A white supremacist website called The Daily Stormer has posted a call to "TAKE ACTION" against Jewish people in Whitefish, providing personal contact information and urging a "troll storm" against them.
The story claims the "vicious, evil race" has harmed the Whitefish business of Richard Spencer's mother. It quotes a story from the British newspaper Daily Mail that said Sherry Spencer "said she is being forced to sell a building she owns in the small town because residents are rebelling against her son."
The site posted phone numbers, email addresses, and Twitter handles for the Whitefish residents it alleges are harassing Sherry Spencer, along with a disclaimer that it opposes violence.
Richard Spencer is president and director of the National Policy Institute, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a hate group. The institute is "dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world."
Spencer said Friday he's thinking about running for the U.S. House seat that would be vacated if U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana is confirmed as President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Department of Interior. (See related story.)
The Daily Stormer website has a tab called "Jewish Problem." It asks for donations from readers with a plea: "These bastards are always at our throats."
The piece by Andrew Anglin – described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "a prolific Internet troll" – about Whitefish uses a vulgar term to describe Jews, and also uses slurs against other minorities on its site. Its "call for action" in Whitefish says, "So then, let's hit em up. Are y’all ready for an old fashioned Troll Storm?"
Some of those targeted by Thursday's post are involved in Love Lives Here, a group that fights discrimination – racial, ethnic, religious and gender – in the Flathead. It was founded in 2009 in response to screenings of pro-Hitler films by a white separatist group called Kalispell Pioneer Little Europe. Daily Stormer calls Love Lives Here a "Jew terrorist group."
Earlier this month, Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld signed a proclamation that declared, among other things, "The City of Whitefish repudiates the ideas and ideology of the white nationalist and so called alt-right as a direct affront to our community's core values and principles."
"Love Lives Here has never promoted the idea of a protest of a boycott of a building," Will Randall, the organization's chairman, said Friday. One of the people targeted by the Daily Stormer post "is a beloved member of our community who entered into this conversation trying to help."
The Stormer posted pictures of several Whitefish residents, including a child, with a yellow Star of David with the word "Jude" – German for Jew – added to each photo. During World War II, Jews in Germany and Nazi-occupied territories were forced to wear such stars on their clothing.
Randall said that his research into neo-Nazi groups has accustomed him to such images.
"But when your own personal friends are affected, it's gut-wrenching," he said. "These are some of the best people around, and to see them attacked because they're Jewish or have a Jewish-sounding name is disgusting."