Urban League releases annual 'State of Black America' report

Since its first appearance in 1976 under the stewardship of the late Mr. Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., the organization’s fifth president, the State of Black America® remains one of the most highly- anticipated benchmarks and sources for thought leadership around racial equality in America.

The report explores the inequities across America’s economics, employment, education, health, housing, criminal justice, and civic participation systems through research and the words of our contributors.

Each edition contains penetrating commentary and insightful analysis from recognized authorities and leading figures in politics, the corporate and tech sectors, the nonprofit arena, academia, and popular culture.

In the 47th edition of the State of Black America Democracy In Peril: Confronting the Threat Within, we are raising the alarm around the explosive growth of far-right and domestic extremism and the threat it poses to our communities, our families, and our nation.

After the dismantling of Jim Crow and the freedoms won during the Civil Rights Movement, some of the most violent forms of white supremacy began to go underground throughout America.

But in recent years, dangerous rhetoric that emboldens racists and incites violence has moved from the dark web into mainstream politics.

Far-right extremists advocating for the erasure of our civil liberties are infiltrating our military ranks, law enforcement, political system, and classrooms under the guise of “parent’s rights.” The racist ideologies supporting this movement can also be tied to the increase in hate crimes, mass shootings, and police brutality, claiming lives in communities of color every day.

In partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center, we have quantified the increase in racial violence, outlined the effects of hateful rhetoric on public attitudes around our political system, and tracked the growing domestic threat of white supremacists infiltrating our law enforcement and our military ranks.

We also leveraged data from UCLA Law’s Anti-CRT legislative tracking project, CRT Forward, which tracks laws across the country that are attempting to block, edit, and rewrite American history

Our contributing authors reflect on the aftermath of last year’s racially-motivated mass murder in Buffalo, New York, that claimed the lives of 10 African-Americans, address the increased threat to our Democracy and way of life posed by these extremists, and outline how the federal government and civil rights organizations are fighting this threat.

We can no longer afford to minimize this movement by painting the actions of violent extremists as isolated incidents and protecting hate speech from far-right politicians by invoking the same freedoms they seek to limit for other Americans. The time to act is now.