Confronting Violent White Supremacy (Part V): Examining the Rise of Militia Extremism
On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 2:00 p.m., Rep. Jamie Raskin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, will hold a hearing examining the role of militia groups in the current rise of violent right-wing extremism.
Over the past year, the militia movement has been the organizational backbone of extremist activity related to COVID-19 public health measures, racial justice demonstrations, and allegations of voter fraud. The history of the militia movement is deeply intertwined with racism, and there has been increasing alignment between militia extremists and white supremacist activity, including when militia member Kyle Rittenhouse killed two protesters at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer. Far-right militia groups played a key role in organizing the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and have since celebrated the attack as a victory and used it to recruit new members.
The hearing will examine the rise of militia violent extremists (MVEs), as well as the large overlap between several militia groups with current and former law enforcement officials and the threat this poses to public safety and the rule of law. Domestic terrorism experts estimate that at least a quarter of militia members across the country may be military veterans or active service members.
The hearing will also discuss why illegal paramilitary activity by militias is not protected by the Second Amendment as MVEs argue, and why it requires an aggressive response from all federal and local government and law enforcement.