Our former New Republic colleague Elle Reeve embedded with white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, for Vice News this past weekend, and produced this remarkable, haunting feature. I won’t spoil the segment, except to note that about 20 minutes in, as she interviews her subject, the camera catches his laptop and some unread content awaiting him.
The miracle and the horror of social media resides in its power to connect all kinds of people to all kinds of content. Occasionally Nazis happen upon my articles, and alert me to their findings with tweets or emails concerning the happy thought of murdering me.
I don’t know if this particular Nazi finds his reading through social media or brand loyalty, but this appears to be the story he’d clicked on. The Federalist isn’t Daily Stormer, but you can see why a white supremacist might be drawn to a piece characterizing the “rise of white nationalism” as a rational response to liberal, pro-equality activism rather than as a vice without any justification.