White supremacists made calls last week urging their online supporters to harass Jewish people in Whitefish, Montana. The anti-Semitic attacks come after Sherry Spencer, mother of prominent white nationalist and alt-right leader Richard Spencer, claimed the reaction to her son’s views hurt her real estate business in the town. Her statements have since fueled the online vitriol of trolls, who’ve labeled Jewish people there with the Star of David and even directed harassment at a child.
Neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer made perhaps the most brazen call for anti-Semitic harassment last Friday, falsely claiming that Jewish organizations in Montana were attempting to extort the Spencer family. “All of these Jew organizations engage in this transparent extortion racket with impunity,” writes the site’s Andrew Anglin after saying Jews are “a vicious, evil race of hate-filled psychopaths.”
In reality, community members in Whitefish expressed their concern about Sherry Spencer’s business being connected to a white nationalist. Mrs. Spencer, who has stated publicly that she and her husband Rand “unequivocally do not agree” with their son’s views, spoke with the Daily Mail recently to say the negative attention was hurting her business, and singled out Love Lives Here, a Montana-based organization that promotes equality in the area, for doing some of the harm. She never once mentions Jewish people, however.
The Daily Stormer lists the names, addresses, phone numbers, and Twitter handles of several activists and community members with Love Lives Here. Also listed is the photo and Twitter account of one activist’s young son. His Twitter account is now disabled.
Former Klan leader David Duke has since voiced his support of the white supremacist campaign. Those listed have been receiving threats all weekend. According to the Washington Post, one such threat read, “Go choke on a shotgun and die.”
White nationalists appear emboldened by the election of Donald Trump, with some prominent figures like Richard Spencer entering the spotlight. Since then, incidents motivated by hate have spiked across the country, with the Southern Poverty Law Center reporting more than 400 occurring in the week after Election Day.
Meanwhile, Spencer himself is exploring a bid for a seat in Congress:
Can Kek, meme magic and Russian hackers help me win election to Congress?
— Richard Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) December 19, 2016