Tags: funding | white supremacy | fight | life after hate | charlottesville

Trump Administration Cut Funding For Groups Fighting White Supremacy

Trump Administration Cut Funding For Groups Fighting White Supremacy
A man carries the Confederate flag during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo by Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 15 August 2017 11:26 AM

President Donald Trump's administration has caught flak for cutting the funds to a group fighting white supremacists in light of last weekend's violence in Charlottesville.

Just before former President Barack Obama left office, the group Life After Hate, a part of the Obama administration's Countering Violent Extremism program, received $400,000 from the Department of Homeland Security in the form of a grant to fight white supremacy. Shortly after Trump took office his administration pulled that funding, one of the only ones that specifically targeted white supremacy, in favor of a greater focus on "radical Islamic terrorism," according to The Huffington Post.

"They threw the baby out with bathwater. What happens now is that we have to passively wait for people to reach out to us," Life After Hate co-founder Tony McAleer, a former white supremacist, told The Hill.

The group is one of the only organizations in the country that focuses on helping people leave white supremacy groups.

"If they had given us the funding right away within a month or two of being awarded, we would have been up and running before Charlottesville. Whether or not we would have made a difference, it's impossible to know."

Christian Picciolini, another Life After Hate co-founder and a former neo-Nazi, told NPR that white supremacy "has been growing, but it's also been shape-shifting."

"It's gone from what we would have considered very open neo-Nazis and skinheads and KKK marching, to now people that look like our neighbors, our doctors, our teachers, our mechanics."

He added, "And it's certainly starting to embolden them, because a lot of the rhetoric that's coming out of the White House today is so similar to what we preached ... but in a slightly more palatable way."

On Monday, Trump publicly denounced "the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups" that promote racism and violence.

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President Donald Trump's administration has caught flak for cutting the funds to a group fighting white supremacists in light of last weekend's violence in Charlottesville.
funding, white supremacy, fight, life after hate, charlottesville
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2017-26-15
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 11:26 AM
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