(The Hill) — President Joe Biden will address a summit on Thursday aimed at combating “hate-fueled violence” as the White House and technology platforms announce actions intended to prevent and respond to acts of religious and racial intolerance.
Biden will host dozens of elected officials from both parties, as well as community activists and individuals who survived or lost loved ones in mass shootings and other hate-motivated acts of violence at the “United We Stand” summit, a senior administration official told reporters.
The White House said in a fact sheet that technology companies like YouTube, Twitch, Microsoft and Meta will announce new actions on their platforms to prevent hate-fueled violence, responding to concerns about mass shooters who are radicalized on the internet.
“The summit will put forward a shared vision for a more united America, demonstrating that the vast majority of Americans agree that there is no place for hate-fueled violence in our country, and that when Americans stand united to renew civic bonds and heal divides, we can help prevent acts of hate and violence,” the White House said in a fact sheet previewing the event.
Federal agencies will announce new steps to improve resources available to schools, law enforcement agencies, museums and libraries to respond to hate-fueled violence, the White House said.
The summit will also feature the launch of a bipartisan initiative led by former White House officials who served in both Democratic and Republican administrations to foster dialogues in communities across the country.
A senior administration official said Biden’s message to the summit would be that, “We are more united than we are divided,” and Americans must work together to stop acts of hate.
A senior administration official noted that the threat of hate-fueled violence, which can include white supremacist groups and religious intolerance, is of personal importance to Biden. The president frequently cites the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and then-President Trump’s response, as a turning point in his decision to run for the White House.
The official pointed to the signing of a bill last year called the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act intended to improve hate crime tracking and reporting in response to a spike in anti-Asian American sentiment during the pandemic as further proof of Biden’s focus on the issue.
The country has seen a wave of hate-fueled crimes in recent years: A mass shooting at an Orlando LGBTQ nightclub in 2016; a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018; a mass shooting at a grocery store in an African American neighborhood in Buffalo earlier this year; and a string of crimes targeting Asian Americans during the pandemic.