Oct 7, 2018

Documenting Hate

Right-wing extremist groups and hate crimes are growing in Canada
CBC News Network
October 6, 2018

Documenting Hate exposes the white supremacist and Neo-Nazi movements in the U.S. The result of a year-long investigation, the documentary shows how some of those behind the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, including an active-duty Marine, went unpunished and continued to operate.

Reporter A.C. Thompson shines an unflinching light on the rise of America’s new white supremacist groups and how they recruit.

“They have some parallels to ISIS recruitment videos and some of the themes that they use … what they're trying to sell is this idea that we need to go back to a more traditional time [and] traditional masculinity,” says sociologist Pete Simi about the Rise Above Movement, a group that has been involved in violence in at least four cities. “And when they blend in these fight scenes, that's also this idea of being not only just fit and living a pure life but also being a warrior of sorts.”

Documenting Hate is an eye-opening examination of how white supremacist ideologies have moved out of the shadows. Lowell Smith, a former Orange County probation officer who worked exclusively on white supremacist groups, tells Thompson that such groups have now entered the mainstream, and are the most active he’s seen them over his 26-year career.

“When I first began working with them they were very much a subculture,” he says in the film. But now, rather than prison-based groups primarily comprised of criminals, he’s seeing college kids joining up: “It's not the criminal element. You're seeing mainstream, that you wouldn't suspect, becoming emboldened in this movement. I'm very concerned.”

Finally, the documentary begins an exploration of white supremacists’ presence in the U.S. armed forces. After the investigation revealed that a neo-Nazi active duty Marine, Vasillios Pistolis, participated in the Charlottesville violence, Pistolis was court-martialed and sentenced to 28 days in prison. Later, a U.S. Congressman formally requested an investigation of white supremacists in the military.


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