. According to statistics from the Anti-Defamation League, extremism-related murders rose by 35% between 2017 and 2018, and the FBI has long considered White domestic terrorism a clear threat to the US population.

“Wisconsin is no stranger to White supremacist terrorism: seven years ago our Sikh brothers and sisters in Oak Creek were targeted by a White supremacist, and the threat of White supremacist violence still threatens communities of color in our State today. That is why I am calling on my colleagues in the Legislature to not just stand together and denounce these heinous crimes, but to act to protect our citizens from this terrorist threat – it is time that we provide funding for the Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies to identify and combat violent White supremacist terrorism in Wisconsin.”

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