samantha bee life after hate

Screenshot via Full Frontal/YouTube

Samantha Bee wants to fight white supremacy—but not by punching Nazis

'Punching Nazis doesn't help. But you can put that energy somewhere that does.'

 

Christine Friar

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Published Aug 17, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 8:15 pm CDT

Twitter has been debating whether it’s okay to punch Nazis for months, and while Samantha Bee seems to fall on the “no” side of the argument, she does have a plan of action that she prefers.

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She wants fans to donate to an organization called Life After Hate, founded by former neo-Nazi Christian Picciolini. Bee told Entertainment Weekly that she became familiar with the group while filming a segment for Full Frontal. The segment itself won’t air until September, but in the meantime, she thinks fans should know about the group’s work.

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Life After Hate “works to help white supremacists leave their network of racism and hate, and trains them to become mentors to young people who are potential violent extremists.” In a tweet this week, the show tried to promote the organization by sharing a link to its fundraising website.

But as Jezebel points out, most of the replies seem more interested in discussing the “punching Nazis doesn’t help” message Bee’s team included in the tweet instead of Life After Hate’s anti-white supremacy mission:

https://twitter.com/SocialistTaco/status/897258202361765889

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https://twitter.com/Seantimus_Prime/status/897287946394632192

Even more of a bummer: Life After Hate was awarded a federal grant during the Barack Obama administration to receive $400,000 in support, but the Donald Trump administration yanked its funding in June.

“The group came to our attention during a field piece because we learned about the imminent loss of that grant,” Bee said. “We heard it was the only organization outside of the FBI that was doing this type of work—trying to extract people out of the life of violent white supremacy.”

The site Bee had linked to in the tweet was a fundraiser to try to offset the blow of that revoked grant. No matter what end of the “punch a Nazi” spectrum you’re on, though, it sounds like Life After Hate has something for everybody: fewer Nazis on the street, and more support for young people susceptible to extremist mindsets.

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*First Published: Aug 17, 2017, 11:51 am CDT