Las Vegans denounce hate in wake of deadly Charlottesville rally – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Posted By on August 15, 2017

Jolie Brislin believes events like the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, can happen anywhere, even Las Vegas.

We need to continue to stay vigilant to say that this has no place in this community, said Brislin, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League in Las Vegas.

On UNLVs campus Monday morning, some students felt shaken by Saturdays deadly rally, where 20-year-old Ohio resident James Alex Fields Jr. allegedly drove into a crowd of protesters. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 19 people were injured in the attack.

Fields reportedly is a Nazi sympathizer.

Evan McKinney, an incoming UNLV student and a member of the Air Force, said he is very concerned people were rallying for white nationalism and neo-Nazism.

It stands against our union and stands against what our country is founded on, said McKinney, 27. Its really scary for me as a black man. Its horrific seeing the atrocities.

UNLV student Jonathan Earnest said hes at a loss for words.

Almost in a sense, theyre glorifying Hitler, said Earnest, 25. Thats not what we need to be going towards. We need to be unifying, not dividing.

Stand against hate

Nevada may be more impervious to such an attack, however. Local and state leaders have strongly denounced the actions of the hate groups that participated in the rally, showing that state leaders are quick to take a stand against hate, Brislin said.

Our elected officials came out with very strong and stern statements, she said. From our governor to our senators to our state Assembly to city council they came out in denouncing this right away, and that shows how strong we are as a state.

UNLV student body President Christopher Roys joined the denunciation Monday, saying he aims to add the universitys name to a nationwide letter condemning the Charlottesville violence.

In a statement, Roys said he and more than 50 other UNLV student leaders aim to say hatred and violence wont be tolerated on campus.

Our University should continue to reaffirm that students should not have to be afraid for their safety, and should not feel endangered on campus, Roys wrote. White supremacy is a scourge on humanity, just as other hate groups, and we all should oppose them collectively.

Just as the condemnation has come from the top down locally, the national ADL is looking to President Donald Trump to develop a comprehensive plan of action against racist groups.

We must continue to name the haters by who they are the alt-right, the neo-Nazis, Brislin said. We need to continue to call them by their name.

Four hate groups operate in Nevada, with three based in Las Vegas, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The ADL, with a mission to stop the defamation of Jewish people, has documented 12 anti-Semitic incidents this year in Southern Nevada. That is double the amount at the same time last year, Brislin said.

The incidents run the gamut, Brislin said, from vandalism to harassment of children on the schoolyard to cyberbullying, although the ADL has been unable to trace the actions to any specific hate group.

Nonetheless, education is key to ending it, she said, so the ADL is providing teachers with lesson plans on how to talk about hate crimes.

Its a road map on how to have the conversation, Brislin said. When were sitting at the dinner table and children bring this up, how do you have a conversation centered around hate, but also have a positive takeaway from it?

Contact Natalie Bruzda at nbruzda@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3897. Follow @NatalieBruzda on Twitter.

Active hate groups in Las Vegas

Israel United in Christ, Black Separatist

The Daily Stormer, Neo-Nazi

a2z Publications, general hate

Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

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Las Vegans denounce hate in wake of deadly Charlottesville rally - Las Vegas Review-Journal

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