Remember When Trump Defunded The Group Charged With Investigating White Radicalism?

Never mind that more Americans have been killed on U.S. soil by White supremacists than by any other foreign or domestic group combined.

Malaika Jabali Aug, 18, 2017

Less than two months before White supremacists in Saturday’s Unite the Right rally terrorized Charlottesville, Virginia, leaving three people dead, the Trump administration dropped funding for a nonprofit organization that works to reform White extremists.

Life After Hate, founded in 2011 by former members of far-right American hate groups, works with people who “wish to leave a life of hate and violence,” according to its website.

The group engages in academic research, outreach, education, and consults various organizations — including community groups and governments — to “grapple with the causes of intolerance and racism.”

Despite a twenty-fold increase in requests for help from the group since Election Day from individuals looking to reform themselves or from family and acquaintances looking for help for someone they know, the Department of Homeland Security did not include Life After Hate in their grant list.

They were initially prepared to receive a $400,000 grant just a week before Trump’s inauguration. In June, the group was dropped from the list of grantees.

Defunding Life After Hate is a part of a larger trend from the Trump White House and Republican-controlled Congress to turn a blind eye to White, American-born terrorism despite being the largest domestic terrorist threat, as Think Progress reports.

Since September 11, 2001 — as Life After Hate co-founder Christian Picciolini stated in an NPR interview — “more Americans have been killed on U.S. soil by White supremacists than by any other foreign or domestic group combined by a factor of two.”

Instead of addressing this increasing threat, many of the award recipients of Congress’ $10 million grant in the Countering Violent Extremism program are city police departments and groups that focus on Islamic extremism.

Reuters also reported that Trump aimed to rename the program so that, moving forward, it exclusively covers Islamic radicals.

Such a shift is not mere politics; it threatens the lives of everyday Americans, like the two troopers who died in a helicopter crash covering the increasingly belligerent Unite the Right participants and Heather Heyer, who died when James Fields rammed into a sea of nonviolent Black Lives Matter and LGBT counter protesters at Saturday’s rally.

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[MUSIC] There was a group on this side, you can call them the left, you've just called them the left. That came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that's the way it is. [MUSIC] But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group That were there to protest, the taking down of to them a very, very important statue. [MUSIC] You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that. But I'll say it right now. You had a group on the other side That came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent. [MUSIC] Are we gonna take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think about Thomas Jefferson? Okay, good. Are we gonna take down the statue? Because he was a major slave owner. Now are we gonna take down his statue? So you know what? It's fine. You're changing history, you're changing culture. [MUSIC] I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct. Not make a quick statement. The statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement. But you don't make statements that direct unless you know the facts. It takes a little while to get the facts. You still don't know the facts. And it's a very, very important process to me. And it's a very important statement. So I don't want to go quickly and just make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. I want to know the facts. [SOUND] [BLANK_AUDIO]

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