A UNITE the Right rally ended in murder after Nazis walked the streets of Charlottesville, arms extended, flaming torches aloft and violence in their hearts.

At just 32, Heather Hayer was mown down by a terrorist after spending the last hours of her life making a stand against hate.

In the wake of her murder, the President of the USA insulted her memory, and the efforts of those who stood alongside her in solidarity that day.

Addressing shocked reporters, Donald Trump suggested there was blame on both sides for the murderous violence that erupted at the weekend and in doing so, implied a moral equivalency that will not go unchallenged.

It is demonstrably not the same to oppose hate as it is to instigate it, to play a role in the growth of a dangerous movement that radicalises murderers like James Fields and brings with it chilling echoes of a past that should have no place in the future.

As the far-right grows, its supporters become more emboldened by the day, many working incessantly to recruit to their cause, eyes fixed firmly on conversion through insidious means.

The Charlottesville terrorist attack will be no doubt be resented by those racists and hate-mongers who have no desire to alienate, those who know their future growth depends on winning over hearts and minds..

Their primary goal is to convert and they know all too well that extremist acts are almost universally greeted with disgust and outrage and that does not suit an agenda that relies - that thrives - on persuasion, on seduction.

And so this pernicious subset of supremacists will work incessantly to shift the Overton Window – representing the range of ideas the public will accept - further and further right, in the hope it will eventually reflect their own distorted views.

There are strategies littering the internet evidencing efforts made to nudge people over to their side of the fence while convincing them they travelled there under their own violation. Advice given to those attempting to convert others includes “Don’t ever come out the gates swinging, always be patient and civil.”

The Nazis of the history books did not begin with genocide but with a campaign that saw them convince ordinary people they deserved a place of power.

Today, the spread of white supremacy is often hiding in plain sight, successfully disseminated through easily shared fake news, via internet forums and casual pub conversations, through the offerings of scapegoats to those looking for someone to blame. It cannot grow without unthinking, unquestioning complicity.

The growth of the far-right does not depend on extremism as much as it depends on acceptance, on an increasing tolerance of abhorrent and intolerant ideologies.

Though it thrives in the internet’s darkest corners, this is not a problem confined to the digital domain - this racist, hate-filled rhetoric has a far reach and it will reach further yet, if it is not opposed at every turn. The ramifications are plain to see, be it murder in Charlottesville or record levels of hate crime in the North-East of England.

As Heather Heyer’s poignant last Facebook post said “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention”.