Live Stream: Dick Lehr presents White Hot Hate: A True Story of Domestic Terrorism in America’s Heartland

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Image shows a light blue border around a white box containing the text: Dick Lehr presents White Hot Hate. Thursday, Fed. 3rd. 6 PM ET. Virtual. Next to the text are photos of the presenters and the front cover of the featured book.

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In the spring and summer of 2016, spurred by paranoia and amped-up notions of patriotism—and fueled by anti-Muslim  rhetoric from the Far-Right media—four men in southwestern Kansas (not far from the infamous town where Capote’s  In Cold Blood was set) began plotting a terrorist attack. Their target: the growing Somali immigrant community in their  rural corner of the state. All four of these self-named “Crusaders” were political conservatives who disapproved of  federal policies; all were staunch advocates for gun owners’ right. But what three of these men did not know was that  the fourth was a local man who had infiltrated their homegrown militia as an informant for the FBI.  

Like many white men in rural America, Dan Day grew up with strong Christian values and a healthy respect for firearms.  His life on the Great Plains was often a struggle, especially after he lost his job as a probation officer, but the tentpoles of family and faith sustained him. Although he did not always approve of the ways that life had changed on the Great  Plains, Day’s opinion about the growing number of Somali immigrants in his hometown of Garden City was largely live-

and-let-live. While he grew mildly curious about the social media posts of The Three-Percenters of Southwest Kansas, a  local chapter of a Far-Right anti-government group, Day remained on the group’s margins. Still, his involvement placed  him in the sights of local FBI agents, who sensed that his loyalties truly lay with the government and ideals of law and  order. They recruited Dan Day as an informant. 

Soon, Day was lured away from the haphazardly-run Three-Percenters chapter into the more dangerously proactive  Kansas Security Force (KSF) by Patrick Stein, a virulent, frighteningly angry racist. Stein, along with Curtis Allen, Gavin  Wright—and to all appearances Dan Day—formed their own splinter group bent on taking action against the Somali  

Muslims, most of whom at arrived in Garden City as refugees and worked in the local meat-packing plant. In the wake of  the June terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Stein and his cohorts were convinced it was only a matter of  time before these “enemy aliens” struck first.  

As the group plotted to bomb a mosque and the apartment complex where many of the Somalis lived, Day—wearing a  recording device—pretended to be all in. More than once, he came close to being unmasked. As the plan evolved, the  autumn target date loomed, deferred only until after the forthcoming presidential election so that it would not hurt  Donald Trump’s chances of winning. Day’s anxiety and nightmares grew as he continued to live in jeopardy, feeding the  FBI with the inside information they needed to prevent a plot to kill hundreds of innocent people. Day’s secretly taped  conversations with the militia were pivotal in obstructing their plans and were a lynchpin in the resulting trial and  convictions for conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. In the gripping details of this foiled scheme, we see in  intimate focus the chilling, immediate threat of domestic terrorism—and racist anxiety in America writ large. 

Through riveting reportage, Lehr takes readers deep inside the hearts and minds of a cross-section of the contemporary  American heartland, including people across the political spectrum, members of law enforcement, and some of the  Somali immigrants trying to build new lives despite the resistance and hatred they’ve encountered.  

Dick Lehr is a professor of journalism at Boston University and a former  reporter at the Boston Globe, where he was a member of its Spotlight Team and a Pulitzer Prize finalist for investigative reporting. He is the author of seven award-winning works of nonfiction and a novel for young adults. Lehr lives near Boston. Learn more at

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White Hot Hate: A True Story of Domestic Terrorism in America's Heartland Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358359906
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days.
Published: Mariner Books - November 30th, 2021

SKU: x672389