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Congress talks with tech companies and victims about hate crimes and white nationalism

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Lawmakers want information about hate crimes and what Democrats said has been a rise of white nationalism in America.  

The House Judiciary Committee heard from internet giants Facebook and Google as well as experts on hate crimes and victims of attacks. 

Dr. Mohammad Abu Salha’s family members were murdered inside their North Carolina apartment four years ago.

“What happened to our children was a home invasion, execution,” Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha said.

Abu-Salha said his loved ones were targeted for being Muslim. 

“There’s no question in our minds that this tragedy was born of bigotry and hate,” he said.

Statistics show hate crimes in the United State are on the rise, and so is white nationalism. 

Lawmakers including Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson (D) fear social media has only made the problem worse.

“Many white nationalists have used misinformation propaganda to radicalize social media users,” Johnson said.

Tech companies admit they are part of the problem. Facebook said it’s taken steps to stop the spread of hate speech online. 

“To include a ban on all praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism,” said Neil Potts, from Facebook.

Georgia Republican Doug Collins said there’s no place for hate, but he wants to make sure policies are fair. 

“I worry that the true motivations for this hearing is to suggest Republicans are hateful and dishonest,” Collins said. 

Democrats defended the hearing, saying they’re focused on ways to prevent hate crimes.

Abu-Salha urges lawmakers to put political rhetoric aside and put forth policies that protect all Americans. 

“I plead to you not to let another American family go through this because our government would not act,” Abu-Salha said.

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