Lessons from Charlottesville: a discussion with Oren Segal about white supremacy in modern America


On 26th October 2017, the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) hosted a lunch briefing with Mr Oren Segal, Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, an NGO which combats extremism, terrorism and all forms of hate, both on and offline.
The briefing focussed on the recent wave of extremist violence and rallies across the U.S., particularly the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville in August of this year, which represented the largest gathering of white supremacists in the U.S. in 15 years. Mr Segal pointed to Charlottesville, the change in narrative and recruitment approach, increase in white supremacist activity on college campuses and online, as indicators of an ‘emboldened’ far-right. Focus was also placed on the role of tech companies, both in the U.S. and in Europe, in combatting extremist discourse and ideology. Following Mr Segal’s briefing, participants engaged in discussions on the rise of right-wing movements in Europe, ways to combat online hate crimes and other possible solutions to right-wing extremism.