White nationalism in the United States has been a problem since the nation’s inception. But the increasing number of violent acts explicitly linked to white nationalist ideology in recent years has newly given the issue mainstream political relevancy. On Tuesday, 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren announced her plan to combat white nationalism, and while it has key distinctions from the strategies other Democratic candidates have floated, there’s still concern over how effective it will be.
When President Trump took office, many worried that his campaign rhetoric, which included attacks against immigrants and Muslims, would lead to increased hate crimes. In 2018, researchers found evidence to support the “Trump effect,” and a later FBI report confirmed that violent personal attacks reached a 16-year high that year.