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US election 2020: Donald Trump and the rise of white supremacist extremism – podcast

White supremacist extremism is the most lethal terrorism threat to the United States. It’s a hateful ideology that the Guardian’s Lois Beckett says has infected many parts of American society

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In May 2017, Demetria Hester was on her way home from work on a train in Portland, Oregon when Jeremy Christian, an avowed white supremacist, boarded and began shouting racist abuse. She says she told him to shut up. When they had got off the train, he threw a bottle that struck her in the face. The next day he killed two men and grievously injured a third. Demetria describes to Anushka Asthana how she felt the police responded to the incident that night and how she watched her attacker walk away without being questioned.

Earlier this year, a court in Portland found Jeremy Christian guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree attempted murder and sentenced to life without parole. But as the Guardian’s Lois Beckett tells Anushka, this is the extreme end of an ideology that has permeated all parts of US society, and that President Trump has repeatedly refused to condenm.

As American’s go to the polls next week they must assess the record of a president who has professed to be the “least racist person”. His own Department of Homeland Security describes white supremacists as posing the most persistent and lethal terror threat in the country.

Jeremy Christian attends the jury selection for his trial in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by John Rudoff /AFP) Photograph: John Rudoff/AFP via Getty Images

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