We are Americans first. These racist/terrorist target innocent people across the board. It is important to remember that we are American's first.
When we stop being Jewish first, Muslims first and white, black, brown, and yellow first we will be left with being Americans that are Mothers, Fathers, children,brothers, sisters and so on. We are citizens that must unite and live peacefully amongst one another.
Hate towards one's fellowman and woman should not be tolerated in this country and should not be tolerated in communities.
When are neighbors are not safe then none of us are safe, the color of their skin and religious beliefs does not matter. All true religions believe in God and have similar tenets that instruct their followers in how to be good people who love God.
Hate and terrorism will always find someone else to target.
Here is a scenario for you: If you have a barn full of animals who get along and you have one group of 25 who are terrorizing the other 200, do you get rid of the 200 or the 25 that are making trouble and causing unrest and violence?
You get rid of the trouble makers, it is the intelligent move. In this way you bring peace and safety back to the rest of the barn.
It is a crude comparison but one that clearly presents a picture of what needs to be done in this country.
We have hundreds of thousands of people who want to live in peace and feel safe in their communities. There is a handful of people in comparison trying to start a war amongst the American people.
People who do not want peace or choose to use violent rhetoric to destroy innocent families in America, have no place in a civilized society.
People who intentionally try to start wars should lose their citizenship in this country and ought to be exiled.
In order for America to be a peaceful place we must live as peaceful people in our communities.
I came home one night and found my husband sitting in a completely dark house, and he had suitcases on the floor of our bedroom and he said: “Tanya I need you to pack, we need to go.”
“Where we going?”
“I don’t know,” he said.
“How long are we going for?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “Are we leaving right now?” And he said: “I don’t know. I think we should probably go wake the kids. I don’t think we should spend the night here tonight.”
He showed me the website on the computer. That was how I found out I was the target of a neo-Nazi “troll storm”.
The post on the Daily Stormer last December claimed I had been trying to extort and threaten the mother of Richard Spencer, a white nationalist whose family has a vacation home in our town. It had a photograph of me and contact information: phone numbers, email addresses, and links to social media profiles for me, my husband, my friends, my colleagues. It had my son’s Twitter handle. He is 12 years old.
Sometimes, when I answered the phone, all I heard were gunshots
“Are y’all ready for an old fashioned Troll Storm?” Andrew Anglin, a neo-Nazi internet troll, asked his followers, talking about my family and me.
“Just make your opinions known. Tell them you are sickened by their Jew agenda,” he wrote. “And hey – if you’re in the area, maybe you should stop by and tell her in person what you think of her actions.”
I felt fear for my life – just fear, absolutely fear, for our lives. We had no idea what this meant. I had never heard of the Daily Stormer, which the Southern Poverty Law Center says is now “the most popular English-language website of the radical right”, a site with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month.
My husband and I sat on our bed in our bedroom and cried, thinking: what are we supposed to say to the kids when we wake them? That we’re running in the middle of the night and could possibly be in the greatest of dangers?
Do we tell our children that we’re running in the middle of the night because we’re Jewish?
Ultimately, we decided to lock all the doors and shut all the shades and go to sleep and figure out what to do in the morning.
I had never, ever encountered antisemitism until Andrew Anglin launched his troll storm. Since December, I’ve received more than 700 threatening, hateful, harassing, antisemitic communications from Anglin’s followers at all hours of the day and night, and it hasn’t stopped.
I’ve been told: “You really should have died in the Holocaust with the rest of your people.”
Sometimes, when I answered the phone, all I heard were gunshots.
I’ve received emails, texts and voicemails threatening my life. I was told I would be driven to the brink of suicide. There were endless references to being thrown in the oven, being gassed. There were even suggestions: “Call her up, get her to take you on a real estate tour and get her alone.”
I’m a realtor, but I’m no longer working. I can’t expose my clients to potential harassment. I’m in trauma therapy twice a week. Most nights I go to bed crying.
I broke when I realized that Anglin was also urging people to direct these attacks on my kids, my son. They made an image with photographs of me and my 12-year-old son on the entrance gate to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Do we tell our children that we’re running in the middle of the night because we’re Jewish?
My son is currently studying for his bar mitzvah right now, and devastation like this is so hard to describe.
I desperately worry for my son and my children. Can you imagine going through this as a child? Our dinner conversations at home now include assuring them that they don’t have to fear being Jewish.
Andrew Anglin and his troll army have attacked me and my family at the very essence of who we are.
I’m a small business owner in a beautiful mountain community. I’m a realtor now. I used to be a wedding planner. I just told someone recently that I think Whitefish, Montana, might be the best place on the planet. Healthy, clean living.
I’m not an activist. I’ve never been an activist. In my personal life, I’m a natural peacemaker, and my friends tend to call me when they have problems.
Especially after Richard Spencer hosted a conference in Washington DC and said: “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!”, our little town grew very concerned. It’s natural for people in my community to reach out to me and say: “This is so scary, what do you feel about this?” People were mad, they were were scared. It’s important to understand: tourism, in our town, feeds our children. It was frightening for our town. There was talk of a protest of a building Spencer’s mother owned. I actually witnessed people stopping to take pictures of Sherry Spencer’s building and that was really alarming for me. I made phone calls to the tenants in the building, who were friends of mine. I was very concerned for them. I worried for their business and their safety.
One of the tenants gave my phone number to Sherry Spencer and I received a phone call from her and she said to me: “What do I do? I don’t believe in the ideology of my son. I know that me having this building is causing turmoil. What do I do?” And I said, if this were my son, if I were in this position, I would probably sell the building, I would donate some money to a human rights cause, and I would make a public statement that I don’t believe in the ideology of my son. And she said to me: “Thank you, Tanya, you’re right, that’s what I need to do. Can you help me?”
I truly believed her. She even gave me the code to her building, and said: “Please, go take a look inside, I really want you to see it.” All along I was thinking what I was doing was helping my community.
I was so touched by the situation and felt for her, so for me to end up on a Nazi website after this was so out of left field and so shocking.
I actually wanted to go to lunch with her. I wanted to be able to sit down with her, mother to mother, and send some love, which is why this is even more painful.
I want other victims of this bigotry to know that they aren’t alone
If the phone call were to happen all over again, there’s nothing I would have said differently. I felt like I had handled it exactly the way anyone would have handled it.
After I spoke with Sherry, I was so relieved that the situation was going to be resolved that I shared what she had told me on a Facebook group for local activists. You forget how public Facebook is, that people can take a screenshot of anything you post. I just wanted to say: ‘Look, ladies, this part is handled, don’t worry about it. Don’t go protest.’ I was just so happy that I may have been able to be part of a peaceful solution.
Then I heard from a local reporter who had seen the Facebook post. I kept telling him there’s no story here, there’s no story here. He published one anyway, about a town torn apart by Richard Spencer’s notoriety. Then, with no warning, Sherry Spencer published a post on Medium attacking me and telling a twisted version of our interactions. And the neo-Nazi trolls picked it all up.
My husband is a lawyer, and he has gone back to work now. There was a time when we shut down the office because our paralegals weren’t able to conduct regular business or even answer the phone. That has lightened enough that they can go back to work as usual, but it is important for everyone to know that the attacks have not stopped completely.
My friends used to call me the happiest person on Earth. I know I’m not the first person that Andrew Anglin has victimized, and I’m filing a lawsuit against him because he and his white nationalist followers terrorized me and my family for months, and my life is forever changed. My sense of safety is forever changed.
When you go to synagogue or are part of the Jewish community, you almost always say a prayer for the 6 million people who died in the Holocaust and you always say out loud: “Never again.” It’s something instilled in us since we were children in Hebrew school. There’s no way that I couldn’t stand up and file this lawsuit. It’s part of the core of who I am as a Jew, and everything that I’ve been taught.
I want other victims of this bigotry to know that they aren’t alone.