Humans of New York founder Brandon Stanton has accused Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of encouraging “prejudice and violence in the pursuit of personal power”.
Mr Stanton, famous for his candid profiles of average people on the streets of New York, usually avoids politics, but outrage at Mr Trump’s campaign prompted him to publish an open letter to social media.
“I can confirm – the hateful one is you,” the journalist wrote.
It was Mr Trump’s dark list of campaign faux pas that pushed Mr Stanton into the political arena.
“I’ve watched you retweet racist images. I’ve watched you retweet racist lies. I’ve watched you take 48 hours to disavow white supremacy,” he wrote.
“I’ve watched you joyfully encourage violence, and promise to ‘pay the legal fees’ of those who commit violence on your behalf. I’ve watched you advocate the use of torture and the murder of terrorists’ families.
“I’ve watched you gleefully tell stories of executing Muslims with bullets dipped in pig blood. I’ve watched you compare refugees to ‘snakes’, and claim that ‘Islam hates us’.”
Humans of New York has a huge social media presence, gathering the attention of more than 17 million people, about 1.6 million alone had seen the letter by Tuesday afternoon.
Beginning as a visual chronicle of New York’s residents, posts also feature comments from the subjects, offering a small, but profound, insight into their lives.
A recent feature detailed experiences of refugees escaping violent conflict in Syria.
“Those of us who have been paying attention will not allow you to rebrand yourself,” Mr Stanton said.
“You are not a ‘unifier’. You are not ‘presidential’. You are not a ‘victim’ of the very anger that you’ve joyfully enflamed for months.
“You are a man who has encouraged prejudice and violence in the pursuit of personal power. And though your words will no doubt change over the next few months, you will always remain who you are.”
Mr Trump has been a lightning rod for controversy throughout his campaign.
In February, he received widespread backlash for refusing to disavow an endorsement from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in an interview with CNN, and approvingly retweeted a quote from Benito Mussolini: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep”.
Mr Trump also refused to take responsibility for violence at his rallies, after supporter John McGraw allegedly assaulted and threatened to kill a black protestor at one of his rallies last weekend. Mr Trump even said he would offer financial assistance to the perpetrator, who was white, to help with legal fees if needed.