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Mayor of Virginia city targeted by anti-Semitic tweets after criticizing marchers

At Drexel University in 2015, someone used tape to write “Jew” and a swastika next to a student’s Israeli flag. Photo courtesy of Anti-Defamation League

(Reuters) The mayor of the Virginia college town of Charlottesville was the target of anti-Semitic tweets on Sunday (May 14) after speaking out against white nationalists who converged on a local park carrying blazing torches the night before.

Mayor Mike Signer said two protests led on Saturday by Richard Spencer, a leader of the “alt-right” movement, came on the same day the city held its annual Festival of Cultures event, which celebrates diversity in the home of the University of Virginia.

“You’re seeing anti-Semitism in these crazy tweets I’m getting and you’re seeing a display of torches at night, which is reminiscent of the KKK,” Signer, who is Jewish, said in a phone interview. “They’re sort of a last gasp of the bigotry that this country has systematically overcome.”

Signer issued a statement on Saturday criticizing the torch-carrying marchers as either “profoundly ignorant” or aiming to instill fear.

“I smell Jew,” posted an anonymous Twitter user with the handle “Great Patriot Trump.” “If so, you are going back to Israel. But you will not stay in power here. Not for long.”

The protesters converged on Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee Park, where a statue of the Confederate general that the city council voted to remove is located. The city also voted to remove a statue of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, located in another park. Both changes have been put on hold amid ongoing litigation.

The Charlottesville protests were the latest of several in the U.S. South in recent months over the removal of statues celebrating leaders of the Confederacy, the slave-holding group of states that broke with the North in the early 1860s, prompting the 1861-1865 Civil War.

Spencer, an avowed white nationalist, is credited by some with coining the term “alt-right” to describe online and social media communities on the far right that include white supremacists.

Trump, as president-elect, condemned an alt-right conference in Washington in November organized by Spencer where some attendees gave Nazi salutes and yelled “Hail Trump!” after a speech about white nationalism.

At the Saturday afternoon rally, Spencer led chants of “You will not replace us.”

Later that night, he tweeted a photo of himself holding a burning tiki torch, his face illuminated with the hashtag “torchlight.”

The Charlottesville Daily Progress reported that chanters also cried: “Russia is our friend,” and “Blood and soil.”

Spencer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters. The torchlight protest lasted only about 10 minutes, when police arrived on the scene after violence erupted, the newspaper said.

Charlottesville police did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Signer said officers would be investigating to see whether any laws were broken.

In recent years, a string of Southern states have moved Confederate-era monuments to museums, an effort that intensified after a white supremacist killed nine blacks in a South Carolina church in June 2015.

About the author

Sharon Bernstein

18 Comments

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  • These white nationalists are Republicans. Republicans are the party of racism and hate these days. o.O

    Why are Republicans so evil? :*(

  • ha ha lol those peoples are joke hail trump funny jew married trump is daughter ha ha lol

  • “Swastikas and Klan robes,
    Sexist racist homophobes,
    Aryan Nations and Hammerskins,
    You can wear my nuts on your Nazi chins.”
    — Propagandhi, The Only Good Fascist is a Very Dead Fascist

  • Republicans aren’t evil. There is no such thing as evil. There is only anti-social behavior and mental illness, the former of which is learned, and the latter of which is inherited. It would be more accurate to say that Republicans are sociopaths in need of proper mental health support. Okay, that last statement was a jab, but what’s really going on is that Republicans are just more tolerant of these anti-social behaviors, and because they are currently in the majority, the behavior is not as easily corrected.

  • People tend to forget that ALL White Nationalists are also anti-Semites. They don’t consider Jews to be “White.”

  • there have been studies that psychopathy and conservatism are often intermixed.

  • I can’t imagine those studies hold much water. It’s difficult to isolate the psychopathy from almost everything else, so naturally you could design a study that shows some correlation with conservatism. I’ll bet there’s an equally “valid” study linking it to liberalism. Correlation isn’t necessarily causation.

    Intelligence may be a different matter, though. Take “ihate_liberals”‘s comment above: a clear case of intelligence issues linked to conservatism.

  • Liberalism is about the universal empathy. Conservatives have empathy only limited to their people. Psychopaths have no empathy beyond their own person. It’s like a pyramid of empathy or in this case, the lack of.

    I have found a lot of conservative posters online are often sociopaths/psychopaths. It just be that anonymous online forums tend to attract those types of people in large amounts.

    Psychopathy is actually different then conservatism. I won’t deny that.. but have you ever came across a conservative sociopath/psychopath religious preacher? They’re scary once you realize what they are. While not all preachers are emotionless manipulative con-artists. However, such positions, like religion and Law tend to attract those types of people. As well as media.

  • Democrats are practicing white-genocide and you don’t expect push back. We went from 90% white to 66% white since 1965!

  • Matthew 23:35
    And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.Josephus’ Antiquities, book 13, chapter 9, paragraph 1, which states in part:

    “… Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would circumcise their genitals, and make use of the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision, and the rest of the Jewish ways of living; at which time therefore this befell them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews.”

    The Works of Flavius Josephus
    Jewish Wars
    Book II. Chapter 8

    2. For there are three philosophical sects among the Jews. The followers of the first of which are the Pharisees; of the second, the Sadducees; and the third sect, which pretends to a severer discipline, are called Essens. These last are Jews by birth, and seem to have a greater affection for one another than the other sects have.

  • You are the one who is anti-Christian. Matthew wrote after Jesus’s death. Just because Matthew wrote something, doesn’t mean Jesus said it. I don’t take the “New Testament” or what you call the “Old Testament” to be literally true. Modern history ideas of trying to be objective didn’t exist when Josephus was writing. I would not believe everything he wrote either. Besides it is not true genetically or scientifically.

  • The populations are VOLUNTARILY mixing, but that isn’t genocide. The White Race is a concept only. It has no scientific validity. The “races” have been mixing for centuries and we all came from Africa originally or don’t you believe in evolution.

  • You must win all your arguments , seeing how you can just denie anything you want . You are a denier.

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