New Film Lays Bare the Violent White Supremacy That Exploded in Charlottesville

This week marks one year since white supremacists and neo-Nazis descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, in the deadly “Unite the Right” rally to protest the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. It became the biggest and deadliest white supremacist rally in the United States in decades. We look back at the deadly rally in Charlottesville with a new documentary by Frontline PBS and ProPublica titled Documenting Hate: Charlottesville. We speak with A.C. Thompson, the reporter who produced the investigation, which premieres tonight on PBS.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This week marks one year since white supremacists and neo-Nazis descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, in the deadly “Unite the Right” rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. It became the biggest and deadliest white supremacist rally in the United States in decades. The violence began on the night of August 11th, when hundreds of white men bearing torches marched on the University of Virginia campus and attacked a small group of anti-racist protesters. Then, on the morning of August 12th, up to a thousand white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville. Many were carrying Nazi flags, other white supremacist paraphernalia, as well. Some wore body armor and carried assault rifles and pistols. They were met by thousands of anti-racist counterdemonstrators. Police did little to intervene, even as the violent street fights broke out.

That afternoon, a white supremacist named James Alex Fields drove his Dodge Charger into a crowd of counterdemonstrators, killing an anti-racist activist named Heather Heyer. Nineteen other people were injured. Fields has since been charged with first-degree murder, as well as federal hate crimes.

Well, this…

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