(New York, N.Y.) – Last month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded $10 million in federal grants to 29 organizations focused on countering the threat of extremism. The bulk of the awarded funding, which was made possible through DHS’s newly established Targeted Violence and and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) program, will be distributed to grantees that directly support initiatives seeking to counter white supremacist violence and far-right extremism.
The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) was among the organizations to receive TVTP funding from DHS. The $277,755 grant will be used in partnership with Parallel Networks to rehabilitate incarcerated individuals at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego County who profess white supremacist or Islamic extremist ideals or are members of groups that profess these ideals. To reduce recidivism among these inmates, CEP and Parallel Networks will together craft specific curriculua for inmates devoted to different strands of extremism by offering them “alternative narratives to extremist ideology.”
Shortly after the grants were announced, officials from DHS discussed the dangers posed by white supremacists in the United States in separate hearings before the U.S. Senate. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf stated that white supremacists present “the most persistent and lethal threat when we talk about domestic violent extremists.” Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli echoed those concerns about the “high lethality” of recent incidents of white supremacist violence, stating, “when white supremacists act as terrorists, more people per incident are killed.”
Since the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) first formed in 1865, white supremacist groups in the United States have propagated racism, hatred, and violence. Individuals belonging to these groups have been charged with a range of crimes, including civil rights violations, racketeering, solicitation to commit crimes of violence, firearms and explosives violations, and witness tampering. Nonetheless, white supremacist groups––and their extremist ideologies––persist in the United States today.
Many modern white supremacist groups eschew violent tactics in favor of using demonstrations and propaganda to sway public opinion and portray their ideologies as legitimate. However, their racial elitist ideologies have nonetheless spurred affiliated individuals to become involved in violent altercations. They often target youth for recruitment through propaganda campaigns on university campuses and social media platforms. White supremacists have long utilized Internet forums and websites to connect, organize, and propagate their extremist messages.
To read CEP’s U.S. White Supremacy Groups resource, please click here.