The police in Whitefish, Montana are stepping up patrols and working with the F.B.I. after a Neo-Nazi website listed the names and contacts of local Jews, urging readers to “take action” against them.
Lt. Bridger Kelch of the local Police Department told the New York Times that the force was ramping up their efforts after The Daily Stormer website published the work locations, email addresses, phone numbers and photographs of six individuals.
Sherry Spencer, mother of white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, lives in Whitefish where she owns a building that she says she might sell, citing pressure on her to do so from a local realtor affiliated with the town’s human rights group, Love Lives Here. The group’s representatives say it never intended to target individuals.
White supremacists have rallied around Sherry, claiming that she is being unfairly targeted by local activists and Jews, and announced a campaign of online harassment directed at the realtor and other members of the group.
The Spencer family has said that their son’s white nationalist organization, the National Policy Institute, has never been connected with the property in question and that they themselves disavow white nationalism.
Kelch told the Times that the police have been reviewing social media posts and emails directed at the six people targeted by the neo-Nazi site. So far, he said, there have been no death threats. Kelch said there had been no reported confrontations in person or by telephone yet.
Sandra Barker, the spokeswoman for FBI’s Salt Lake City office told the Times: “The F.B.I. is aware of the issue and is reviewing to determine if there is a violation of federal law.”
Neo-Nazi Backlash Against Montana Jews Spurs Stepped Up Police Patrols
Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.