WHEREAS, throughout the course of our nation's history, white nationalism has promoted intimidation and violent repression of individuals solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and immigration status; and
WHEREAS, "racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists-specifically white supremacist extremists...-will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the [United States]", according to the United States Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Threat Assessment from October 2020; and
WHEREAS, "[w]hite supremacists have demonstrated longstanding intent to target racial and religious minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, politicians, and those they believe promote multiculturalism", according to the United States Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Threat Assessment from October 2020, and that "[s]ince 2018, [white supremacist extremists] have conducted more lethal attacks in the United States than any other [domestic violent extremist] movement"; and
WHEREAS, white supremacy is an ideology focused on maintaining White political and economic, as well as demographic, dominance and is at odds with our commitment to inclusion and multiracial democracy in the State of Montana; and
WHEREAS, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in Montana experience ongoing harassment, tribal nations in Montana experience ongoing efforts to undermine treaty rights and tribal sovereignty, anti-Semitism is a driving force behind white nationalism, and anti-Semitic hate propaganda has been distributed in communities throughout Montana; and
WHEREAS, free speech is a core principle of American democracy, but does not excuse the unconscionable agenda of hate groups that seek to destabilize American democracy, use fear as a control tactic, divide our community, and promote and ignite social animosities; and
WHEREAS, while free speech is a bedrock value for Americans, white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups promote agendas that are in irreconcilable conflict with our nation's foundational principles of liberty and justice for all; and
WHEREAS, white nationalism and neo-Nazism are continuing to grow as menaces to societal order that seek to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide the nation, and foment hatred, classism, and ethnic eradication; and
WHEREAS, the State of Montana condemns xenophobia, racism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, ableism, sexism, and all other forms of bigotry, and proudly stands for individual dignity and security and in unity against all those who would seek to propagate hate, fear, and intimidation and incite fear and violence targeting any human being; and
WHEREAS, the State of Montana celebrates and embraces the diversity of our community, which includes people of all races, national origins, immigration or refugee statuses, heritages, cultures, religions, sexes, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, abilities, ages, and economic statuses; and
WHEREAS, the white nationalist and neo-Nazi message of racial and social intolerance has led to senseless acts of violence that continue to terrorize members of ethnic and religious minority communities.
That the State of Montana denounces bias or hate in any form and is committed to continue pursuing policies and directing resources of the state in the next year and beyond to ensure civil and human rights are afforded to all individuals.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that as the Montana Legislature, we strongly denounce and oppose the totalitarian impulses, violent terrorism, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge law enforcement to recognize these white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups as domestic terrorist organizations, and to pursue the criminal elements of these domestic terrorist organizations in the same manner and with the same fervor used to protect the United States from other manifestations of terrorism.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the State of Montana is proud to stand as a shining example of states committed to inclusion, dignity, and justice. To that end, we deepen our resolve to recognize and confront systemic discrimination by reaffirming our steadfast commitment to peace, respect, inclusivity, and equity for all.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State send a copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, each member of the Montana Congressional Delegation, the leaders of the Tribal Nations in Montana, each county commissioner in the State of Montana, and all city councilmembers in the State of Montana.
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See the status of this bill for the bill's primary sponsor.
Prepared by Montana Legislative Services