'Documenting Hate' revisits Charlottesville violence one year later

Just shy of the one-year anniversary of the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, "Frontline...

Posted: Aug 7, 2018 6:23 PM
Updated: Aug 7, 2018 6:23 PM

Just shy of the one-year anniversary of the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, "Frontline" and ProPublica have collaborated on "Documenting Hate: Charlottesville," a sobering documentary on the mainstreaming of such groups, which probes their roots while seeking to identify some of their members.

The one-hour film begins in 2017, with reporter A.C. Thompson covering the violence that erupted during the "Unite the Right" march -- footage that's presented in raw, at-times-disturbing fashion, including video of the car that plowed into the crowd, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

2017 Charlottesville white nationalist rally

Charlottesville

Companies

Continents and regions

Discrimination

Frontline Limited

North America

Protests and demonstrations

Racism and racial discrimination

Right-wing extremism

Societal issues

Society

Southeastern United States

The Americas

United States

Virginia

White supremacy and neo-Nazism

The cameras also capture vicious attacks on counter-protestors, while the local police are shown largely standing idly by.

Through investigative legwork, Thompson explores how those involved in brutal confrontations in Virginia had engaged in similar acts at other events, tracking down and confronting some of them, including one who was serving in the US military, and another who worked for a major defense contractor.

Thompson also steps back to examine the bigger picture, describing the rally as "a watershed moment for the white supremacist movement." In an interview, former Charlottesville mayor Mike Signer maintains that the hatred the groups represent has for the first time been "invited" into the political mainstream.

President Trump's response

Inevitably, that discussion includes President Donald Trump's response to Charlottesville, and whether his "on many sides" equivocation in condemning the violence has further emboldened extremists.

Thompson approaches the issue from multiple angles. He tracks the way the groups communicate among their members, and spotlights how brazen many were about parading through the public square spouting racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric -- brandishing torches while chanting "Jews will not replace us" -- as well as videos of their training regimen and recruitment techniques.

The production also raises troubling questions about how effectively law enforcement and the military are responding to these growing concerns, which includes second-guessing from retired FBI agent Mike German and Rep. Keith Ellison.

"Documenting Hate" isn't the first word on what happened in Charlottesville -- Vice News aired its own stark coverage in the immediate aftermath -- and surely won't be the last. MSNBC has its own documentary airing this month, and "Frontline" will follow up with another project about Neo-Nazis in America in the fall.

These are not, admittedly, comfortable programs to watch. But "Frontline" is once again performing a valuable service by shining a light on such extremism, leaving the hope that sunlight really is, as often advertised, the best disinfectant.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 318894

Reported Deaths: 5561
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion43391855
Lake27599462
Allen18363299
Elkhart17474226
St. Joseph17071234
Hamilton13376169
Vanderburgh9839121
Tippecanoe880629
Porter844886
Johnson6556169
Hendricks6267158
Vigo618187
Monroe542850
Clark522877
Madison5153122
Delaware5014103
LaPorte474695
Kosciusko468540
Howard357977
Warrick329872
Floyd324978
Bartholomew323563
Wayne318074
Marshall308146
Cass302631
Grant282050
Noble261546
Hancock260355
Henry252837
Boone248754
Dubois242931
Dearborn222631
Jackson222534
Morgan215543
Knox189720
Shelby189556
Gibson189426
Clinton182121
DeKalb181632
Lawrence179748
Adams171022
Wabash168121
Miami166614
Daviess160144
Steuben150713
Fayette150034
Jasper147413
Montgomery146627
Harrison145524
LaGrange145031
Whitley140814
Ripley138515
Huntington130910
Decatur128243
Wells127930
Putnam127828
White127522
Clay126523
Randolph126121
Posey124116
Jefferson122916
Scott112320
Greene104653
Jay100713
Sullivan99216
Starke94021
Jennings88714
Fulton86419
Spencer8588
Perry83721
Fountain8078
Washington7837
Franklin71327
Carroll69613
Orange69028
Vermillion6444
Owen6317
Tipton58927
Parke5886
Newton56912
Rush5658
Blackford54012
Pike51619
Pulaski41115
Martin3645
Benton3553
Brown3514
Crawford3031
Union2752
Switzerland2605
Warren2542
Ohio2337
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 382743

Reported Deaths: 6274
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin51161671
Cuyahoga37222743
Hamilton30493372
Montgomery20518236
Butler15199148
Lucas14566417
Summit13933327
Stark9193206
Warren841976
Mahoning7530300
Lake710067
Lorain6690106
Clermont593651
Delaware572537
Licking564577
Trumbull5584147
Fairfield554464
Greene538066
Clark5218101
Allen494989
Marion476759
Medina471657
Wood4598107
Miami437568
Pickaway404048
Portage358972
Columbiana357698
Tuscarawas342667
Richland328539
Wayne327394
Mercer296047
Muskingum252510
Hancock245940
Ross244559
Auglaize236435
Darke232560
Erie230268
Putnam229449
Ashtabula228354
Geauga211851
Scioto200616
Union19668
Shelby194017
Lawrence193039
Athens19134
Seneca182919
Belmont170229
Madison163119
Sandusky157729
Preble156521
Huron155519
Defiance144823
Holmes140439
Logan133517
Knox131718
Fulton128726
Jefferson128613
Crawford126817
Washington125227
Ottawa124530
Clinton109115
Williams10799
Ashland107825
Highland103718
Brown10135
Henry101323
Hardin99719
Champaign9825
Van Wert97318
Jackson96212
Fayette92717
Morrow9202
Guernsey89314
Coshocton85215
Perry82912
Adams80313
Pike7661
Gallia76513
Wyandot73217
Paulding66511
Hocking64516
Noble62224
Carroll48810
Meigs39612
Monroe32321
Morgan2685
Vinton2246
Harrison2193
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 40°
Angola
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 40°
Huntington
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 43°
Decatur
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 45°
Van Wert
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 45°
Mostly Cloudy Black Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events