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Report: Attack on Democracy Driven By Assault on Black Americans

Marc Morial
Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, which recently released its 2023 State of Black America report (Courtesy photo)

By Stacy M. Brown

The National Urban League’s 2023 State of Black America report concluded that an uptick in police brutality, specifically against Black Americans, is no coincidence.

Across the nation, white supremacist groups and domestic terror cells have infiltrated law enforcement and the military ranks, posing a threat to homeland security and the public.

The report highlights five topics revealed as troubling threats:

1. A hate manifesto: The rise in violent hate crimes across America.
2. Tracking parental rights’ movement rooted in racism:​​ The threat within education.
3. Hate in the nation: The threat within America’s political system.
4. A threat to national security: Hate within law enforcement and the military.
5. The divided state of America: A surge of divisive policies.


The State of Black America, which also drew from information from the Brennan Center, noted that the FBI reported that white supremacists posed a “persistent threat of lethal violence” that has produced more fatalities than any other category of domestic terrorists since 2000.

“And FBI policy documents have also warned agents assigned to domestic terrorism cases that the white supremacist and anti-government militia groups they investigate often have ‘active links’ to law enforcement officials,” the National Urban League’s report stated.

“Countries around the world have been destabilized by military and law enforcement coups led by extremists holding right-wing ideologies. To protect our communities and our democracy, we must take this threat seriously.”

The authors of the report said that groups of state and federal lawmakers working with shady political operatives and violent extremists are dangerously close to destroying American democracy and replacing it with autocratic rule.

The 2023 report titled, “Democracy in Peril: Confronting the Threat Within,” sounds the alarm about extremist ideas taking root in classrooms, law enforcement, the military, and the halls of Congress.


“The mainstreaming of extremist ideology is an existential threat to American democracy, the rule of law, and decades of hard-won progress toward an equitable, inclusive, and more perfect union,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said.

“No longer limited to passing out mimeographed leaflets on street corners or huddling in corners of the dark web, conspiracy-mongers and white nationalists openly spew their bile across social media and cable television,” he continued. “They weave it into the public policy they impose on their constituents. It corrodes the trust between police, the military, and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve.”

The report also draws on data and analysis from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, and UCLA Law.

The State of Black America reveals how deeply extremist ideas have crept into America’s most important institutions, leading to a rising tide of deadly violence, harsh laws, and racial tensions being used as weapons.

A special section of the report talks about Morial’s 20 years as president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League.


This section shows how his leadership has changed over the last two decades.
A special section of the report called “A Climate in Crisis,” made in partnership with the American Council on Renewable Energy, makes a case for equal economic opportunity and environmental justice.

“The mainstreaming of extremist ideology is an existential threat to American democracy, the rule of law, and decades of hard-won progress toward an equitable, inclusive, and more perfect union,” Morial wrote in the report.

According to the National Urban League, one of the greatest dangers to Black Americans’ confidence in their democracy is the extremist viewpoints held by some local, state, and federal political leaders who strive to limit what history can be taught in schools and aim to discredit how Black officials conduct their jobs.

Earlier this month, the Republican-controlled Tennessee House voted to expel two Black legislators — Justin Jordan and Justin Pearson — for breaching a legislative norm, and Morial described this as the most recent example. 

Legislative bodies in Nashville and Memphis later voted to reseat Jordan and Pearson.


After a shooting at a Nashville school left three students and three staff members dead, the two had protested for stricter gun laws inside the chamber.

“We have censorship and Black history suppression, and now this,” Morial stated. “To suppress and contain is to pick yet another rotten apple from the same tree.”

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