More than 40 racial justice and civil rights groups are calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis to release the unredacted memo referred to in other DHS documents as the “Race Paper” and “Growing Frequency of Race-Related Domestic Terrorist Violence.” The memo recently came to light as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, but was itself entirely redacted.
This along with the FBI’s 2017 unfounded and inflammatory “Black Identity Extremist” designation conflate race, political speech, and terrorism—continuing the legacy of COINTELPRO era tactics of state-sanctioned surveillance, prosecution, and violence against people of color, especially activists. As the letter reads:
DHS has stated that releasing the document would cause public confusion. We disagree. The public has a right to know whether the Department is improperly using race or constitutionally protected political activity as an indicator of violent behavior. Withholding the documents only contributes to lack of public trust and confidence in the Department.
Read the full letter and view all signatories below.