On the last day of Passover in 2019, a gunman entered the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, California, and opened fire. The April 27 attack claimed the life of a woman and left three others injured – including the rabbi.
In the aftermath, police arrested a 19-year-old man who, according to a federal affidavit, said that “Jewish people are destroying the white race.” A document under the accused shooter’s name was found online. It was filled with racist slurs and white nationalist conspiracy theories.
Almost a year later, the Poway attack remains a sobering reminder of the lethal threat posed by the white nationalist movement. It occurred only six months after a similar attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh left 11 dead and seven injured, and just six weeks after the shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, left 51 dead and 49 injured.
These are not the only terror attacks launched by white nationalists. Throughout 2019, we documented a string of domestic terror attacks fueled by white supremacy.
And earlier this year, when the SPLC released its findings for the 2019 Year In Hate and Extremism report, we found a 55% increase in white nationalist hate groups since 2017, despite an overall decline in hate groups.
On this anniversary, let’s honor the memory of the lives lost at the hands of white nationalist violence by recognizing the deadly threat this movement poses and committing to oppose it within our communities and across our nation.
Photo by AP Photo/Denis Poroy