“Love Not Hate” was the appropriate billing for a peaceful gathering over the weekend in Whitefish, Montana, where hundreds of people showed solidarity with an organization of the same name that a neo-Nazi website has accused of harassing the mother of white supremacist Richard Spencer, who lives in the vacation town. The event, which called to bring a community together to stand “against racism and oppression,” was co-organized by Jessica Loti Leferrier, who raised over $5,000 leading up to it. Said Leferrier, “The extremist groups that have been making all the news do not represent us.”
The groups she speaks of stem in large part from the efforts of Andrew Anglin, a neo-Nazi who runs a disgusting website called The Daily Stormer and who has called on his following to march on the town on Martin Luther King Day, Monday Jan. 16. The day before the gathering, Whitefish’s police chief said, “If they come, if they’re going to protest in our city, I want them to understand they’re going to do it our way, or we’re going to kick their ass.”
What’s further interesting about the local reporting on this event, is the fact that organizers called a for “solidarity shopping day,” and included on the list Whitefish Aesthetics, a spa owned by Richard Spencer’s mother, who rents out the other spaces in her business’s building, reported the Missoulian, a newspaper covering Western Montana.
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.