Hate on the march: White nationalism in the Trump era

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This week Reveal looks at the mixed signals the Trump administration is giving on racial discrimination and violence, and the message they send to extremist hate groups. We explore why Charlottesville, Virginia, became a flashpoint, and whether more race-based clashes are on the way.

In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, President Donald Trump has come under fire for not immediately and clearly condemning American racists. It's not the first time. Reveal reporter Will Carless describes how Trump and those close to him have often played down the threat of violence committed by white supremacists across the country.

Next, Reveal host Al Letson talks to Christian Picciolini who co-founded Life After Hate – a nonprofit organization that helps members of white nationalist organizations leave behind a life of violence. Picciolini was a skinhead for eight years, but was able to extricate himself from the group. He talks about how young people are recruited by hate groups and warns that while many white supremacists have learned to put on a “media friendly face,” the discussions behind closed doors remain very violent.

One of the most prominent white supremacists in Charlottesville was Richard Spencer. He has made it pretty clear that the violence last week will only galvanize his movement further. We revisit Al's interview with Spencer in which they discuss whether the rhetoric and the actions of his movement for a white ethnostate are inciting violence.

The Trump administration frames terrorism in America as a problem perpetuated by radical Muslims and as such, ignores the dozens of instances of terrorism committed by radical right-wing groups. We revisit Al's interview with terrorism expert Daryl Johnson who explains that right-wing extremists are responsible for nearly twice as many domestic terrorism incidents as those who claim to act in the name of Islam.

Finally, we look at the Trump administration's take on another racially charged issue: college admissions. Recently, the Department of Justice said it plans to hire attorneys to investigate “intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.” Al speaks with legal strategist Edward Blum who has filed lawsuits challenging race-based college admissions.

Image: Michael I Schiller for Reveal



Al Letson