DOCUMENTARY — This Is No Practice Run: A Year After Charlottesville And The Nazi Threat Across America Has Grown



“Nazism was cruel because Nazis were cruel; and the Nazis were cruel because cruel people tended to become Nazis.”

— Zygmunt Bauman

By Mark L. Taylor
The Commoner Call (8/9/18)

If you haven’t already seen it, set aside an hour to watch the PBS Frontline/ProPublica “Documenting Hate” documentary to get up to speed on just how deeply the Nazi movement has embedded itself into modern America. Under the ever fascist-friendly leadership of Donald Trump, the nation that defeated Nazism in Europe 70 years ago now has the virus of fascism running freely in it’s veins. And that virus is rapidly multiplying.

It would be nice to think that the various law enforcement agencies we support with our tax dollars and entrust the safety of our communities to would be on top of the threat, but, as the “Documenting Hate” investigation reveals, local, state and federal law enforcement — and even the Pentagon —  have been grossly negligent in tracking, confronting or even paying much attention to the metastasizing Nazi cancer.

The producers promise follow-up investigations of the Nazi threat this fall.

The first thing is to get crystal clear on what is happening and how fast it is happening. The threat is real. We are far, far beyond run-of-the-mill Republican/Democrat, conservative/liberal political theater.

“Documenting Hate” begins with gritty scenes of the bloody street violence during the “Unite The Right” Nazi rally in Charlottesville last summer and the largely hands-off stance of local and state police to the rampaging, club wielding Nazi street thugs. The weekend of police-enabled street violence resulted in the death of counter protester Heather Heyer, 32, and injury of 19 others — some seriously — when a Nazi demonstrator gunned his car into a crowd of counter protesters.

There is vivid video of Charlottesville police lazily standing by as a young black man, DeAndre Harris, a former special-education instructional assistant, was viciously clubbed by at least 6 Nazis in a parking garage right next door to the city police headquarters.

Likewise, police stood by when a small band of counter-protesters gathered at the base of the statue of Robert E. Lee on the University of Virgina campus were beaten by torch-wielding Nazi thugs. As Cornel West, one of the human rights demonstrators gathered at the statue has reported, it was only because of a charge by a courageous group of AntiFa activists that the group was rescued. The police did nothing but abet the Nazis through their own callous — and most likely calculated — inaction.

Then just this past weekend, in Portland, Oregon, local police actually attacked peaceful anti-fascist demonstrators. Initially, the police claimed the counter-demonstrators had thrown rocks and bottles at police lines. Video showed that to be a lie.

Through it all, the Nazi thugs brandished Nazi flags, fascist imagery on shields, caps and t-shirts and banners and many wore Wehrmacht style helmets. These nasty critters are not mere sociopathic right wing extremists; these are homegrown Nazis.

We cannot depend upon law enforcement

Here’s the bottom line of what is happening: Clearly, we cannot depend upon law enforcement alone, or perhaps at all, to oppose the growing Nazi threat in this country. At best they are playing slow catch-up. At worst — and it appears to be true in the examples above — law enforcement is enabling the growth of the Nazi threat.

What to do?

The first thing is to get crystal clear on what is happening and how fast it is happening. The threat is real. We are far, far beyond run-of-the-mill Republican/Democrat, conservative/liberal political theater. This is about freedom and what historian Timothy Snyder describes in his latest book as the Road to Unfreedom.

As Snyder noted in Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From The Twentieth Century’

“Lesson 17. Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.”

If we do not see significant changes in law enforcement and Pentagon policy and behavior in the next few months we will have crossed over a point few of us want to consider. If there is a national emergency — real or engineered — before that happens we will probably tip into the abyss.

Seeing the nation at real threat, those who track the radical Nazi right are worried. With the nation’s Chief Nazi Enabler Donald Trump in charge, the heavily armed, Nazi flag waving pugnacious thugs of the American Nazi movement feel legitimized, energized and officially sanctified. At best we can say law enforcement and the Pentagon have to play catch-up. At worst they are onboard with what is happening.

Think it can’t happen here? Wake up. It is. This is no practice run.


Link to PBS Frontline/ProPublica Documentary “Documenting Hate”, HERE.


Documenting Hate: New ProPublica Doc Lays Bare The Violent White Supremacy That Exploded In Charlottesville

A national reckoning about race.

Democracy Now! (8/7/18)

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.

Link to Story, Transcript and 14-Minute Video


Part Two: New Charlottesville Doc Exposes Neo-Nazi Leaders & Their Ties To U.S. Military & Weapons Contractors

The goal is to start a race war and install a fascist government.

[Editor’s Note: The ho-hum attitude of the US military leadership to the violent white supremacists in its ranks is a disturbing development. When fascists are woven into the military and police forces we are in very dangerous territory. — Mark L. Taylor]

Democracy Now! (8/7/18)

When hundreds of white supremacists arrived in Charlottesville, Virginia, for a deadly “Unite the Right” protest last August, local authorities were unprepared for the violence that terrorized the city, largely standing back during bloody encounters between white supremacists and counterprotesters. One year later, we speak with investigative reporter A.C. Thompson on his work to track down and identify white supremacists from Charlottesville and other extremist rallies across the country.

Link to Story, Transcript and 20-Minute Video


Part Three: Mother of Heather Heyer, Killed 1 Year Ago: Everyone Needs to Pick Up The Baton Of Justice & Stand Against Hate

“If you are not outraged you are not paying attention”

— Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer’s last Facebook post.

Democracy Now! (6/7/18)

It has been nearly a year since anti-racist activist Heather Heyer died in Charlottesville, Virginia, when white supremacist James Alex Fields drove his Dodge Charger into a crowd of counterdemonstrators. As white supremacists plan to mark the first anniversary of Charlottesville by holding another “Unite the Right” rally in Washington, D.C., we speak with Heyer’s mother Susan Bro about Heather Heyer’s legacy and what activists can do to combat racism.

Link to Story, Transcript and 14-Minute Video

The Heather Heyer Foundation: How you can support their important work and learn about their scholarship program Link HERE.


Part Four: Portland Protest Featured New Far-Right Trend: Multiethnic Groups With Fascist Heroes Like Pinochet

Democracy Now! (8/7/18)

We continue our interview with A.C. Thompson, correspondent for Frontline PBS and reporter for ProPublica. His new investigation is titled “Documenting Hate: Charlottesville.” He discusses how he was there in Portland, Oregon, when anti-racist, anti-fascist protesters faced off against members of the far-right-wing group “Patriot Prayer” during a protest and counterprotest Saturday. Hours into the competing protests, police officers attacked the left-wing, anti-fascist counterprotesters with pepper spray and stun grenades. Portland’s police chief has ordered a review of the use of force at the protest.

Link to Story, Transcript and 8-Minute Video


Panel Discussion With ProPublica Charlottesville Reporter A.C Thompson

Morning Joe / MSNC (8/6/18)

Nearly one year after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., Frontline PBS reflects on the moment in the new ‘Documenting Hate: Charlottesville’ film. ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson joins Morning Joe to discuss Charlottesville, what happened to some of the organizers and what it says about our current moment.

Link to 10-Minute Video

Learn More About The Atomwaffen Division’ — The radical ragged edge of America’s far right fascist movement, HERE.