George Soros, the Holocaust survivor and wealthy philanthropist, has vowed to donate millions of dollars to fight a spike in reported hate crimes nationwide in the weeks following the fraught presidential election.
Soros’s organization, the Open Society Foundation, has promised to donate $10 million towards tracking and fighting hate crimes nationwide, Public Radio International reported.
“The imperative to act fast comes straight from George Soros himself,” said Amardeep Singh, the program officer for the National Security and Human Rights Campaign at Soros’s Open Society Foundations. “He experienced the Holocaust and experienced what it was like when people speak up, but speak up too late.”
In the two weeks following the election of Donald Trump, the Southern Poverty Law Center recorded 900 incidents of harassment.
Singh told PRI that the money will be used to document incidents of hate crimes. The foundation will also provide legal support to victims, according to Singh. They also will “crowdsource solutions” from community groups already working in the field.
“Because the federal system is so weak when it comes to recording hate incidents, it’s been left to community groups to do this,” explains Singh. “[The Open Society Foundations are] going to be supporting community groups not only with collecting incidents, which they already do, but most importantly with aggregating them across communities, so that Latino, Black, Muslim, Arab, South Asian, transgender and LGBTQ folks are collecting data collectively, and making that information public and searchable by incident type, geography and type of discrimination.”
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Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.