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September 22, 2017

White Haze

Right-wing groups like the Proud Boys say they have no tolerance for racism or white supremacist groups. Their leader Gavin McInnes disavowed the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. But the Proud Boys believe “the West is the best,” which, one of them points out, is not such a big jump from “whites are best.” And one of the Proud Boys organized the Charlottesville rally. (The group now claims he was a spy.) What should we make of groups like this?

Prologue

Last month, after white nationalists and members of the alt-right and offshoot groups descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, and marched with torches, the staff of our show realized something: The guy who organized the rally was a member of a right wing men's group that our producer Zoe Chace had been following for months, long before the rally was planned. And she’d learned that the group had an unlikely spiritual advisor: a liberal, black relationship consultant and comedian named Dante Nero. Ira introduces us to him. (3 minutes)

Lost in the Proud

Dante Nero has been involved in this group for years, since before it even had a name. He’s seen its evolution. And he is now deeply disturbed to learn that some members attended the Charlottesville rally, including the guy who organized it. Zoe tells Dante's story. (29 minutes)

Phone Calls to an Undisclosed Location

The man who organized the rally in Charlottesville is named Jason Kessler. He says he’s not to blame for the violence that happened there, including the death of a counter protester. In fact, he put the blame on somebody else: a black politician in Charlottesville. Producer Robyn Semien talks to them both about it. (24 minutes)

Song:

“We’re the Replacements” by They Might Be Giants
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