It’s been a year since 11 people were shot dead at a U.S synagogue. The attack in Pittsburgh was the deadliest ever on Jewish Americans in the U.S.
Prosecutors say the alleged murderer wanted to instill fear in Jews across the world.
And hate crimes fueled by far-right ideology are on the rise, according to a coalition set up to find solutions to stop these tragedies.
CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports.
“There are days I cry,” says Susan Bro. “I can pick up something of hers in the house and I will sit and rock with it I just sought for a little bit. My husband just says ‘You’ll be OK, sweetheart.'”
Susan’s daughter, Heather Heyer, was killed by a white supremacist who drove into a crowd of protesters demonstrating against far-right groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.
Susan recalls one of the last conversation she’d had with Heather.
“She had been learning responsible financial management, she was finding a place where she was that save money. And I said ‘Don’t die, I would rather have you than the money. And she said ‘I’ll try not to.'”
The Charlottesville attack wasn’t isolated.
The Communities Overcoming Extremism coalition was set up by the city’s former Mayor to examine ways to combat the rise in U.S killings fueled by far-right ideology.
“The nation saw in one weekend how utterly violent today’s extremism really is,” Mike Signer told a forum in Washington DC to mark the publication of the coalition’s final report.
“Just as extremism emerges from within a democracy, democratic norms and institutions can overcome it.”
That report was released a year since 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue were shot dead allegedly by a man shouting “All Jews must die.”
Research by the Anti-Defamation League found 78% of extremist killings in 2018 were carried out by white supremacists.
For many, U.S. President Donald Trump set the tone for a rise in far-right violence by defending the white supremacists who took part in the Charlottesville rallies before condemning them.
And in this highly polarized political climate, Trump’s Democrat opponents hoping to challenge him in next year’s presidential election are openly calling him a white supremacist.
Susan Bro thinks it’s up to communities to change the tone.
“It’s an individual movement,” she says.
“We have to make an individual connection. We have to listen to one another we have to talk to one another.”
But some experts say the U.S. needs laws on domestic terrorism, similarly to those on international terrorism, so security agencies have the powers to track and stop right-wing extremists before they strike.