‘The rise and decline of hate groups’ discussed at Senate Judiciary

Michael Bielawski/TNR

RIGHT WING HATE WEBSITES?: Julio Thompson, director of the civil rights unit for the Office of the Attorney General, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that free-speech social media websites such as Gab.com are hotbeds for white-supremacist ideologies.

MONTPELIER — Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee spent part of their Thursday morning discussing “the rise and decline of hate groups” in Vermont and the United States, the topic listed on the day’s agenda.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, D/P Chittenden, led things off with opening statements on why he thinks its time for lawmakers to hear about this subject.

“[It’s] in communities all across the state, including Burlington, I know in Brattleboro, or in Connecticut and other communities from time to time. It might be something as low tech as someone putting a flyer somewhere in public,” he said.

He referenced a flier in Burlington put out by Patriot Front, an alleged extremist group. It featured the slogan “Better Dead Than Red” in reference to socialist tendencies in government.

Another speaker to discuss the issue was Netdahe Stoddard, a racial bias literacy interventionist. He told the committee he has worked with about 20 kids who, in his view, hold white supremacist ideologies.

“Racism, violence, and white supremacist hate groups grow out of our white supremacy culture,” he said.  ” … So we’re in a situation where risks to marginalized groups is compounded. We have on the one hand an increased chance of attack, insult and denial of rights; we have a history of violence and we have a current condition of white supremacy culture.”

As examples, he cited students concerned about the local spread of Sharia law, an Islamic legal system which imposes strict punishment. He also suggested that students who are worried about losing their constitutional rights are conspiracy theorists.

“These students fear Sharia law, they fear a liberal takeover such that they are worried that they are gonna lose their rights to hunt, their access to guns. They are worried that they are going to lose their camouflage … [and] the American flag,” he said.

Skyler Nash, a black student-athlete at the University of Vermont, spoke about his experiences with race relations in Vermont. He said when he first arrived at school he met with students of color and discussed the predominantly white population of Vermont.

“I wanted to get a hint on what was going with Vermont, and one thing that they shared with me, and I came to realize myself, is that you have a lot of well-intentioned people who want to help, and when talking about race they say, ‘Well I don’t look at race, I don’t see color.'”

Nash continued, “And to them it’s like a really good thing, but the students in the black student union and myself are trying to have conversations with people and it becomes a huge problem because the reality is that we’re in a highly racialized society.”

He described his past experience going to a predominantly white school in Chicago, where he encountered “microaggressions” when white people would try to touch his hair or compare the darkness of their skin tone after a day at the beach.

Julio Thompson, director of the civil rights unit for the Office of the Attorney General, said young people are getting brainwashed by alternative media.

“There are numerous websites and social media that cater to ideologies of racial hatred, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia,” he said. “And those are accessible now in the advent of portability and smartphones. And there’s little that parents can do once their children are out in the world and get a handle of what’s on those phones.”

As an example, Thompson cited Gab.com, a social media website that bills itself as a free-speech alternative to Twitter and Facebook, which have been accused of censoring conservative voices.

“They would look at certain websites that cater to hate ideologies, such as Gab, for example,” he said. “It’s like Twitter but it’s completely unregulated and you can search for how many anti-Semitic or racist statements that were made in the light of certain speeches made by national figures.”

Vermont State Police Lt. Garry Scott, who attended the meeting, told True North outside the committee room that police have the ability to distinguish between actual hate crimes and hate crime hoaxes, such as the one allegedly carried out by actor Jussie Smollet in Chicago.

“[We make a determination] through investigation — so, just like in Chicago, where they started off in one direction and through the course of that investigation it turned in a different direction. And that’s what it would ultimately be coded as.”

Lawmakers did not discuss the topic as related to any particular bill. None of the committee members present questioned the narrative that racism is pervasive in Vermont.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

12 thoughts on “‘The rise and decline of hate groups’ discussed at Senate Judiciary

    • However they are favored useful tools under Leftard Idealogy,that lacks thought or reason so they receive a pass.

  1. This reads like a Duffelblog post – had to check to make certain it wasn’t satire.

    Here’s a message for the boneheads in Montpelier: Now that we’re aware of what triggers you, expect us to keep poking you and your merry band of spineless, easily offended, androgynous wimps. We won’t let you be the judge on what constitutes acceptable speech.

      • While at UVM in the early 1980’s we placed a huge ‘Better Dead Than Red’ banner in front of our fraternity. There were plenty of folks stopping to take pictures and it also appeared in the BFP, but there were never any claims that our entire Chapter was a ‘hate group’.

        I know people who know print similar messages on business cards and leave one everywhere they go. I’ll be doing the same from this point on, just because I own that right to do so. How far we’ve fallen when a simple ‘MAGA’ can result in a lemming stampede to find a safe space.

  2. What about the general hate displayed by liberals when a person wears a MAGA cap or NRA cap at which point they express their hate in your face. Liberal hate groups against the constitution unless it serves their agendas are out of control. There are more liberal to conservative confrontations than ever throughout this country, so don’t just call out the right wing issues. If you want to hear hate speech, put on one of the mentioned caps and go to a public place. This is from experience.

  3. I can see where they get all the experience, being the KKK and voting NO on Blacks voting or gun ownership.
    But lets get to DailyKos and the twitter twats on a daily basis talking about invoking harm on
    red hat MAGA’s and conservative speech. The legislative leeches themselves are H8ters
    of 1st and 2nd amendments, the Constitution and law abiding taxpayers they see as gov income.

    I think it was PC bullcrap removal of names symbols of the past and instilling in their place unwarranted
    and unwanted symbols of Leftist Whine that drive any new found hate. A problem they created and will only make worse.. Just go home you incompetent idiots. Close the session before you waste any more tax payer monies.

  4. The only hate group in Vermont is the elitist elected Fascist Taliban,who hate average Vermonters and the state and federal Constitutions,that’s the only hate group that comes to mind.

  5. “It’s like Twitter but it’s completely unregulated …”

    And so now look for them to start proposing censorship at the state level. Of anything that doesn’t square with a Marxist/Leftist narrative. The leftist big-tech companies are already doing it on a larger scale — as witness Alex Jones/Infowars.

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