George Soros donates $10m to help tackle hate crime following Donald Trump's win

Billionaire financier says "dark forces have been awakened" since the election

Gabriel Samuels
Wednesday 23 November 2016 11:11
Financier George Soros said he was "deeply troubled" by the increase in hate crime reports
Financier George Soros said he was "deeply troubled" by the increase in hate crime reports

Billionaire financier George Soros has pledged $10 million from his foundation to help combat the rise in reported hate crimes since Donald Trump won the US presidential election.

The Hungarian-American business magnate will divide his donation between a variety of anti-hate crime initiatives, as more than 700 incidents of harassment have been reported since election day.

Mr Soros will begin by donating an initial $5 million in grants of up to $150,000 to community-based and civil-society organizations through his Open Society Foundation.

Due in part to the “incendiary rhetoric” of the president-elect, “dark forces have been awakened” since the election, Mr Soros told the New York Times.

Nazi swastikas and slogans have been painted onto cars and buildings in certain states, and a recent spate of hate crime incidents in US schools have led to concern from parents.

“We must do something to push back against what’s happening here,” Mr Soros told the newspaper. He reportedly said he was “deeply troubled” by the rise in incidents of harassment.

“Certainly [feelings of hatred] got inflamed as a result of the campaign,” he admitted. “It really broke out afterwards.” He said his donation was not intended to be a political statement about the election of Mr Trump, however.

Mr Soros said he hoped the additional money would go some way towards improving the tracking of hate crimes across the US, encompassing both verbal harassment and physical abuse.

The financier has become a target for right wing news outlets including Breitbart, having been a long-term donor to liberal and Democratic causes.

In January this year, Mr Soros openly criticised Mr Trump for the first time, saying he was “doing the work of Isis” by “convincing the Muslim community that there is no alternative but terrorism”, according to Forbes.

During a television interview on CBS News following the election, Mr Trump condemned the recent attacks and said he found the reports of hate crime upsetting.

“I am so saddened to hear [about the harassment of minorities]. And I say ‘Stop it’. If it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: ‘Stop it’”.

Mr Trump disavowed the support of white supremacists and neo-Nazis, after he was hailed as their champion at a recent gathering of the “alt-right”.

“I disavow and condemn them,” the president-elect told the New York Times.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments