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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

As the fighting spreads, what can we do about it?

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Last week, three young white men from Maryland allegedly drove their car into pedestrians on a crowded bike path in New York City, killing eight. Three suspects have been arrested and were charged with murder.

Yet this attack, which police have said they believe was a terrorist one, was not the first over the past few weeks that saw far-right extremists murder innocent people. This follows a long-running pattern: violence, often inspired by white supremacists, by far-right extremists against Muslims and immigrants, against Muslims, minorities, even those who are here legally in some cases, especially minority women.

The backstory is complicated and it varies from incident to incident. There is the right-wing white supremacist terror attack last year in Kansas City, which killed three and wounded three others. There was the attack by a far-right extremist from Colorado Springs who carried out a double shooting spree in Colorado Springs, killing three and wounding three people. There was the Boston Marathon bombing. There were the Pulse nightclub shooting, the car-and-knife attack in Atlanta, the shooting outside the Empire State Building. There was the Berkeley, Calif., stabbing attack and the Alexandria, Va., shooting. And, earlier this year, there was the terrorist attack in London.

In every one of these cases, whether with white supremacists or those who identify with causes other than white supremacist as well, the motive for the violence was: We have a problem here.

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