Amal and George Clooney are adding their considerable power to the fight against bigotry and hate in the U.S. In a press release issued Monday, the Southern Poverty Law Center revealed that the Clooneys have donated $1 million via their Clooney Foundation for Justice to the center's fight against hate groups.
"We are proud to support the Southern Poverty Law Center in its efforts to prevent violent extremism in the United States. What happened in Charlottesville, and what is happening in communities across our country, demands our collective engagement to stand up to hate," the new parents said in the release. SPLC President Richard Cohen added, "Like George and Amal Clooney, we were shocked by the size, ugliness, and ferocity of the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville. It was a reflection of just how much Trump’s incendiary campaign and presidency has energized the radical right. We are deeply grateful to the Clooney Foundation for standing with us at this critical moment in our country’s fight against hate."
In another statement released to Deadline, the power couple said, "Amal and I wanted to add our voice (and financial assistance) to the ongoing fight for equality. There are no two sides to bigotry and hate."
The additional statement seems to be a pointed reference to President Donald Trump's own statement on the clash between white supremacist groups and counter-protestors in Charlottesville earlier this month, which resulted in the death of one counter-protestor. "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides," he said on Saturday, August 13, before doubling down in the following week, telling reporters, "I think there is blame on both sides. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I'll say it right now."
The SPLC is a nonprofit watchdog organization that keeps a close eye on hate groups in America. "It currently tracks more than 1,600 extremist groups operating across the country, and has used litigation to win crushing court judgments against 10 major white supremacist organizations and 50 individuals who led them or participated in violent acts." The Clooney Foundation for Justice was founded in 2016 "to advance justice in courtrooms, communities, and classrooms around the world," according to its website. In the span of less than a year, the foundation has partnered with UNICEF to expand educational opportunities for Syrian refugees, offered support and assistance to Syrian and Yazidi refugees seeking resettlement in the U.S. and developed TrialWatch, an initiative to prevent especially susceptible courtrooms from committing human rights violations.
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