A college program that received taxpayer funds from the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security equated conservatives and Christians to militant neo-Nazis, according to watchdog group MRC Free Speech America.
Documents obtained by the conservative media watchdog revealed that the DHS’ Office of Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention doled out $352,109 in fiscal year 2022 to a University of Dayton program that aimed to “develop and implement modules on the risks of and protective factors for radicalization to violence related to media literacy and online critical thinking for students,” the New York Post reported.
The DHS awarded 80 grants totaling nearly $40 million under its Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program to establish “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives.” In an internal memo obtained by MRC, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas referred to the grant program as a “high priority.”
According to the watchdog organization, the University of Dayton’s PREVENTS-OH was “among the most radical grantees.” The program vowed to fight “domestic violence extremism and hate movements.”
“For example, a chart used by DHS and its grantee in a training program equates mainstream groups with militant neo-Nazis, including: The Heritage Foundation, Fox News, the National Rifle Association (NRA), Breitbart News, PragerU, Turning Point USA, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) and the Republican National Committee, among others,” MRC stated.
“The Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization" (Image Source: University of Dayton YouTube video screenshot)
The chart, labeled “The Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization,” sorted various Christian, conservative, and known neo-Nazi groups into a pyramid. It placed “smaller” organizations with an “increased level of extremism” closer to the top.
During the university’s seminar, the presenter explained that groups listed at the bottom of the pyramid are considered “mainstream conservatism,” including the Republican Party, Fox News, the Heritage Foundation, and the Christian Broadcasting Network.
The second level of the graphic was labeled “alt-lite” and included Breitbart News Network, PragerU, Turning Point USA, Infowars, and “Make America Great Again.”
The final top two tiers, labeled “alt-right” and “accelerationist terrorism,” listed known radical hate groups.
“The seminar also compared former President Donald Trump to Pol Pot and suggested Florida Governor Ron DeSantis might wish to start a second Holocaust,” the watchdog group stated.
A DHS spokesperson told the Post, “This seminar was not funded, organized, or hosted by the Department of Homeland Security.”
“Similarly, the presented chart was not developed, presented, or endorsed by the Department of Homeland Security, and was not part of any successful grant application to the Department of Homeland Security. DHS does not profile, target, or discriminate against any individual for exercising their constitutional rights protected by the First Amendment,” the spokesperson added.
However, a DHS employee participated in the university’s seminar to discuss the department’s Center for Prevention Programs and Partnership. Additionally, Dayton researchers noted that the seminar was part of the DHS grant program.
MRC’s vice president Dan Schneider accused the agency of “lying through its teeth once again.”
“DHS did indeed fund the PREVENTS-OH program a year after a graph and documents were presented that equated Nazis to conservatives, Christians, and Republicans,” Schneider stated.
“Laughably, the DHS Ohio grantee quickly scrubbed its website following this report, something innocent groups don’t do. But it is too late; we have already copied it. We also have proof that ‘PREVENTS-OH’ actually hosted the conference and that DHS was an active participant, including featuring a senior DHS official at the conference,” he continued.
Schneider called on Mayorkas to “step down immediately” and urged Congress to launch a criminal investigation into the DHS.
A spokesperson for the University of Dayton told Fox News that the seminar “had no affiliation with and predates PREVENTS-OH.”
Extremism, Rhetoric, and Democratic Precarityyoutu.be
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