Media Advisory News

NAACP Issues Letters to Congress Calling for Hearings on Domestic Terrorism and Government Surveillance of Black Activists

March 13, 2019

Letters sent to chairs of House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees

BALTIMORE (March 13, 2019)—Today, the nation’s foremost civil rights organization issued letters addressed to the chairs of the House Committees on Homeland Security and the House Judiciary Committee to request hearings on the issues of domestic terrorism; and regarding the ways in which Black activists are being tracked and monitored by government agencies.

In the letter addressed to Congressman Bennie Thompson, chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Congressman Jerrold Nadler, chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary; the NAACP cites a number of circumstances as problematic and the basis of its concerns including:

  • A 2018 domestic terrorist plot sending pipe bombs targeting African American legislators and outspoken opponents to the current president.
  • Numerous threats against Congresswoman Maxine Waters
  • A recent report; showing white nationalist groups have “jumped by almost 50 percent” in 2018 and the main focus of these attacks are African Americans

Also sent to ranking committee members from both parties, the letter discusses the disturbing issue of surveillance of Black activists as an additional item which the civil rights organization seeks transparency and clarity on.

In the letter, NAACP President Derrick Johnson strongly urged both Thompson and Nadler “to use your prerogatives as the Chairmen of the committees of jurisdiction to investigate and hold hearings on terrorism within the United States; especially domestic terrorism, in which both the assailant(s) and the victim(s) reside on American soil.” He also expressed concern regarding “reports of people and organizations being singled out for investigation and surveillance because of their activism.”

For a copy of the letter, visit here.