This article appeared in the July 16, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Resisting racism in America

Ben Allen/The Missoulian/AP
Tanya Gersh, a Montana real estate agent, embraces her father Lloyd Rosenstein following a hearing at the Russell Smith Federal Courthouse on July 11, 2019, in Missoula. Gersh is the plaintiff in a harassment lawsuit filed against Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin. Gersh, who is Jewish, said she and her family received hundreds of threatening messages, many of them anti-Semitic.

In today’s edition, we’ll explore inspiration (Apollo 11), motivations (Honduran migrants), stewardship (in Africa), relationships (British-German), and empathy (best books of July).  

But first, let’s consider this: Moral resistance to racism – the attempt to sow false divisions – is baked into most legal systems.

On Monday, a U.S. federal judge illustrated how justice combats racism. He ordered the founder and editor of a neo-Nazi website to pay $14 million to a Jewish real estate agent in Montana. Andrew Anglin had called for readers of the Daily Stormer to conduct a “troll storm” – a campaign of anti-Semitic intimidation and harassment – against Tanya Gersh.

The site targeted Ms. Gersh for allegedly harassing the mother of Richard Spencer, a white supremacist who coined the term “alt-right.” Mr. Spencer’s mother is a resident of Whitefish, Montana, where Ms. Gersh lives too.

In December 2016, the first of 30 articles were published urging Daily Stormer readers to harass Ms. Gersh, and included her phone number and home address, along with her 12-year-old son’s Twitter handle. “Tell them you are sickened by their Jew agenda,” Mr. Anglin wrote. Ms. Gersh received more than 700 hate-filled messages.

Mr. Anglin failed to appear in court and apparently has gone into hiding. It’s unlikely Ms. Gersh will get any of the $14 million. But she said in a statement: “This lawsuit has always been about stopping others from enduring the terror I continue to live through at the hands of a neo-Nazi and his followers.” 

Racism attempts to divide. But there is only one race, the human race.

This article appeared in the July 16, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 07/16 edition
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