Progressive Organizations Call on Presidential Debate Moderators to Address the Rising Threat of White Nationalism

Progressive Organizations Call on Presidential Debate Moderators to Address the Rising Threat of White Nationalism

September 12, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 11, 2019

CONTACT: Elliot Levy, [email protected], 786-200-4244


Washington – Leading progressive groups, including Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, United We Dream Action, Daily Kos, Greenpeace USA, Ultraviolet, and Alliance for Quality Education, today submitted a petition to ABC and Univision urging the moderators of their Democratic presidential primary debate on Thursday evening (Sept. 12) to ask the candidates how they will stop the growth of white nationalism in the United States.

The petition, which has so far been signed by over 32,000 Americans, comes one month after a radical white nationalist entered a Walmart in El Paso and shot 22 people to death, injuring dozens more. It also comes as the Trump administration and its enablers in Congress engage in mainstreaming of white nationalist ideology by spreading antisemitic and racist conspiracy theories about immigration and enacting bigoted policies like mass detentions and the Muslim Ban, while doing nothing to prevent mass shootings by white nationalists like the ones in Pittsburgh, Gilroy and El Paso.

Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action:

“White nationalism is not an abstract concept; for Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, immigrants, Black Americans, the Latinx community, and many others, it is an existential and imminent threat that endangers our lives and must be urgently addressed. It is critical that we hear from the candidates seeking to replace Trump that they fully comprehend the dangers of white nationalism, can address how it has grown from the fringes to the mainstream, and have a comprehensive plan to defeat it.”

Adrian Reyna, Strategy Director of United We Dream Action:

“Trump is a white nationalist president. Trump’s and Republican’s rhetoric and attacks on immigrants has led to the deaths of people in our community. This happened in the shooting in El Paso by a white supremacist who called for the killing of Mexican communities. This is happening at the border and at concentration camps. Black and Brown, Muslim, and Jewish people demand a life of dignity and without fear. That is why we are calling on presidential candidates to present plans and commit to eradicate white nationalism, and bring justice to the communities that have been victims of these attacks.”

Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director, Alliance for Quality Education:

“Elected officials are quick to condemn white nationalism when it spills out into physical violence, but we must remind them that these incidents are not isolated. When our elected leaders refuse to speak out against racism, they give white nationalism power. When our president chooses to benefit from the support of racist groups, he pours fuel on white nationalist ideology. We need more than empty rebukes. Every day Black and Brown communities suffer the consequences of structural violence and white nationalism, in our schools, in housing, in healthcare, in employment. We need to demand leadership that take real action to tear down white supremacy in all its manifestations: in language, structural oppression, or physical violence.”