RELEASE: Gottheimer Addresses Anti-Asian Hate & Violent Threats During House Homeland Security Committee Hearing in New Jersey

Oct 06, 2022
Press

Above: Gottheimer at this week’s House Committee on Homeland Security hearing in Teaneck.

TEANECK, NJ — This week, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) helped host the House Committee on Homeland Security’s congressional field hearing on countering violent extremism, terrorism, and antisemitic threats in New Jersey. Gottheimer questioned the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project Director, Susan Corke, about extremist groups that are targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and how to address these threats.

“Since 9/11, Americans have been aware of the threat to the homeland presented by terrorist organizations overseas in a way that we hadn’t. Foreign terrorism remains an ongoing concern to our safety. The January 6th attack on the Capitol provided a stark reminder that dangerous violent and extremist groups are present right here in our own country. These groups, as we talked about, are Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Patriot Front — to name some of the well known ones. And I mentioned earlier the trial of Oathkeepers leaders, Stewart Rhodes and several other members present at the Capitol on January 6th, starts today,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) during the Homeland Security Committee Hearing this week. “Ms. Corke, if I can ask you a question — as of 2021, there were reportedly 3,800 hate incidents targeting the AAPI community nationally. How are these extremist groups targeting this community specifically, and what can we do to better address these threats?”

Susan Corke, the Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Project Director, responded, “I really appreciate that question, and you’re correct — there’s been an alarming rise in disturbing, discriminatory, and violent incidents against people of Asian American and Pacific Islander backgrounds. We saw, close to the SPLC offices, a little over a year ago, the violent tragedy targeted against Asian American women at the spa. And that is a particular intersection that we see — the intersection between, misogyny, male supremacy, and violence directed towards people of the AAPI community. I deeply appreciate your question about what can we do, because SPLC has been very much focused on the greater need for prevention, that once it becomes a hate crime, it’s already too late.”

Corke continued, “So, we very much appreciate the Administration’s summit and the commitment of additional resources — a billion dollars going to the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, humanities — because preventing these incidents in the longer term requires a much greater commitment and investment to prevention of radicalization. We at SPLC have been working on a series of resources for parents, educators, caregivers to understand how radicalization happens, to see the warning signs, and have the tools to intervene effectively. That’s the type of resource that we believe should be more widely available to parents and caregivers, as well as digital literacy. SPLC has the Learning for Justice program, which has a number of resources available on digital literacy, and building up community resilience.”

Watch video from the House Homeland Security Committee hearing here.

Gottheimer’s work to combat violent threats and hate, and to support North Jersey’s AAPI community includes:

Combating hate: Since taking office, Gottheimer has helped Fifth District houses of worship, schools, and local community organizations claw back more than $6.3 million in federal Nonprofit Security Grants from FEMA, to invest in security for organizations that are at risk of a terrorist attack from homegrown and lone-wolf ISIS-inspired terrorists and white supremacists. 

Addressing anti-Asian hate: Gottheimer helped pass Rep. Grace Meng’s resolution last Congress to condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19, and supports the resolution again this Congress. Gottheimer has also helped lead bipartisan efforts to work to pass the NO HATE Act, which has been endorsed by the Problem Solvers Caucus that Gottheimer co-chairs, to strengthen federal law to combat hate speech, threats, and attacks.

Fighting crime and supporting law enforcement: The House recently passed Gottheimer’s bicameral legislation, the Invest to Protect Act, with sweeping bipartisan support. The legislation, which was introduced by Gottheimer and former Sheriff Rep. John Rutherford (FL-4), will make critical, targeted investments in small and midsize police departments with fewer than 125 sworn officers — which make up more than 96% of local U.S. police departments — for the recruitment, retention, support, and training they need to protect themselves and our families. It will give departments the flexibility to utilize resources to make meaningful investments in their officers and communities.

Clawing back our federal tax dollars to local towns and first responders: Gottheimer, in his most recent reporting, announced that the Fifth District has clawed back 357% more federal tax dollars back from Washington and the Moocher States since he took office. For 2021 alone, the federal tax dollars clawed back amount to an average savings of more than $750 for each household in the Fifth District. This includes federal grant success across the Fifth District, particularly with the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, the LESO 1033 excess resources program, and the Community Oriented Policing Services Program (COPS).

Working across the aisle: Gottheimer serves as the Co-Chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, where he works to bring the group of 29 Democrats and 29 Republicans together across party lines to find areas of agreement on key issues including lowering taxes, cutting health insurance premiums, and improving infrastructure to help the American people.

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