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Extremism in America: A Surge in Violence

During the 2010s, violent attacks by white supremacists and other extremists increased, including at a church in Charleston, S.C. and a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

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Released: May 10, 2022

During the 2010s, while the U.S. was largely focused on terror threats from abroad, violent attacks involving white supremacists and anti-Semitic individuals began to rise, including a shooting at a church in Charleston, S.C., and at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Dylann Roof, who killed nine people in Charleston, indicated that he was trying to start a race war. Why was the government slow to shift its focus from foreign threats to homegrown extremists?

This is the fourth episode of a five-part series produced in collaboration with The WNET Group’s reporting initiative Exploring Hate, on the roots and rise of hate in America and across the globe. Leadership support for Exploring Hate is provided by the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Antisemitism. To learn more about Exploring Hate and for a full list of funders, visit pbs.org/exploringhate.