Home National news Project 2025 and election-year hate group spike poses risk for people of color

Project 2025 and election-year hate group spike poses risk for people of color

People of color have made unprecedented progress in policymaking during the Biden-Harris administration. This has been overlooked in the misinformation, disinformation, and support of convicted felon and presumed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump by well-known and influential African Americans such as Ice Cube, Stephen A. Smith, Rep. Byron Donalds, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, Sexxy Red, Snoop Dogg, Don King, Mike Tyson, Ye, Killer Mike, Azealia Banks, Lil Wayne, DaBaby, Kodak Black, Chief Keef, Benny the Butcher, and Waka Flocka Flame.

All that progress likely will come to a grinding halt if Trump and his far-right supporters, who are running on a dangerous manifesto, win reelection. Republicans and conservatives want to take America back to the days of Jim Crow and beyond.

And those concerned say the proof is in the proverbial pudding as White nationalist and anti-Black, Hispanic, and LGBTQ groups have surged to record levels in the United States, fueled by the mainstreaming of hard-right politics ahead of a presidential election cycle, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center

The SPLC, which has published an annual report since 1990, documented 835 active anti-government groups, up 133 from 2022’s count, and 595 hate groups, an increase of 72 over the previous year’s figure. Notably, White supremacy hate groups saw a 50% surge in 2023, the highest jump ever recorded by the SPLC, growing to 165 from 109 in 2022. However, White power and neo-Nazi rallies across the U.S. decreased to 143 in 2023 from 191 in 2022.

The SPLC also noted a 33% rise in anti-LGBTQ organizations over the last year, bringing the total to 86.

“What we’re seeing now should be a wake-up call for all of us,” said Margaret Huang, SPLC’s president/CEO, on a call with reporters. “Our 2023 report documented more hate and anti-government extremist groups than ever before. With a historic election just months away, these groups are multiplying, mobilizing and making, and in some cases already implementing, plans to undo democracy.”

The SPLC reported an increase in in-person events and leafleting by hate groups, tracking nearly 7,000 flyer incidents last year, many featuring language derived from racist and antisemitic conspiracies.

These groups have also launched campaigns to gain influence in mainstream politics, notably through the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 manifesto which outlines aspirations for anti-abortion, anti-free press, and anti-LGBTQ priorities should presumed GOP presidential nominee and convicted felon Donald Trump win in November. Critics warn that the comprehensive plan could have severe consequences, particularly for communities of color.

The comprehensive overhaul of the federal government outlined in the 900-page ‘Mandate for Leadership’ includes significant policy shifts and a reimagined executive branch, covering both domestic and foreign policies, a personnel strategy, and a 180-day playbook designed to “rescue the country from the grip of the radical left,” according to the project’s website.

“It is not enough for conservatives to win elections,” the website says. “With the right conservative policy recommendations and properly vetted and trained personnel to implement them, we will take back our government.”

Project 2025 has drawn criticism for its authoritarian nature, including during a recent House hearing on where Texas Democratic Rep. Jasmine Crockett challenged Gene Hamilton, one of the project’s authors.

“It calls for eliminating the Department of Education, eliminating the Department of Commerce, and deploying the military for the use of domestic law enforcement against protesters under the Insurrection Act of 1807,” Crockett said. “It also has the repealing of Schedule F status for thousands of federal employees to allow a president to replace career civil servants with unqualified partisan loyalists. It also prohibits the FBI from combating the spread of misinformation and disinformation like Russia and China who are actively trying to interfere with American elections.”

Crockett condemned the plan, saying: “I don’t know why or how anybody can support Project 2025 in the United States of America. Dictatorships are never funny, and Project 2025 is giving the playbook for authoritarianism—as well as the next dictator to come in.”

Adding to the alarm, Trump declared he would be “a dictator on Day One” if re-elected.

Additionally, the Center for American Progress highlighted how Project 2025 would devastate local transit systems, particularly affecting communities of color and undermining economic growth. The plan proposes eliminating funding for the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) core programs and discretionary Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program.

“Public transit is a vital component of our modern transportation system, providing affordable, safe, and efficient mobility to millions of Americans every day,” said Kevin DeGood, director of Infrastructure Policy at CAP. “Project 2025 would badly harm local transit systems that support regional economies from coast to coast and increase costs for commuters.”

Rep. Crockett’s warning rings clear: “Project 2025 is giving the playbook for authoritarianism, as well as the next dictator, to come in.”

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