Courtesy of Geoff Livingston via Flickr

As we’ve sifted through the events of this past year, many issues that America has neglected to address have come to the surface. Some of those, like racial and gender inequality, are getting the attention that they deserve. But there is another glaring issue that deserves more attentiveness than it’s received so far: national security. From the Capitol riots to white supremacy and homegrown extremism, this has become a persistent issue in America. Elissa Slotkin, Michigan congresswoman and the chair of a House Homeland Security subcommittee, has stated that “domestic violent extremism” must become America’s top national security priority to help ensure the safety of the masses. She is absolutely right — now is the time for America to focus on its own internal issues rather than trying to combat foreign threats.

Since the first days of early foreign policy, America has become one of the most meddlesome countries when it comes to the affairs of other nations. These last 50 years of getting involved in other countries’ conflicts have meant that tackling our own domestic threats has fallen by the wayside. There has been a resurgence in white supremacy throughout America in recent years, and bipartisan conflicts in the political sphere are leading to domestic terrorism. America needs to stop spending billions to fund foreign affairs and turn its attention and money toward solving its own problems before they worsen.

As the Biden administration seems to be taking a serious stance on this issue, there does seem to be hope to solve this problem. Dismantling racist sentiments en masse is going to take more than political action, but a good place to start might be refusing to let police officers get away with crimes when they are in the wrong. By helping people become more accepting toward one another in this way, perhaps dangerous ideologies might be less likely to be subscribed to.

Although we must still take into account that there will always be bad people who will believe in racist ideas like supremacy and will resort to violence, by working on protecting our nation from these sorts of people we can minimize their impact on society. Funding local task forces that can keep an eye on potential white supremacy activity could help prevent a potential attack and thereby keep communities safer. If we as a country start making it more obvious that there is no room for racism in our society, people will hopefully understand that there is no point in following such ideologies, because everyone is equal. 

Despite the domestic terrorism that our country has suffered in recent months, we should not give up hope. Educating ourselves, actively trying to be better people in society and breaking down our own prejudices will do more in the long run than actively shaming people. If we try ourselves to be better people on a local level, hopefully it will inspire others to do the same, and threats of domestic terrorism will fade away as people shed old prejudices for newer, more understanding perspectives.