Just weeks away from the first anniversary of the mass killing at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, award winning journalist Tony Harris takes a look at events surrounding the events of June 17,2015 in “Hate in America: The Lone Wolf,” the final part of a three-part investigative series that aired on Discovery Network.
The series showcases organized hate crimes in partnership with Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights advocacy firm. The first part, ‘Hate in America: The Klan on Trial” aired on Feb. 29, the second “Hate in America: A Town on Fire” aired on March 24 and the final installment on May 21.
“We’re clearly seeing a rise in hate groups and intolerance groups across the country and I think the documentary in part with SPLC, is a timely piece within journalism and an important moment in the life of this country,” Tony Harris told the AFRO.
According to a 2014 FBI hate crime report, 47 percent of all hate crimes are racially motivated. In 2015 there were more than 5,479 hate crime incidents.
In the most recent episode of “Hate in America,” the Emmy award winning journalist, travels the country speaking to the people behind some of our country’s most heinous and twisted attacks and examines the rise of the independent violent acts done on behalf of or in support of an ideology known as the “Lone Wolf.”
“One issue is the ‘Demographic Challenge,’ at which the nation becomes a majority minority nation. I think for a number of people, particularly White males, there’s a feeling of being challenged by those demographics and they want ‘their’ country back in the way that they view it,” said Harris. “The challenge of what’s happening demographically is too much for them and a lot of White males have never been impacted in the way that they’ve been by this most recent 2008 recession, unlike the African Americans and Latinos and they’re looking for people to blame for their current state of their affairs.”
Three specific lone wolf attacks examined in this specific broadcast include an anti-Semitic attack at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2009, the ambush of two police officers and a bystander by anti-government extremists in Las Vegas in 2014, and the 2015 massacre at Emanuel AME Church.
“Ignorance is the fear of the unknown and people are scared of anything that they don’t know about. That’s one of the main reasons for the “Hate Won’t Win” campaign I started in 2015,” said Alana Simmons, granddaughter of the deceased Rev. Simmons of Emanuel AME Church. “I wanted to encourage people and let them know that hate won’t win, despite whatever obstacles, as we plan a commemorative walk one year after the massacre anniversary.”
Over the last six years, there have been more than 60 incidents of domestic terrorism planned by “lone wolf” attackers, averaging to at least one hate crime every 34 days.
” Hate is something that we have to overcome, because it’s putting a cap on our country as a nation and we have to do a better job in the media and get out of campaign mode and challenge the people on their frustration,” said Harris.