President Trump is quick to condemn Muslim terrorist attacks, but he has been largely silent about hate crimes carried out by white terrorists.
After the latest hate crime in Portland, Oregon — in which white supremacist Jeremy Christian killed Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche on a train after they attempted to stop him from berating two Muslim women — three people have been killed by white terrorists in the last week. The other hate crime-related murder happened at the University of Maryland, when 23-year-old Richard Collins III was stabbed to death by Sean Urbanski. Collins was just commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Army
Conversely, no refugees hailing from any of the countries included in Trump’s Muslim ban have ever killed any Americans. The last time any refugees killed any Americans was more than 40 years ago, when three Cuban refugees killed three Americans (Cuba is not included in the travel ban). Ever since the Refugee Act of 1980, no refugees who have fled war-torn areas to seek asylum in the U.S. have ever killed any Americans. The Atlantic examined crime statistics and found that refugees constitute far less of a risk to Americans than fellow U.S. citizens:
Over the last four decades, 20 out of 3.25 million refugees welcomed to the United States have been convicted of attempting or committing terrorism on U.S. soil, and only three Americans have been killed in attacks committed by refugees—all by Cuban refugees in the 1970s.
Zero Americans have been killed by Syrian refugees in a terrorist attack in the United States.
This includes refugees from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, which are the countries Trump has singled out for his Muslim travel ban. Politifact gave a “mostly true” score to a claim made by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California), in which he said the chances of being killed by a refugee were 1 in 3.6 billion. The chances of winning the Powerball lottery’s grand prize are 1 in 292.2 million, meaning you would win the Powerball an average of 12 times before being killed by a refugee.
In building up his case for the Muslim ban, then-Senator Jeff Sessions published a list of 580 terror-related convictions in the U.S. since 9/11, with 380 offenders coming from other countries. However, even the conservative Cato Institute cast doubt on Sessions’ study, pointing out that “terror-related” convictions don’t actually involve acts of terrorism, but are rather the product of other convictions handed down as the result of an investigation for a terror-related crime that never came to fruition:
[O]nly 40 of the 580 convictions (6.9 percent) were for foreigners planning a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Seeking to join a foreign terrorist group overseas, material support for a foreign terrorist, and seeking to commit an act of terror on foreign soil account for 180 of the 580 convictions (31 percent). Terrorism on foreign soil is a crime, should be a crime, and those convicted of these offenses should be punished severely but the government cannot claim that these convictions made America safe again because these folks were not targeting U.S. soil.
While the numbers back up the claim that the real terror threat is not from refugees, the Trump administration has been eerily silent about the growing trend of hate crimes in the United States committed by white people against people of color, particularly in the name of Trump. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported that of the 1,000+ acts of hate reported in the wake of the November 8, 2016 election, 37 percent of those incidents “directly referenced either President-elect Donald Trump, his campaign slogans, or his infamous remarks about sexual assault.”