About 15 Boulder, Colorado high schoolers participated in a Facebook group calling for the “execution” of Jews and African Americans, leading to the expulsion of five students from Boulder Prep high school, The Guardian reported on Friday.
According to a Boulder police report, members of the group—titled “4th Reich’s Official Group Chat”—discussed “killing all Jews and [N-words],” and planned to recruit other members to help carry out this “mission.”
Violently bigoted beliefs tend to encourage more of the same, and this group was no different. Members used the forum to make fun of rape and Mexicans, and to voice their support for lynching African Americans.
The details from The Guardians’s report are chilling:
Participants gave themselves Nazi-themed nicknames, including the Fuhrer, Gruppenfuhrer and Sturmbannführer. They wrote of ‘the final solution’ and the goal to ‘eradicate all lessers [sic]’, with some writing, ‘Let’s have fun killing jews’ and ‘You can hang Jews on trees, shoot them right in the knees. Gas as many as you please.’
As The Guardian notes, this kind of hate speech has been on the rise in the United States, thanks in part to Storm Front’s favorite presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has clearly emboldened white supremacists:
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has accused GOP nominee Donald Trump of ‘taking hate mainstream’, and the Republican candidate’s campaign has galvanized far-right groups associated with the Ku Klux Klan and fringe online communities that celebrate ‘white identity’.
Some have argued that Trump’s charged rhetoric – with frequent speeches demeaning and stereotyping Mexicans, African Americans, Muslims and other minorities – has fueled a racist backlash and created a platform for alt-right groups and white working-class people in rural America who feel disenfranchised and ignored in mainstream politics.
One peculiar aspect of this case is its setting. The Guardian points out that Boulder is a “ulta-liberal” city known for its “hippy culture and tolerance.” It’s also the case that, as Black Lives Matter organizer Christina Hughes told The Guardian, black students make up a minute fraction of the Boulder Prep student body.
Police have decided not to press charges against any of the students involved, citing lack of a “credible threat.”