Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

White nationalism — a racist extremism that was confined to the ugly fringes for most of our lives — is a growing major danger in America.

The big picture: Racial resentment and anxiety have been a central appeal for Donald Trump and his rhetoric among the working-class, forgotten Americans who put him over the top, and who are at the core of his re-election strategy.

  • The appeal to alienated young men, combined with the country's gun culture, creates a leading incubator of the mass shootings now plaguing the country.
  • In the past 18 months, white-extremist active shooters in the U.S. have been responsible for 65 deaths in seven episodes. (NY Times)
  • Both parties are calling out the ideology after the El Paso massacre by an Anglo who complained online of a "Hispanic invasion": George P. Bush, a Hispanic Republican who is Texas land commissioner and the grandson and nephew of former presidents, warned this weekend of "white terrorism here in the U.S."
  • The FBI says homegrown violent extremists are now a top concern — "a persistent, pervasive threat," director Christopher Wray called it in April.
  • Two weeks ago, Wray said the bureau had made 100 arrests for domestic terrorism in the past 9 months, with many tied to white supremacy.

The data: "Right-wing extremists killed more people in 2018 than in any year since 1995, the year of Timothy McVeigh’s bomb attack on the Oklahoma City federal building, according to the Anti-Defamation League," per the NY Times.

  • The reality: 2019 is worse.

We're seeing all this unfold before our eyes on social media.

  • "The Great Replacement," a white-nationalist conspiracy theory cited by the El Paso suspect, has gone viral on fringe platforms.
  • The suspect's online manifesto spread widely, despite efforts to contain it: An analysis by the social-media intelligence firm Storyful found the manifesto was shared hundreds of times on Facebook and Twitter.

Storyful found that white nationalists drove a substantial amount of online conversation during last week's Democratic debate.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris has been the target of right-wing nationalist conversation online, largely due to her background and race. 

Russian bots have long been fueling the white nationalist movement in the U.S.

Despite all the flashing warning signs, the FBI has been criticized for being slow to focus enough resources on the danger.

  • FBI officials recently told Congress they were conducting "about 850 domestic terrorism investigations — a decrease from a year earlier, when there were roughly 1,000," the WashPost reports.

Why domestic terrorism is hard to stop, via the NY Times:

  • Compared to broad powers to disrupt foreign terrorist plots, "domestically, federal officials have far fewer options. A federal statute defines domestic terrorism but carries no penalties. The First Amendment ... makes stopping terrorist acts committed by Americans before they happen more challenging."

And mainstream conservatives have been slow to confront the reality.

  • The Department of Homeland Security warned in 2009 that the greatest threat to domestic security was far-right extremism, not foreign terrorists.
  • The Obama administration was ripped by Rush Limbaugh and others on the right who felt victimized.

Between the lines: White nationalism is the subtext and text text of the 2020 presidential race, as the reality of a shrinking white population sets in and big states, including Texas, turn increasingly diverse — and blue.

Go deeper: America's hate problem

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,976,447 — Total deaths: 1,014,266 — Total recoveries: 23,644,023Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,233,945 — Total deaths: 206,959 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump signs stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Updated 3 hours ago - Science

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1,700 firefighters are battling 26 major wildfires across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 3.9 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

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