Read a PDF of our statement here.

LDF Statement on FBI’s Offensive “Black Identity Extremist” Report 

Yesterday, media reported on a baseless and offensive new FBI report on a supposed “Black Identity Extremist” threat rooted in peaceful protest against police brutality. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement:

“Equating lawful protest with domestic terrorism is not only wrong, it is unconscionable and dangerous. It was reprehensible when President Trump made a false equivalency between violent white supremacists and anti-racism protestors. The FBI’s new report warning of a “Black identity extremist” threat is just as repugnant. The evidence of widespread police use of deadly force, disproportionately targeting people of color, is incontrovertible. And unfortunately, contrary to the FBI’s report, this fatal truth has marred our nation for centuries and threatens the integrity of the rule of law in our country. Americans of all races not only have a constitutional right to protest this reality, but a moral responsibility to do so.

“Our nation does face a domestic terrorist threat, but it is not from young African-American activists engaged in lawful protest against the killing and assault of unarmed African Americans, and against other unconstitutional policing practices. It is from violent white supremacists and those who enable them, as the FBI has readily conceded. We urge the FBI and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to remain focused on the true threat to our country – the domestic terror threat that has targeted communities of color for generations: white supremacy.”

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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