Hate persists. It's relentless.
History demonstrates that through the centuries, across civilizations, humans consistently kill or marginalize one another. Slavery, racial oppression, ethnic cleansing, pogroms and genocide reign through the ages. They are the greatest of human atrocities, given the special designation of crimes against humanity. And they are driven by hate.
That’s why we have to fight it. Every day.
Our reporting unmasks rage peddlers and homicidal conspirators who hide behind bandanas and the internet. We report their names and their lies — lies told to enrage the ignorant, to incite prejudiced, fearful people and to justify legislation that undermines this country’s founding principles. And our reporting reveals something else.
It scrambles to cover its tracks, its hypocrisy, its schemes. In this edition of Intelligence Report, you’ll discover that truth. For example, the founder of the anti-Muslim hate group ACT for America, Brigitte Gabriel, has written that terrorist attacks represent Islam in its “purest form.” But when a chapter president erected a display with a similar message, ACT distanced itself from that regional leader. It appears the group’s political aspirations weren’t worth a national scandal or the extension of its loyalty to an influential member.
And then there’s Chris Cantwell. He appeared in a Vice documentary about the 2017 failed Charlottesville rally in which a white supremacist killed counterprotester Heather Heyer in a hit-and-run. With John Wayne machismo, Cantwell brandished weapons in the documentary and boasted: “I go to the gym all the time. I’m trying to make myself more capable of violence.” After Heyer’s murder, he bragged: “The fact that none of our people killed anybody unjustly is a plus for us, and we showed our rivals that we won’t be cowed.”
Four days later he cried. That’s when he learned there was a warrant for his arrest. “I want to be peaceful. I want to be law-abiding,” he said through tears while recording a YouTube video. “I’m terrified.” His bravado faded with the reality of consequences. And now? After pleading guilty to assault and battery and being banned from the state of Virginia? Now, we’ve learned, he’s an FBI informant. Cantwell’s rationale for cooperating with federal investigators seems as conflicted as his vacillation between being a self-proclaimed aggressor and being a committed pacifist. “The FBI,” he says, “seems more interested in stopping the violence, which necessarily means leftists going to prison.” Conviction has a way of weakening convictions.
But for every extremist who recants or sobs, just as many remain resolute. Grayson Fritts openly declared from his pulpit, “God has instilled the power of civil government to send the police in 2019 out to the LGBTQ freaks and arrest them and have a trial for them, and if they are convicted, then they are to be put to death.” Fritts is a pastor at All Scripture Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was also a detective with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
Armando Delgado Gonzalez wasn’t hiding online or behind a fake name when he allegedly suggested a fatal remedy for immigration near Sunland Park, New Mexico. A member of border militia group United Constitutional Patriots told police that Gonzalez allegedly asked, “Why are we just apprehending [migrants] and not lining them up and shooting them? We have to go back to Hitler days and put them all in a gas chamber.” BuzzFeed News reported that Gonzalez denied making the comments written in a police report.
Three months later, a gunman killed 22 people who were shoppers at a Texas Walmart less than 15 miles from Sunland Park. Police have arrested Patrick Crusius in connection with that massacre.
We see the boldness of hate.
That’s why we didn’t hesitate to publicize the names of leaders in the neo-Confederate group Identity Dixie. Our investigation revealed that the organization hopes to equip Southern states to secede from our country. The group has promoted radical right-wing Christian Dominionism, along with Kinism, the belief that the Bible prohibits interracial marriage.
But we see the impact of fighting it. You’ll read about what happened to the Virginia EMT who joked about torturing a young black boy with a needle. And you’ll discover why a judge shut down an anti-gay conversion group for minors.
That’s why we investigate. Relentlessly.