Trump pulls plug on efforts against far-right hate groups

A federal grant program that fights violent extremist movements can no longer make fighting neo-nazi and far-right hate groups part of its mission.
By Mae Owen | Jun 27, 2017
A federal grant program that fights violent extremist movements can no longer make fighting neo-nazi and far-right hate groups part of its mission. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Friday that the "Countering Violent Extremism" program will continue to receive $10 million in federal funds but none of the money can go to Life After Hate, a nonprofit that counters white-power movements.

DHS had promised funding to Life After Hate and 30 other anti-extremist groups in January, just before President Obama left office. But the incoming Trump administration halted all award payouts before any of the grants were disbursed. This Friday, DHS announced that it had a revised list of Countering Violent Extremism grantees, and Life After Hate would not be among them.

Nor are any other groups focused on resisting white-power or neo-nazi militancy on the list. Instead, the federal program gives almost all its grants to initiatives against ISIS and Islamic terrorists.

The shift is consistent with Trump pronouncements over the last six months. In December, Trump officials said that they were debating renaming Countering Violent Extremism to "Countering Islamic Extremism" and making it exclusively an anti-Islamic-terror program. President Trump has also consistently issued condemnations of terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic extremists but been notably silent whenever a non-Muslim carries out a violent act.

This is despite the significant number of Americans killed by white-power extremists. New America tallies up 48 deaths in 18 attacks carried out by far-right extremists in the United States between 2002 and 2016.

"It is not something to ignore," Tony McAlver, Life After Hate cofounder, told Mother Jones. "We think the need for our services is greater than ever."

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