Department of Homeland Security warns US of increased threat level to certain communities
HOUSTON - The Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning to Americans. The threat level against certain communities and groups has increased.
The national terrorism advisory issued by DHS warns this elevated threat isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, according to Homeland Security, potential acts of violence against certain races, religious groups, and the LGBT community will last through the election season.
"I’m not surprised. The fact of the matter is we can feel the tension," says Houston NAACP President Bishop James Dixon.
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"The United States remains in a heightened threat environment". Those words or rather that warning coming directly from the Department of Homeland Security saying people "motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat".
"We are becoming unfortunately a polarized community of this group versus that group, and it only takes one idiot to respond to that level of hatred and we get a mass shooting," Bishop Dixon says.
"Over the last few years there’s been a climate of hate and when people feel comfortable expressing anti-Semitism and racism and all forms of hate that can embolden people," explains Anti-Defamation League SW Regional Director Mark Toubin.
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"Words matter and what people are voicing in their political views means something," Bishop Dixon adds.
In fact, according to the DHS warning both domestic and foreign terrorist groups are encouraging attacks against specific targets including faith-based institutions, the LGBT community, racial minorities, government facilities, and even law enforcement.
"Since 1970 of all murders that have been committed by extremists, 57% have happened in the last 12 years," Toubin explains.
"We are watching now the erosion of civil discourse and we’ve got to revise that. We’ve got to get people with different views and values to come to the table to talk about what are our commonalities and how do we get there without destroying one another," says Bishop Dixon.
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DHS says some things that could motivate extremist violence are perceptions of the 2024 general election cycle and legislative decisions pertaining to sociopolitical issues.
Bishop Dixon says he believes the solution starts with religious leaders coming together to look at the problem of polarized politics dividing Americans and he says a large part of ending the division is for elected officials who talk at one another to talk with one another.
The increased threat is in effect through late November 2023.