After three mass shootings in one week, with three killed in Gilroy, Calif., 22 in El Paso, Tx., and 10 in Dayton, OH, there is rising concern about white supremacist ideology across the country.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump denounced hate groups before heading to El Paso and Dayton.
“I don't like it,” said Trump. “Any group of hate, whether it’s white supremacy, whether it’s any other kind of supremacy, whether its Antifa, whether it’s any group of hate, I’m very concerned about it.”
President Trump said his rhetoric brings people together, but Attorney General Mark Herring said the president is the one spurring white nationalist ideology.
“Over and over again, he references “the invasion” or he retweets known nationalists and white supremacists or he says ‘go back to where they came from,’” said Herring. “All of that language emboldens them, makes them feel like they are supported when instead, they should be met with universal condemnation.”
In Virginia, there were 161 hate crimes in 2018, 60 percent of which were racially or ethnically motivated, according to Virginia State Police.
Herring said political leaders from the local and federal levels need to denounce white nationalist ideology.
“And too often, it has been met with either indifference or worse, actual encouragement, and it is emboldening these groups,” said Herring.
13News Now Political Analyst Quentin Kidd said the rise in white nationalist violence is causing fear among political circles.
“Killings is the ultimate fear of political violence but people who won’t accept the results of an election and turn to the streets to riot in protest,” said Kidd.
Leading up to the November 2020 presidential elections, Kidd said the spread of white supremacy is energizing all parties of voters to turn out.