Protests and counter-protests are a natural part of American politics, and normally that’s not a problem. When protests are peaceful, individuals are able to get their message out without doing harm; but when they become sites of violence, we take notice–in a bad way. A rally and counter-protest in Sacramento, California in the last weekend of June was one such site.
The rally was held, legally, by a local neo-Nazi group, which aimed to recruit young members. A counter-protest was organized and the two groups ended up clashing, with some ten people being taken to the hospital. That Americans would stand up to neo-Nazis is a relief to many, considering how emboldened white-supremacist groups of all stripes have become as Donald Trump continues to spout right-wing, hate-fueled rhetoric.
In the past, that might have been the end of the story, but not today. A tactic known as “doxxing,” wherein somebody’s personal information is leaked on the internet so people can harm them, is being used against one of the counter-protestors. One of the protest organizers works at a middle school in the Berkeley Unified School District, and since this information came to light, neo-Nazis have been barraging the district with emails demanding that she be fired.
One anonymous email went so far as to threaten harm to students at the school if the teacher wasn’t fired. Neo-Nazis threatening to harm innocent children if a woman who stood up to them isn’t fired for doing so is, in no uncertain terms, terrorism.
While the school has shown no indication that they will fire the teacher, and local police are taking the situation very seriously, these recent events bring to light just how dangerous–and hostile–the current political climate has become. The racist demagoguery of someone like Trump has a real impact on the world around them, whether we want to admit it or not.