Documenting Hate: Charlottesville

By Dan Clendenin

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Documenting Hate: Charlottesville (2018)

This edition of PBS Frontline, in collaboration with the investigative reporter A.C. Thompson of ProPublica, originally aired to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s the first installment in a series of two pieces on documenting hate, the second of which considers “New American Nazis.” The Charlottesville riot on August 11–12, 2017 was organized by white supremacists and Neo-Nazis, drew people from 35 states, included a torch light march, and resulted in one murder. Police failed to intervene while the violence escalated. President Trump infamously commented that “both sides” were to blame, and disparaged what he called “the alt left” (which comments drew thanks from David Duke). The anniversary rally held in 2018 fizzled out, but as this documentary shows, the white supremacist movement is much broader and deeper than a one-off event, or arguments about confederate statues. It’s a sophisticated network across America that includes connections in Europe, training videos, sophisticated social media, and that has been emboldened to push its political violence into the mainstream of America. I watched this documentary from the PBS Frontline website.

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