Red Flags Everywhere
Jackie Speier: No one that has witnessed what happened on that day will ever forget it.
SOUNDS OF CHANT
YVONNE LATTY: CONGRESSWOMAN JACKIE SPEIER WAS IN THE HOUSE CHAMBERS TO WITNESS HER HOME STATE… CALIFORNIA, CAST ITS ELECTORAL VOTES FOR JOE BIDEN ON JAN. 6, 2021 – WHEN ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.
NAT/SOT – “Everybody in…”
Jackie Speier: There’s pounding on the doors of the chamber. And, at this point, they’ve put a large piece of furniture in front of the doors and plain-clothed officers had their guns drawn. There was glass that was broken on the actual door as well. So, we get over to the other side, we’re told to lie down, which we do. It’s about between 30 and 40 of us.
YVONNE LATTY: THEN SHE HEARD GUNSHOTS… AND HER HEART SANK.
Jackie Speier: And I remember placing my cheek on that cold floor and had this sense of resignation that I was going to die.
YVONNE LATTY: REP. SPEIER AND THE OTHERS TRAPPED IN THE CHAMBERS WITH HER SURVIVED. BUT, IN TOTAL, FIVE PEOPLE DIED AS A RESULT OF THE JAN. 6 INSURRECTION. THIS INCLUDED A FEMALE RIOTER… WHO WAS FATALLY SHOT BY A POLICE OFFICER AS SHE TRIED TO HURL HERSELF INTO A WINDOW NEAR THE HOUSE CHAMBER. OVERALL, IN 2021, 695 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ARRESTED IN CHARGES RELATED TO THE DESTRUCTION THAT HAPPENED AT THE CAPITOL RIOT.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: THIS IS A SPECIAL EPISODE OF SOUNDS LIKE HATE… A PODCAST SERIES FROM THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER. I’M JAMILA PAKSIMA.
YVONNE LATTY: AND I’M YVONNE LATTY. A WARNING TO OUR LISTENERS: SOME OF WHAT YOU WILL HEAR CONTAINS OFFENSIVE AND VIOLENT CONTENT.
Trump: “African Americans, Hispanics, are living in hell because it’s so dangerous.”
Trump: “The Black Lives Matter, they’re alotta thugs.”
JAMILA PAKSIMA: IN THIS EPISODE, RED FLAGS EVERYWHERE, WE EXAMINE CLUES SCATTERED OPENLY, ACROSS THE NATION. EVIDENCE DEMONSTRATING THE JAN. 6 INSURRECTION AT THE U.S. CAPITOL IN WASHINGTON, D.C., COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED. BUT IT WASN’T, BECAUSE OUR NATION HAS NOT YET CLOSED THAT GROWING DIVIDE THREATENING OUR DEMOCRACY — RACISM.
Carol Anderson: How did we get here? White supremacy put a man who came to power on birtherism, who came to power on “build the wall,” who came to power on Muslims are terrorists, who came to power on Mexicans are rapist and criminals. Who came to power by putting a kilo of pure, uncut white supremacy on the table so that folks would just snort it up.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: DR. CAROL ANDERSON IS THE PROFESSOR OF AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES AT EMORY UNIVERSITY… AND THE AUTHOR OF WHITE RAGE: THE UNSPOKEN TRUTH OF OUR RACIAL DIVIDE.
Carol Anderson: We have a long, nasty history of letting white supremacy do damage and then walk away unscathed.
YVONNE LATTY: WE WILL LOOK BACK AT 2020, THE YEAR PROTESTERS TOOK TO THE STREETS TO MARCH FOR RACIAL EQUALITY, ONLY TO BE MET BY ARMED COUNTERPROTESTERS. WE WILL LOOK AT HOW COVID-19 FURTHERED THE POLITICAL DIVIDE… AND HOW WHITE SUPREMACISTS GREW STRONGER BY USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO SPREAD THEIR RHETORIC.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: THESE AMERICANS WHO SUPPORTED THE CAPITOL SIEGE OBSESS OVER THE MULTICULTURAL REALITY OF THIS COUNTRY, WHERE AN INCREASING NUMBER OF PEOPLE IDENTIFY AS BEING MORE THAN ONE RACE. DONALD TRUMP WAS THEIR BIG WHITE HOPE. THE PRESIDENT WHO WOULD FINALLY STEM THE TIDE OF CHANGE AND MAINTAIN WHITE SUPREMACY AS THE FOUNDATION OF THIS COUNTRY. THEN TRUMP LOST HIS RE-ELECTION BID.
ARCHIVAL FADE IN & UNDER: CAPITOL SIEGE:
Trump: We will stop the steal.
Cassie Miller: With the insurrection, most of the people who were involved were not actually attached to any militia group or any hate group.
YVONNE LATTY: CASSIE MILLER, A PH.D., A SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST AT THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER, SAYS MOST OF THE ATTENDEES WERE FRUSTRATED TRUMP VOTERS WHO ACCEPTED THE “BIG LIE” THAT THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN.
Cassie Miller: Groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers did play a large role, but for the most part, these were kind of your average run-of-the-mill Trump supporters who were engaging in violent, insurrectionary action, and that is a huge red flag. People who were not necessarily connected to these groups but felt so motivated by these narratives that they went out to the Capitol that day. And I think that shows us that this is really a widespread political movement.
YVONNE: ANDERSON SAYS THERE WAS ALSO MONEY AND POWER BEHIND THE INSURRECTION.
Carol Anderson: We had folks flying in on private planes. CEOs of, of software companies, professionals who had degrees, and we have to recognize that. You have to go after the money that backed it. And you have to go after the bosses, and we’re not there yet. We’re not there yet. And until we get there, this nasty thing will continue to threaten the viability of the United States.
Eric Ward: It needs a mass base. It needs political power in order to usurp the government that is grounded upon censuring people, accountability and inclusion.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: ERIC WARD IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE WESTERN STATES CENTER AND A SENIOR FELLOW WITH SPLC AND RACE FORWARD. HE SPECIALIZES IN AUTHORITARIAN MOVEMENTS AND HATE VIOLENCE… AND SAYS THESE MOVEMENTS ARE NOT ABOUT SPREADING BIGOTRY, BUT USING BIGOTRY TO ORGANIZE POLITICAL POWER.
Eric Ward: So, that’s what we’re seeing right now. Not a hate movement, but a political movement that manipulates the everyday prejudices and stereotypes and fears of the American population in order to build political power.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: WARD SAYS THE WINNERS OF THIS MOVEMENT ARE NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE, BUT A SUBGROUP OF THIS POPULATION: WHITE CHRISTIAN MEN.
Eric Ward: A very small portion of the white population who fit the muster of white nationalism: White males who identify as Christian, who own property. In that sense, the white nationalist movement isn’t new. What’s new about it is that it is no longer seeking to maintain the United States of America. It seeks to overthrow it.
YVONNE LATTY: CASSIE MILLER SAYS SOCIAL MEDIA PROVIDES AN OUTLET FOR ANYONE FEELING UNHEARD.
Cassie Miller: They could go somewhere like Facebook and find a protest that they could attend because that’s where these narratives are created that drive people to join these movements, you know, to believe that the election was stolen, to believe that the left is out to destroy America, to believe that the Black Lives Matter movement really means chaos and the decay of, you know, the heart of the country. That’s where these things are born and, and where they’re spread to average Americans. And it is, you know, affecting all different parts of the country.
NAT/SOT OBAMA ELECTION NIGHT
Obama: If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America’s a place where all things are possible, tonight is your answer.
YVONNE LATTY: IN 2008, BARACK OBAMA WON THE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES. FOR WHITE POWER ADVOCATES… IT WAS THEIR WORST-CASE SCENARIO, AND ON ELECTION NIGHT THEY BEGAN MOBILIZING.
NAT/SOT OBAMA ELECTION NIGHT
Obama: Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight; we are and always will be the United States of America.
Carol Anderson: You get this language about how racist can America be because we put a Black man in the White House twice. Well, that’s not quite accurate.
YVONNE LATTY: SOME FOLKS, LIKE DR. ANDERSON, SAY THE MERE FACT THAT TRUMP WON THE 2016 ELECTION UPENDED ANY FOUNDATION OF RACIAL UNITY, WHICH THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WAS BUILT ON.
Carol Anderson: The majority of whites have not voted for a Democratic candidate for president since 1964, since Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, since the Democratic Party said we will put the power of the federal government behind enforcing the citizenship rights of Black folk. Not since then have the majority of whites voted for a Democratic candidate for president, and the same happened with Barack Obama.
YVONNE LATTY: WHITE SUPREMACY HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE CONSTANT UGLY UNDERBELLY OF AMERICA. WITH TRUMP’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN… MEMBERSHIP IN HATE GROUPS ROSE AS HE FANNED THE FLAMES. DR. ANDERSON SAYS THE INSURRECTION WAS AN ATTEMPT TO SUPPRESS THE VOTES OF AMERICANS WHO PUT BIDEN IN OFFICE.
Carol Anderson: And so when we see that insurrection, it is about delegitimizing the votes of Black American citizens, of Asian American citizens, of Hispanic American citizens, of Native American citizens, saying they aren’t American, they don’t count. If we don’t count their votes then Trump won. And so you see the visual image of the Confederate flag being carried in the U.S. Capitol, you hear the Black cops being called the N-word. All of this is white supremacy attacking the U.S. Capitol. There must be consequences because the next time that they attack, it may be successful.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: SO, IF WE STEP BACK ONE YEAR TO JANUARY 2020, TO THE CAPITOL OF RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, WE KNOW GOV. RALPH NORTHAM RECOGNIZED A RED FLAG WHEN HE RECEIVED INTELLIGENCE REPORTS ABOUT A SERIOUS DOMESTIC TERROR EVENT PLANNED FOR A DAY WHEN SEVERAL HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WERE CARAVANING TO RICHMOND BY BUSLOAD FROM STATES ACROSS THE NATION. HE SPOKE TO US ABOUT THE POTENTIAL DANGER AND VIOLENCE HE HOPED TO DIFFUSE.
Ralph Northam: Monitor social media with the Virginia State Police, with our, our localities.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: EXPECTED TO ATTEND WERE MILITIA AND WHITE POWER GROUPS: THREE PERCENTERS, PROUD BOYS, BUT ALSO MANY PRO-SECOND AMENDMENT ADVOCATES AND DISGRUNTLED AMERICANS.
Ralph Northam: We knew that there were white supremacists that wanted to come to Richmond just like they had been, some of the same groups that had been in, in Charlottesville.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: AS THE VIRGINIA STATE LEGISLATURE WAS PREPARING FOR LOBBY DAY, GOV. NORTHAM DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY.
Ralph Northam: For years, Virginia citizens who want to speak up in defense of gun rights have peacefully assembled here, at our capitol. But we have received credible intelligence from our law enforcement agencies that there are groups with malicious plans for the rally that is planned for Monday. No one wants another incident like the one we saw in Charlottesville in 2017. Intelligence shows a threat of armed militia groups storming our capitol. To enforce this, I am declaring a state of emergency in Richmond from Friday evening until Tuesday night.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: GOV. NORTHAM SAID LAW ENFORCEMENT AVOIDED AN ATTACK, EVEN WHILE 20,000 PROTESTERS, MANY ARMED, MARCHED IN RICHMOND IN DEFENSE OF THEIR GUN RIGHTS.
Jamila Paksima: It was almost a precursor to what happened on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.
Ralph Northam: Yes.
Jamila Paksima: A lot of the same people were there: the Three Percenters, the Boogaloo Boys…
Ralph Northam: Yeah.
Jamila Paksima: …The Oath Keepers. They were here. And then they showed up at the Capitol to support Trump, who believed that his votes were stolen.
Ralph Northam: Yes. Those types of movements are successful only if they’re not resisted. And, so, we knew that they were coming, and we made plans. That’s the way I approach bullies and cowards.
CHANTING “BLACK LIVES MATTER”
YVONNE LATTY: ON MAY 25, 2020, GEORGE FLOYD WAS MURDERED BY A POLICE OFFICER, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE PROTESTS FOLLOWED IN EVERY STATE IN THE COUNTRY. … THESE PROTESTS FURTHER ANGERED WHITE POWER GROUPS. MORE AND MORE PEOPLE DRESSED IN PARAMILITARY GEAR SHOWED UP AT THESE LOCAL DEMONSTRATIONS.
TIM FOLEY IS THE LEADER OF ARIZONA BORDER RECON, THE ARMED VIGILANTE GROUP TRACKING MIGRANTS IN THE ARIZONA DESERT TO TURN THEM OVER TO U.S. BORDER PATROL.
Tim Foley: What about after George Floyd?
YVONNE LATTY: HE SAYS THE BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS WERE FAR WORSE THAN THE INSURRECTION, WHICH HE ATTENDED.
Tim Foley: But not a peep. Nobody gives a shit. It’s all the racist, whities. See, that’s why I hate politicians.
YVONNE LATTY: THE FACT IS, THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE ABOUT 9,000 BLM PROTESTS WERE PEACEFUL.
Cassie Miller: That was historically the biggest mobilization in the name of racial justice that we’ve seen in the United States, and for the far right, they framed it as a sign that the country was coming apart at the seams, that there was this disorder in the streets and that someone needed to step in and maintain law and order. And members of the far right kind of anointed themselves as the keepers of law and order.
YVONNE LATTY: THE NUMBER OF REPORTED DEAD IN BLM PROTESTS RANGES FROM 9 TO 19. NOT ALL WERE KILLED WHILE PROTESTING… AND SOME OF THE DEAD WERE KILLED BY COUNTERPROTESTERS. TWO WERE KILLED IN AUGUST 2020 BY 17-YEAR-OLD KYLE RITTENHOUSE, WHO TOOK A SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPON TO A BLM PROTEST IN KENOSHA, WISCONSIN. HE WAS ACQUITTED.
Cassie Miller: This is someone who was greeted as a hero by groups like the Proud Boys.
YVONNE LATTY: CASSIE SAYS RITTENHOUSE’S ACQUITTAL IN NOVEMBER OF 2021 IS LIKELY TO EMBOLDEN PEOPLE WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LAX GUN LAWS… WHO SHE FEARS WILL EVADE PUNISHMENT… EVEN WHEN THEIR CONDUCT LEADS TO VIOLENCE.
RITTENHOUSE’S CAUSE WAS CHAMPIONED BY RIGHT-WING GROUPS, BUT RITTENHOUSE, HIMSELF, IS NOT KNOWN TO HAVE ANY ASSOCIATION WITH THESE MOVEMENTS.
Cassie Miller: What we saw is that out and out Nazis and white nationalists, and Republican elected officials, we’re joining together to praise his acquittal. This was really a victory for them that someone going out and engaging in extrajudicial violence, killing two people who were at a protest, was something to be celebrated. I think that really sends the signal that that kind of extrajudicial violence is going to be tolerated, you know, by the court system, and then even praised and rewarded by elected officials, by right-wing media.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: THE UNITED STATES HAS A LONG HISTORY OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM. THE KU KLUX KLAN IS THE OLDEST AND PROBABLY THE BEST KNOWN OF AMERICA’S HATE GROUPS. THEY WERE FOUNDED BY A CONFEDERATE GENERAL JUST AFTER THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR TO INTIMIDATE BLACK AMERICANS THROUGH VIOLENCE. … THEY’VE ALSO TARGETED JEWISH PEOPLE, THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY AND IMMIGRANTS.
News Reporter 2: Now the protesters who want to protect the Confederacy are supposed to start their rally here tomorrow morning…
JAMILA PAKSIMA: DR. ANDERSON SAYS WHITE SUPREMACY IS SEEPING INTO EVERY ASPECT OF SOCIETY AND ALWAYS WANTS MORE CONTROL.
Carol Anderson: One of the things about empowering white supremacy is it can never be satisfied. It can never say, “Lord, this is enough.” Instead, it’s like, “I want more, more, more, more.”
JAMILA PAKSIMA: ON AUG. 15, 2020… WHITE SUPREMACISTS STAGED A PROTEST TO SUPPORT STONE MOUNTAIN IN GEORGIA, THE LARGEST CONFEDERATE MONUMENT IN THE WORLD.
IN 1915… A FLAMING CROSS ATOP THE MOUNTAIN ANNOUNCED THE REBIRTH OF THE KKK.
AND MORE THAN A CENTURY LATER… STONE MOUNTAIN CONTINUES TO INSPIRE WHITE SUPREMACISTS.
THE THREE CONFEDERATE LEADERS CARVED ATOP THE SIDE OF STONE MOUNTAIN CONTINUE TO BE A SITE OF WHITE SUPREMACY ACTIVITY.
THE KKK HAS NEVER BEEN SHUT DOWN. AS A GROUP, THEIR CHAPTERS MIGHT BE DECLINING, BUT HATE HAS NOT GONE AWAY. IT HAS SURFACED UNDER NEW GUISES.
THE AUGUST 2020 STONE MOUNTAIN PROTEST INCLUDED MEMBERS OF VARIOUS WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUPS… THE THREE PERCENTERS AND THE THREE PERCENT SECURITY FORCE.
Carol Anderson: These statues are not only in the South. They spread throughout the United States.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: DR. ANDERSON SAYS THE LESSON OF THE CIVIL WAR WAS THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES FOR WHITE AMERICANS WHO START INSURRECTIONS IN AMERICA.
Carol Anderson: It provides a kind of legitimization of white supremacy, attacking America, attacking and trying to destroy the United States of America. There are no lessons learned here about consequences for your evil actions. Instead, what you get is the embrace of that kind of white supremacy.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: A “BACK THE BLUE” RALLY IN PORTLAND DREW A CROWD OF MORE THAN 100 FAR-RIGHT ACTIVISTS, WHO DESCENDED ON THE CITY. THEY WERE ARMED WITH PAINTBALL GUNS, BATS AND OTHER WEAPONS WITHOUT POLICE INTERFERENCE.
TENSIONS ESCALATED WHEN TRUMP SUPPORTERS IN CARAVANS CONFRONTED BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTERS.
AS THE TWO SIDES CLASHED, TRUMP PRAISED THE COUNTERPROTESTERS AS “GREAT PATRIOTS,” AND HE SAID “THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL STOP THE VIOLENCE IN HIGH-CRIME DEMOCRATIC CITIES IS THROUGH STRENGTH.”
Trump: I want to thank Homeland Security; they’ve done a fantastic job. We had our people go in; they stopped any intrusion into the courthouse.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: AND SO HE DEPLOYED A GROUP OF FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO THE STREETS OF PORTLAND.
ERIC WARD SAYS THIS WAS ANOTHER RED FLAG.
Eric Ward: The Trump administration used that as a pretense for their trial run. What they did is they assembled a grouping of law enforcement officials from a number of different agencies, including Department of Homeland Security, Federal Protective Services, U.S. Marshals. Folks who weren’t trained in crowd control and weren’t trained as a unit and placed them on the streets of Portland, Oregon.
Trump: We would like to be asked by the mayor and the governor, we will go in and stop the problems in Portland in 24 hours, just like we did in Minneapolis after they really hurt that city.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: SOON AFTER, WARD BEGAN RECEIVING REPORTS OF VIOLENCE.
Eric Ward: One was that this federal paramilitary unit was engaging in physical violence. We received a report of a racial justice activist who was merely standing with a boombox, with a radio over his head, and this federal paramilitary unit fired a tear gas canister directly into the head of this person, crushing his skull. We began to also receive reports of local activists at protests being yanked off the streets, hoods being put over their heads, being tied like cattle and thrown into unmarked vans and taken to undisclosed locations and being interrogated.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: SEPTEMBER 2020, TRUMP CALLED PORTLAND AN ANARCHIST ZONE… AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NAMED IT “A JURISDICTION PERMITTING VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY.”
Eric Ward: He used this as an excuse for these federal troops. Now what’s important to realize is that at the point in Portland, people were turning their attention to political advocacy rather than mobilizations. The marches on the streets were actually shrinking.
YVONNE LATTY: THERE WAS STILL ONE MORE MAJOR FACTOR AT PLAY THAT DROVE THESE WHITE SUPREMACISTS INTO A FRENZY: COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS.
BY THE END OF MARCH, CITIES AND COUNTIES PLAGUED BY THE VIRUS BEGAN TO SHUT DOWN. AND THAT TRIGGERED PROTESTS AGAINST THE QUARANTINES, SCHOOLS BEING PUSHED ONLINE, AND WEARING MASKS ACROSS THE COUNTRY…
Guardian: How did they come up with this number of 6 feet? I think they just pulled it out of their rear ends.
YVONNE LATTY: IN MICHIGAN, PROTESTERS WERE A FAMILIAR SITE AT THE STATE CAPITOL BUILDING. SOME ARMED WITH GUNS… OTHERS CARRYING TRUMP SIGNS AND AMERICAN FLAGS, PARADED AROUND THE BUILDING. THEY WERE RESISTING THE PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES PUT IN PLACE BY GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER.
“LET US IN” CHANTING
YVONNE LATTY: IN THE CROWD WERE MEMBERS OF THE MICHIGAN PROUD BOYS.
AT THE TIME, HOSPITALIZATIONS AND DEATHS WERE SKYROCKETING IN HER STATE. SO, SHE IMPLEMENTED STRINGENT GUIDELINES TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. AS A RESULT, SHE BECAME A FREQUENT TARGET OF TRUMP’S WRATH. AND THE MICHIGAN MILITIA GROUP, WOLVERINE WATCHMEN, DECIDED TO TAKE ACTION.
Gretchen Whitmer: Earlier today, Attorney General Dana Nessel was joined by officials from the Department of Justice and the FBI to announce state and federal charges against 13 members of two militia groups who were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill me.
YVONNE LATTY: MILITIA MEMBERS WERE ARRESTED FOR PLANNING TO KIDNAP HER AS PART OF THE “BOOGALOO” MOVEMENT… AIMING TO START A NEW AMERICAN CIVIL WAR. THEN, ON OCT. 8, 2020, GOV. WHITMER SPOKE TO THE PUBLIC AFTER THE FOILED KIDNAPPING.
Gretchen Whitmer: Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups, like these two Michigan militia groups. “Stand back and stand by,” he told them. “Stand back and stand by.”
YVONNE LATTY: THOSE WORDS…
Trump: Stand back and stand by.
YVONNE LATTY: …WERE UTTERED DURING THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE ON SEPT. 29, 2020, IN CLEVELAND, OHIO.
DURING A PRESS CONFERENCE, GOV. WHITMER SAID TRUMP’S WORDS ENCOURAGED WHITE SUPREMACISTS TO ACT ON THEIR HATE.
Gretchen Whitmer: Hate groups heard the president’s words, not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, as a call to action. When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions, and they are complicit.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: AND THEN, JUST TWO WEEKS BEFORE JAN. 6, WARD SAYS, YET ANOTHER RED FLAG WAS IN VIEW.
Eric Ward: It gets reinforced again in Oregon, about two weeks before Jan. 6, where there is an attempted coup, here, at the State Capitol in, in Oregon, where a state legislator facilitated the entry of alt-right activists into the state building.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: THE OREGON STATE CAPITOL WAS CLOSED FOR VISITORS BECAUSE OF COVID-19. BUT THAT DIDN’T STOP REPUBLICAN STATE REP. MIKE NEARMAN FROM OPENING A LOCKED DOOR TO ALLOW AN ALT-RIGHT MOB ENTRY INTO THE BUILDING DURING A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION.
WIELDING WEAPONS, THE MOB PUSHED ITS WAY PAST SECURITY AND ATTACKED POLICE OFFICERS… PUTTING THE LIVES OF HIS COLLEAGUES AND STAFF AT RISK.
IN THE MONTHS SINCE THE EVENT, NEARMAN WAS CHARGED AND PLED GUILTY TO FIRST-DEGREE OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT. HE WAS SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS PROBATION… AND BANNED FROM THE OREGON CAPITOL BUILDING AND GROUNDS.
Eric Ward: It wasn’t a surprise that Jan. 6 happened. The, the real surprise is the reluctance of elected officials and the American public to acknowledge that that insurrection on Jan. 6 never ended that day. It is still occurring in communities around the country. Health workers, school board members, local elected officials, and government employees find themselves under attack from physical intimidation and violence of those who sought to overthrow the United States of America.
C-SPAN – Michael Fanone: I observed approximately 30 police officers standing shoulder-to-shoulder, maybe four or five abreast, using the weight of their bodies to hold back the onslaught of violent attackers.
C-SPAN – Sgt. Aquilino Gonell: As America and the world watched in horror what was happening at the Capitol, we did not receive timely reinforcement and support we needed.
C-SPAN – Daniel Hodges: A new man came to the front and fixated on me, continually berating me, telling me to take off my gear and give it to him. It shows solidarity with, “We the people or we’re going to run over you.” Men alleging to be veterans told us how they had fought for this country and were fighting for it again.
YVONNE LATTY: ONE IN TEN OF THE JAN. 6 INSURRECTION DEFENDANTS HAD TIES TO THE MILITARY. THESE VETERANS HAD NO ISSUES WITH BEATING DOWN LAW ENFORCEMENT TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE CAPITOL.
A QUARTER OF THEM HAVE TIES TO THE OATH KEEPERS AND PROUD BOYS. AND DESPITE INTELLIGENCE REPORTS THAT WARNED THE RALLY COULD BE DANGEROUS, LAW ENFORCEMENT WERE CAUGHT OFF GUARD.
Megan Squire: I mean, all the signs were there. The folks like, like me and others that follow these groups, you know, day in and day out for the long haul, we were kind of all aware of it and disappointed, but not exactly surprised.
YVONNE LATTY: THAT’S MEGAN SQUIRE, A COMPUTER SCIENCE PROFESSOR AT ELON UNIVERSITY, WHO STUDIES EXTREMISM ONLINE.
SQUIRE SAYS THE RADICAL RIGHT EXTREMISTS ARE ORGANIZING ONLINE IN DARK CORNERS AND PLANTING RED FLAGS IN FAST-MOVING, COMPLEX, SOCIAL-TECHNICAL COMMUNITIES CLOAKED BENEATH PSEUDONYMS.
Megan Squire: There was one night where I was watching and collecting data on a Proud Boys stream. It was affiliated with those sort of a spinoff they have called Murder The Media, some affiliates, and those guys had one of their biggest nights ever promoting the, the Jan. 6 rally. It was the day that Trump tweeted that thing about, “It’s going to be wild” or whatever, whatever it was. That night, they had one of their biggest streams ever, so the data was flowing in, I was like, “What’s going on on that channel?” Let’s go check it out. It was kind of surprising.
Yvonne Latty: Murder The Media?
Megan Squire: Yeah, I know. That was the name of the channel.
YVONNE LATTY: REP. SPIER SAYS THERE WAS A LACK OF INTELLIGENCE GATHERING AND AN UNWILLINGNESS TO RECOGNIZE THE DANGER THAT WAS IN PLAIN SIGHT. AND SHE BLAMES DONALD TRUMP.
Jackie Speier: Those who were in power within the administration were still taking their orders from the president, who was the commander in chief. So there was a reluctance there. I think they were particularly slow to do it because then-acting secretary of defense was timid because of power that Donald Trump was able to exert.
YVONNE LATTY: THE FBI DECLINED OUR REQUEST FOR AN INTERVIEW DUE TO THE ONGOING INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAPITOL INSURRECTION.
Jamila Paksima: Why was law enforcement seemingly caught off guard?
Eric Ward: It’s because racism remains a national security threat in the United States. What we found is that law enforcement didn’t believe, because of unconscious racism, that a white mob would be a threat to them. And it was that unconscious bias, that unconscious racism that allowed more than a 150 law enforcement officers to be injured on that day; it allowed the conditions where five people, if not more, lost their lives as a result of that Jan. 6 insurrection. It was a complete failure and breakdown.
YVONNE LATTY: ONE YEAR LATER, AMERICA CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE WITH ITS RACIST PAST AND THE STRONGHOLD IT STILL HAS ON OUR PRESENT AND FUTURE.
WHILE SOME STATE CAPITOLS CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE WITH REMOVING CONFEDERATE AND WHITE SUPREMACIST’S MONUMENTS… THE NATION’S CAPITOL STILL HAS SYMBOLS ON FULL DISPLAY.
IN JUNE 2021, THE HOUSE VOTED TO REMOVE ALL STATUES HONORING CONFEDERATE AND OTHER WHITE SUPREMACIST LEADERS FROM PUBLIC DISPLAY IN THE U.S. CAPITOL.
THIS INCLUDES A STATUE OF JEFFERSON DAVIS… THE PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERACY… AND FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE U.S.… ROGER B. TANEY… WHO WROTE THE DRED SCOTT DECISION… WHICH DECLARED THAT ALL BLACK AMERICANS WERE NOT U.S. CITIZENS. THE MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS WERE AGAINST THE REMOVAL.
IN JULY, DEMOCRATS INTRODUCED THE BILL IN THE SENATE.
HERE’S CASSIE MILLER AGAIN.
Cassie Miller: Everyone sort of hoped after Jan. 6, and after Biden became president, that it would really take the wind out of the sails of the far right. And it, unfortunately, hasn’t. You know, what we’ve seen is that, that this is much more structural than that, and it’s not just one powerful leader who is guiding this movement. It’s a whole media apparatus. You know, it’s, it’s think tanks. It’s organized groups. It’s people with real political power who are pushing to bring this movement forward.
YVONNE LATTY: SHE SAYS RATHER THAN CONDEMN THE JAN. 6 INSURRECTION… SOME REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS HAVE TURNED THEM INTO MARTYRS.
Cassie Miller: They have played into this narrative that the insurrectionists are martyrs and that they’re political prisoners, and that these were people standing up for the country who are now being unfairly persecuted. And that’s really, really dangerous that people who engage in an insurrectionary action are now being held up as martyrs by people in real political power.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: THE QUESTION SO MANY AMERICANS NEED AN ANSWER TO IS HOW DOES SUCH A DEEPLY DIVIDED COUNTRY MOVE FORWARD? DR. ANDERSON SAYS THE INSURRECTION DOES NOT DEFINE WHAT MOST AMERICANS WANT FOR THEIR LIVES OR COUNTRY.
Carol Anderson: They want greater humanity. They want greater support for the way that they can live their lives. They want COVID-19 handled. They want to be able to send their children to good quality schools where their children will be safe. They want access to quality health care. They want a government that works. White supremacy does not want any of those things.
YVONNE LATTY: AND ERIC WARD SAYS FOR THE HATRED AND DIVIDE TO END… WE NEED TO BE COMMITTED TO DEMOCRACY.
Eric Ward: The thing we can do is make sure our elected officials understand we are committed to a United States, and we expect them to be committed to a United States, and that means all Americans; a place where we can live, love, worship, and work free from fear and bigotry, where opportunity applies to all of us. We can’t be spectators in the process of democracy. We have to be responsible citizens. Democracy doesn’t thrive on its own. It thrives through the spirit and the courage of all the residents of that democracy. And so we have to be present and we have to help other people be present.
YVONNE LATTY: SEASON FOUR IS ALREADY IN PRODUCTION. WE’RE TAKING YOU INSIDE THE ELITE, STATE-RUN VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE GRAPPLING WITH MONUMENTAL PROBLEMS. AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION FOUND IN THE SPRING OF 2021 “DISPROPORTIONATE ATTENTION TO TRADITIONS RELATED TO THE CIVIL WAR ERA,” AND URGED NOT ONLY REFORM, BUT THE REMOVAL OF THE REMAINING 28 CONFEDERATE SYMBOLS AND ICONS ON CAMPUS.
Jamila Paksima: So, you say you’ve never been harassed, or have you been harassed?
Emma: I prefer not to answer.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: AND IN THIS MILITARY INSTITUTION, ALLEGATIONS OF A DISTURBING CULTURE OF MISOGYNY, SEXUAL ASSAULT OF WOMEN, AND RAMPANT RACIAL HARASSMENT TARGETED AT CADETS OF COLOR.
Jamila Paksima: Were racial slurs used against you?
Kaleb Tucker: To my face, no. Online, yes. And they were saying I was the N–word, and I needed to leave. I heard a couple of threats. I mean, I got targeted by a staff member who was second in command at the time. He literally looked me in the eyes, and he said, ‘We don’t want you here.’ So, I chose a more submissive route, even when he was looking in my eyes, saying that I shook my head and said, ‘Yes, sir.’
JAMILA PAKSIMA: WE SPEAK WITH CURRENT STUDENTS, ALUMNI AND THOSE WHO ARE TASKED WITH TURNING THIS SCHOOL AROUND.
Dr. Jamica Love: If I walked around all day trying to change people’s minds, I would have a headache. That is not my goal. My goal is always education.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: THIS IS SOUNDS LIKE HATE, AN INDEPENDENT AUDIO DOCUMENTARY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER.
SOUNDS LIKE HATE IS PRODUCED BY UNTIL 20 PRODUCTIONS. I’M JAMILA PAKSIMA… HOST AND CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER… ALONG WITH GERALDINE MORIBA.
YVONNE LATTY: AND I’M YVONNE LATTY… CO-HOST AND PRODUCER.
THE TEAM WHO WORKED ON THIS SPECIAL EPISODE INCLUDE PRODUCER JORDAN GASS-POORE… AND MASTERING ENGINEER, KIERON BANERJI. MUSIC IS COMPOSED BY WARNER MEADOWS.
JAMILA PAKSIMA: IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS EXPERIENCED A HATE INCIDENT OR CRIME, PLEASE CONTACT THE APPROPRIATE LOCAL AUTHORITIES OR ELECTED OFFICIALS. YOU CAN ALSO DOCUMENT WHAT HAPPENED AT SPLCENTER.ORG.
REMEMBER TO SUBSCRIBE TO FIND OUT WHEN NEW EPISODES ARE RELEASED.
PLEASE RATE AND REVIEW. IT REALLY HELPS. AND THANKS FOR LISTENING.