Neo-Nazi ideology promotes hostility towards minorities, or in some cases the revolutionary creation of a fascist political state. How big of a threat are white supremacist ideologies and what incites someone to commit an act of domestic terrorism in the name of hate?
A Washington Post analysis of data on global terrorism shows "violence by white supremacists and other far-right attackers has been on the rise since Barack Obama’s presidency — and has surged since President Trump took office."
On October 27, eleven worshipers were gunned down at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh by a man whose self-professed mission was to kill Jews. It was the deadliest act of anti-Semitic violence in U.S. history.
Internet anonymity makes it difficult to know the full scope of white supremacist activity, but some far-right groups are operating more openly in an attempt to increase their ranks. In Texas, college campuses are the most frequent targets of white supremacist propaganda, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The First Amendment protects the free speech rights of neo-Nazi groups.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and crimes across the U.S., says neo-Nazi groups known to operate in Texas include the Aryan Renaissance Society, The Daily Stormer, the Traditionalist Worker Party and Vanguard America. Texas is also considered a key area for a small, particularly virulent white supremacist group known as Atomwaffen.
How do white supremacist groups operate, what are their motivations and what’s being done to stop them? What are the most effective strategies to combat white supremacy and hate-fueled ideologies that incite violence?
- A.C. Thompson, ProPublica reporter and PBS Frontline correspondent featured in the Nov. 2018 film "Documenting Hate: New American Nazis"
- Cheryl Drazin, director of the Texoma region of the Anti-Defamation League
- Jeremy Schwartz, reporter for the Austin-American Statesman who wrote the article "Inside Texas State’s year of hate: neo-Nazi propaganda fight"
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This interview aired on December 17, 2018.