The verdict against rally organizers “offers an opportunity to capture truth in terms of the historical record,” Pete Simi says.

Two weeks into the high-profile trial of the white nationalists who organized the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., Chapman University sociologist and hate group researcher Pete Simi finally got his chance to testify as an expert witness.

He was more than ready for the moment.

“Simi’s testimony was devastating,” the Slate online news magazine reported in its trial coverage. “He explained, in the most academic terms possible, the degree to which the performance artistry of the white supremacists is not accidental. It’s deliberate stagecraft, constructed to promote both violent spectacle and plausible deniability.”

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