, 13 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
A little over two months ago @RepPressley asked a pointed question about whether the FBI used and investigated so-called "Black Identity Extremists." The response, "I've been in this job 17-months, and we don't have that designation." Today, @TheYoungTurks proved that wrong... /1
@TheYoungTurks revealed leaked FBI documents which show that "Black Identity Extremism" was not only a designation in use as late as 2018, but that a heretofore unknown FBI program—"IRON FIST"—was targeted at gathering intelligence on such groups /2 tyt.com/stories/4vZLCH…
The documents, available here, also make clear that the FBI is still pursuing the same goals. McGarrity is technically correct, though misleading—"Black Identity Extremism" is now referred to as "Black Racially Motivated Extremism." /3 scribd.com/document/42116…
There is a lot to unpack in these leaked documents, including passages that are very worrisome, and seem to strongly indicate that the FBI considers peaceful, nonviolent Black protest groups to be "Black Identity Extremists." More analysis forthcoming, I'm sure. . . /4
I do want to make a point about some very powerful & highly suspect false-equivalencies that are present when the FBI uses an umbrella term of "Racially Motivated Extremism" which houses "White Racially Motivated Extremists" and "Black Racially Motivated Extremists" together. /5
White RMEs = Motivated by belief in "the superiority of the white race and a perception that the US Government is conspiring with Jews" and other minorities to bring about whites' demise.

Black RMEs = Motivated by "perceived racism and injustice in American society." /6
One need not even argue the existence of actual "Black identity Extremist" groups to recognize that there is a fundamental difference between those the FBI deems a threat. One is motivated by underlying racist ideologies, and the other is motivated by injustice. /7
By saying that those opposed to police violence and injustice are "racially motivated extremists," and equating them with violent white supremacists and neo-Nazis, the FBI redefines racial grievance in absurd form. The documents, FYI, state the former as the greater threat. /8
This is a logic that permeates much of federal and state law enforcement priorities, and is part of why our recent recommendations for seriously addressing far-right violence and hate crimes include "Reforming Police Practices to Restore Community Trust." . . . /9
These leaked documents are further evidence that giving the FBI more statutory authority to investigate and prosecute domestic terrorism is a risky bet, considering their stated priorities, as described by @FaizaPatelBCJ here: /10
Why reward the FBI with more power when they have been downplaying the threats that far-right and white supremacist violence pose to our country, and chasing protesters instead? We don't need new laws—we need better policies and oversight: brennancenter.org/publication/fi…
Addendum: Today, the @aclu & @mediajustice released a statement in relation to yesterday's leak:
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