Yesterday, Whitefish City Councilman Frank Sweeney offered us this pearl of wisdom:
Why anybody would think it’s OK to treat another human being like that is beyond me,” [Councilman Frank] Sweeney says of such images. “We fought a world war over this kind of anti-Semitism.”
Sweeney is concerned that a designated victim group in town might be subjected to mean tweeting, or even (gasp) images of a smirking frog, after The Daily Stormer’s troll armies descended on Whitefish. To think that more than 60 million people died, only to see intolerant memeing continue!
In all seriousness, let’s remember that over this past month, I was subjected to doxing and threats of physical violence by an erstwhile Politico Editor, and more death threats sent via email, text, and social media than I can count. My mother—who’s apolitical and unconnected with my ideology—was subjected to what can only be described as an attempted shakedown, a form of vicarious punishment at the hands of a nasty local realtor named Tanya Gersh.
Don’t worry, I’ll survive, and so will my mom, but it’s revealing just how little Frank Sweeney cares about us, for he hasn’t uttered a word in protest. There is a hierarchy of victims, and my mom and I don’t even qualify.
Sweeney claims that the current scandal “seems to be centered around a business, but I don’t think it is. It’s whether Richard Spencer and the alt-right have a presence in town.”
Not really, Frank.
I’ve never made a secret about the fact that I spend many months in Whitefish, a beautiful ski town in the Flathead Valley. But I’ve also never done anything public here, other than getting interviewed by some journalists over the summer. I’ve certainly never involved myself in local politics. The only reason I’m actively discussing Whitefish now is because my mother was attacked, and that is also the sole reason why The Daily Stormer is messaging locals.
As City Councilor, Frank’s job is to regulate sidewalks and trash collection and the like. He has absolutely no authority to express opinions regarding where I choose to live. And the notion that I would move to please someone as insignificant as himself is laughable. (Sorry, I’m not going anywhere, Frank.)
I’ve been aware of this puritanical individual for some time. Back in 2014, after I had been jailed in Budapest for hosting a conference, some local Rabbis involved with the Orwellian-named group “Love Lives Here” urged the Whitefish City Council to enact a “No Hate” ordinance, which would have made it illegal for anyone to “do business” with me or any organization I’m involved with. I’m not sure what this would have meant . . . or how such a law could have been enforced . . . but it would have been a comically obvious violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The Flathead Beacon, from November 18, 2014:
[D]ozens of Whitefish residents banded together and packed the council chambers Monday night, urging council members to enact an ordinance barring hate-group activities in the community. Organized by civil rights activist and local Rabbi Allen Secher, and his wife, Ina Albert, the residents offered emotional testimony in an effort to “pass a no-hate ordinance so that hate organizations cannot do business in our town,” Albert said.
Kyle Bristow of The Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas (donate to them) issued a Freedom of Information Act request and was able to obtain emails about the event. From these, we learned that City Councilman Frank Sweeney was in contact with the Southern Poverty Law Center and was actively trying to craft such legislation. In other words, after the Rabbis Secher and Albert made a request, Frank sprung into action.
From:> Frank Sweeney
To: Rosi Smith, Southern Poverty Law Center
Date: November 19, 2014
I am requesting assistance in drafting a ‘no hate’ ordinance in response to Richard Spencer and his National Policy Institute. I am a sitting City Councilor in Whitefish, MT where Mr. Spencer is a part time resident and has issued several of his diatribes from our fair city.