Pete Buttigieg: White Nationalism the Most Deadly Form of Terrorism in the United States

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Mayor Pete Buttigieg continues warning of the rising threat of white nationalism, telling voters in Iowa over the weekend he believed that it was the most deadly form of terrorism in the United States.

“White Nationalist violence has killed more people on American soil than any other source of terrorism,” he told voters in Shenandoah, Iowa, on Saturday. “We got to name that, confront that and say that is not us.”

The audience of Iowa Democrats applauded and cheered Buttigieg’s statement.

Buttigieg did not compare statistics between violent attacks from white nationalists in the United States and attacks conducted or inspired by radical Islamic terrorists such as the 2,977 Americans killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the San Bernardino shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing, or the shooting at a military base in Fort Hood, Texas.

The South Bend mayor frequently warns about the existential threat posed by white nationalists as he continues his run for president.

“It could be the lurking issue that ends this country in the future if we don’t wrangle it down in our time,” he told ABC News on Saturday.

Buttigieg’s warnings about white nationalism frequently fit with his message of how Democrats will keep America more secure than Republicans.

In March, he accused President Donald Trump of failing to protect America from the threat of white nationalism in an interview with the Intercept.

“He is failing to protect us from the clear and present dangers that white nationalism poses,” Buttigieg said, arguing that Trump was “probably sympathetic” to their ideology.

He also indicated in an interview with Buzzfeed in March that Trump supporters were “complicit” in the rise of the threat posed by white nationalists.

“I think the moment you come on board with a project like the Trump campaign or the Trump-Pence administration, you are at best complicit in the process that has given cover for the flourishing and the resurgence of white nationalism in our midst,” he said.

During his speech in June outlining his foreign policy agenda, Buttigieg argued that “right-wing extremists” had killed more Americans than radical Islamic terrorists “in the past decade,” which excludes the horrific death toll of 9/11.

“We need to acknowledge this threat too and redirect appropriate resources to combat right-wing extremism and violent white nationalism,” he stated.

In July, Buttigieg said that the racial imbalance of the death penalty helped enforce white supremacy in the United States.

“You can see it in the simple fact that someone convicted of the same crime is more likely to face the death penalty if they are black,” he said. “Not to mention the very ugly history of the way that judicial and extra-judicial killings have been used to enforce white supremacy through American history.”

Trump was asked by reporters in March about whether he believed that white nationalism posed a greater threat to the world after the mosque shootings in New Zealand.

“I don’t really,” he replied. “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess.”

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