Dylan Roof

DHS Rescinds Grant to Group Dedicated to Deradicalizing Neo-Nazis & White Supremacists

In February, Reuters reported that the Trump administration wanted to revamp a DHS program called Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). The program was designed to counter all violent ideologies, but sources close to the administration said Trump wanted it to focus solely on Islamist extremism, and no longer target groups such as white supremacists. They also wanted to rename the program to either Countering Islamic Extremism or Countering Radical Islamic Extremism.

The CVE program aims to deter groups or potential lone attackers through community partnerships and educational programs, through grants. Initially, 31 anti-extremism groups were to be funded, but the money was not dispersed before the Trump administration took over in January. Many of the group were involved in countering the radicalization of Muslims. One of the groups, however, was Life After Hate, an organization devoted to the rehabilitation of former neo-Nazis and other domestic white extremists. Under the Obama administration there promised a $400,000 grant.

On Friday, DHS announced a new list of grant recipients, and the $400,000 grant for Life After Hate had been rescinded. The Chicago-based organization, founded in Chicago in 2011, works to educate and de-radicalize people away from far-right, white supremacist groups around the country. Since September 11, 2001, far more people have been killed by right-wing extremists than by self-identified Muslim extremists. Law enforcement agencies have reported for years that they are more concerned about the activities of right-wing extremist groups, than any other group.

The leaked information in February, from sources within the Trump administration, was obviously true. By pandering to his base in this way, Trump is endangering the national security of the United States. By protecting the neo-Nazis and white supremacists, he is sending a message that he condones their violence. This, combined with his silence after the terrorist attacks on mosques in Quebec and London, is a clear indication that everyone should have taken his hateful rhetoric during the campaign very seriously.

Wil Donnelly

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