The Daily Stormer article was filled with anti-Semitic slurs, and yellow stars reminiscent of the ones Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis were superimposed on photographs of the six: a lawyer, a real estate agent, a boy identified as their child, two rabbis and an activist.
The police in Whitefish, Mont., said Tuesday they have stepped up patrols and are working with the FBI after a neo-Nazi and white-supremacist website listed the names and contacts of local Jews, calling on readers to “take action” against them.
Whitefish Police Lt. Bridger Kelch said police in the northwest Montana town were taking the measures after the website, The Daily Stormer, on Friday published phone numbers, work locations, email addresses and photographs of six Flathead County residents. Several of those targeted were from Whitefish, where Sherry Spencer, the mother of the white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, lives and owns a building that has been the subject of protests.
The matter has been the topic of national news after a local report in The Missoulian drew widespread attention on social media.
Reached by telephone, Kelch said Tuesday the department was reviewing social-media posts and emails directed at the six people, but that none had risen to death threats. He said the department was conducting patrols, but there had been no reported confrontations in person or by telephone. “We have been looking at any communications,” he said.
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He added that some of the material had been shared with the FBI.
Sandra Barker, the spokeswoman for the agency’s Salt Lake City office, whose jurisdiction includes Montana, said in an emailed statement Tuesday: “The FBI is aware of the issue and is reviewing to determine if there is a violation of federal law.”
The Daily Stormer article was written by Andrew Anglin, who has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a neo-Nazi. The post was filled with anti-Semitic slurs, and yellow stars reminiscent of the ones Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis were superimposed on photographs of the six: a lawyer, a real estate agent, a boy identified as their child, two rabbis and an activist.
“So Then — Let’s Hit Em Up. Are y’all ready for an old fashioned Troll Storm?” he wrote. While he also said he was not advocating “violence or threats of violence or anything even close to that,” it was not clear what form of “action” he meant. His past writings have urged readers to scream at Muslims and instill fear in them.
In a follow-up on Monday, he wrote that the “lying Jew media” had mischaracterized his original post as advocating violence.
This is the latest stir in Whitefish involving Richard Spencer, a part-time resident who is the president of the National Policy Institute and leader of the alt-right movement, a racist, far-right fringe group that has promoted a white nationalist ideology and anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and anti-feminist views.
Spencer has quoted Nazi propaganda and railed against Jews, including at a conference sponsored by the institute in Washington last month where members exulted in Donald Trump’s presidential victory with Nazi-era salutes. Spencer told the audience of more than 200 people that America belonged to white people and said, “Hail Trump” and “Hail victory!” Trump has disavowed their support.
Spencer’s rise on the national stage has brought scrutiny to Whitefish, which has a population of about 6,000, and is in a popular ski area near the Canadian border. Spencer, whom the local Daily Inter Lake described as a recent “part-time resident” of Whitefish, has suggested on Twitter that he would run for the congressional seat of Rep. Ryan Zinke if Zinke is confirmed as Trump’s interior secretary.
The Stormer article was published after Spencer’s mother wrote in a post on Medium last week that she had been receiving “terrible threats” because of her son. Sherry Spencer claimed that a real estate agent with links to local Jewish organizations had said there would be protests at the building and that its property value would decline. The agent was one of the people subsequently named in Anglin’s article.
Repeated efforts to reach those targeted by the article were unsuccessful. One of them, a rabbi, declined to comment through an intermediary.
Some of them were supporters or members of the Montana Human Rights Network and its local affiliate, Love Lives Here. Rachel Carroll-Rivas, a co-director of the rights network, said in a telephone interview they have received threatening messages by telephone, through website forms and on social-media accounts.
She quoted one message as saying: “All of you deserve a bullet through your skull. Choke on a shotgun and die. All of you would be of greater worth to society as human fertilizer than citizens.”
Carroll-Rivas denied there had been harassment of the Spencers, but she added that rights activists in the Whitefish area had written online about their opposition to the building and its affiliation with Richard Spencer.
ABC Fox Montana reported last week that tenants at the building, which houses vacation rentals and commercial space in the downtown area, had said their customers were staying away and had threatened to move out.
Richard Spencer’s parents have tried to distance themselves from their son’s views, with Sherry Spencer telling ABC in an email that she did not agree with his “extreme positions.”
On Saturday, Richard Spencer’s father joined her in writing an Op-Ed article in The Daily Inter Lake stating that their son and the National Policy Institute “have never had, do not have and will not in the future have” activities at the downtown building.
“We do not endorse the idea of white nationalism,” they wrote.