September 1, 2017 Posted by Daryl Johnson in Domestic Terrorism

WASHINGTON, [DC]--In the last days of the Obama presidency, the Department of Homeland Security awarded a $400,000 grant to Life After Hate, a nonprofit dedicated to helping right-wing extremists move away from radical ideas. Five months later, the organization learned that the Trump administration had rescinded its funding. In light of the violence in Charlottesville, this decision appears tragically shortsighted. It also underlines the indifference of President Trump and his administration toward the problem of far-right violence. The Department of Homeland Security initially announced Life After Hate’s grant as part of its program on “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE — an effort to combat terrorism by building community partnerships to help at-risk youths move away from radical ideas, as an alternative to the harsher tactics of law enforcement. After halting all CVE grants for review following Mr. Trump’s inauguration, the department pulled funding from both Life After Hate and a project by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to counter propaganda from both militant Islamists and the far right. This came after the administration floated plans to reshape CVE as “Countering Islamic Extremism,” excluding far-right extremists. This rebranding never materialized — the administration is reportedly considering renaming the program as “Terrorism Prevention.” But the reallocation of grant funding away from organizations countering far-right violence suggests that the White House is making good on its intention to focus CVE only on Muslims. And the absence of any CVE funding in the administration’s proposed 2018 budget, along with the recent resignation of George Selim, the widely respected official heading the Department of Homeland Security’s CVE task force, raises questions about the administration’s seriousness in taking on even that limited task. View More>>

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