Extremism in America: Emergence of The Order
The killing of radio host Alan Berg exposed a new kind of right-wing extremism. This is the first episode of a five-part series released in collaboration with The WNET Group’s reporting initiative Exploring Hate. This series was recognized with a 2022 Online Journalism Award for Best Digital Storytelling.
After Alan Berg, a Jewish talk show host, was shot to death in 1984, federal investigators scrutinized The Order, a white supremacist group. An investigation turned up plans to overthrow the government.
Federal investigators responded by going after white supremacist leaders on charges of sedition, hoping to dismantle the radical militia movement from the top down. This video looks at how and why they failed, and why extremists went underground.
“We’ve been unwilling to really grapple with our history. We have to understand where this problem has been in the past and what’s kept us from addressing it,” said Pete Simi, a professor at Chapman University and the author of “AmericanSwastika.”
This is the first 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.