A Georgia group unwittingly gave $25,000 to the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist group headed by Trump-supporter Richard Spencer. This is a good reminder to do your homework, folks, especially when money is involved.
It’s also a quite an unfortunate reminder that bold-faced white supremacy is flourishing under the Trump administration.
No one will reveal who originally donated the money for Spencer’s group, but the Augusta-based Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area is the philanthropic organization that gave the money to his organization.
The Community Foundation gives away millions of dollars every year. They also participate in what are called donor-advised funds, a common arrangement in the non-profit world where donors contribute to one non-profit with the intention of the money going to another. It’s a way to protect anonymity; certainly a concern someone might have if they want to donate to a notorious white nationalist group.
The L.A. Times, who first broke this story, quotes The Community Foundation’s CEO Shell K. Berry as saying, “In no way did our organization, its board or its staff actively know or support the mission of this organization, and I don’t want it to be construed that we ever did.”
Spencer, unfortunately, will be yet another white supremacist to keep an eye on as the chaos of the Trump administration unfolds. He has earned some amount of notoriety for his very public white nationalist stances, coupled with very vocal support for the Trump administration.
The Center for Investigative Reporting recently dug into Spencer’s background, noting that he recently told one news program: “White people ultimately don’t need other races in order to succeed.”
His family’s wealth comes from cotton, by the way, thanks to thousands of acres of farmland his grandfather was able to acquire in Louisiana during the Jim Crow era.
Another fun Spencer quote? “This is a sick, disgusting society, run by the corrupt, defended by hysterics, drunk on self-hatred and degeneracy.” This was just after the election.
Spencer is a leader in the alt-right movement, as is true for far too many people who support Trump or are part of his administration.
The Trump administration, as Salon notes, is a place where people who hold overtly racist views are flourishing:
“Among the men who have President Trump’s ear, we find White House strategist Steve Bannon, senior adviser Stephen Miller, deputy assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka and newly installed Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”
Meanwhile, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and white nationalists are Tweeting with glee about every move the Trump administration makes.
Lessons from this? Always double check who your organization gives money to and, please, don’t support literal white supremacists. They’ve got enough good things going for them right now.