Tag Archives: neo-Nazis

How We Write About the Nazis Next Door

Protestors rally against white supremacy and racism on August 13, 2017 after Heather Heyer, 32, was killed by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

On Saturday, The New York Times published Richard Fausset’s “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” a profile of “the Nazi sympathizer next door.” Readers were quick to call the piece indefensible:

The Times removed a direct link to purchase a swastika armband that was placed in the article, but otherwise stood by Fausset’s story.

After Twitter exploded, the Times tapped national editor Marc Lacey to respond. (This time last year Liz Spayd would have replied as the Times’ Public Editor, but the paper eliminated her position this summer, replacing it with a more amorphous Reader Center.) “The point of the story was not to normalize anything,” Lacey writes, “but to describe the degree to which hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think.” Read more…

Tech Companies Are (Maybe) Ready to Punch Nazis Now

(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

In the week since white supremacists descended on Charlottesville with tiki torches blazing, tech companies have begun to eliminate website hosting or accounts run by neo-Nazis. The decision to kick people off the internet—a world many of us occupy in equal measure, if not more than we do the physical one around us—is not one taken lightly, and these companies have remained cautious until proven complicit.

The CEO of Cloudflare, Matthew Prince, explained in a public blog post why he chose to drop the Daily Stormer, a hate-mongering website that published openly racist, anti-Semitic, misogynist screeds, including a post about Heather Heyer. “Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion,” writes Prince. “The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology.” (ProPublica skewered Cloudfare earlier this year for providing the Daily Stormer with information about people who criticized or complained about the website’s explicitly offensive content.)

Cloudflare is not alone in abandoning Nazi clients. As Adrienne Jeffries reported at The Outline, in the last few days Squarespace has dropped an array of so-called “alt-right” sites, including the think tank of neo-Nazi poster boy Richard Spencer. On Tuesday, Sean Captain at Fast Company noticed that publishing platform WordPress.com (the parent company of Longreads) is no longer hosting the website for the ultra-nationalist organization Vanguard America. (The man who drove the car that killed Heyer and injured 19 other people was allegedly a Vanguard America member, though the organization has tried to disown him.) Read more…

Whitefish, Montana Will Not be Intimidated

Signs of the resistance were everywhere. Strolling Central Avenue, I spotted blue paper menorahs in dozens of windows — the same menorahs that had first surfaced in Billings six years earlier. Same goes for the Love Lives Here logo. Picking up a local paper, I read about the bipartisan team of top Montana politicians —Democrats Sen. Jon Tester, Sen. Steve Daines and Gov. Steve Bullock, and Republicans Rep. Ryan Zinke (Trump’s nominee for secretary of Interior) and Attorney Gen. Tim Fox — who had recently joined together to declare that “those few who seek to publicize anti-Semitic views … shall find no safe haven here.”

A cashier at Amazing Crepes, one of the targeted businesses, recalled how her boss had refused to serve Richard Spencer, and how he continued to refuse even after Spencer, seeking to capitalize on the exchange, began to record it on his smartphone; a bartender at Tupelo Grille told me how her mixed-race friend had confronted Spencer at a local coffee shop. “Who picks fruit in your white state?” he’d asked.

Elsewhere, Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial — who served as an officer in Skokie, Ill. back in 1977, when another band of Nazis famously tried to march through town — kindly explained that if any of their descendants were “going to protest in our city, I want them to understand they’re going to do it our way … or we’re going to kick their a**.”

At Yahoo News, journalist Andrew Romano tells how the small town of Whitefish, Montana, stood up to the anti-Semitic threats of resident neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and his band of white supremacists, sending a strong, clear message: hate is not welcome here; we will not back down.

Read the story