MARQUETTE — A hate group website published by a former Marquette resident, re-surged in local social media circles, and community members victimized by it are warning others of the dangers of hate speech.
In 2014 an article was published by a former Marquette resident and anti-Semite calling out specific prominent individuals in the community of Jewish descent.
“There was an article written and published online about why Jews needed to die and I was listed as a prominent Jew in Marquette that needed to die,” said Marquette Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Jason Schneider.
Various other individuals were listed in this article, such as a Northern Michigan University Professor, NMU students, and other business owners.
“I guess I met it with kind of fascination and curiosity. Growing up I was never practicing but half of my family is Jewish and I was always very cognizant of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism but it really wasn’t anything that I experienced directly,” said Schneider.
Listed on the site was Jason Schneider’s full background along with something else.
“And an explanation of as he called it, a “crypto-Jew,” someone who fits into normal life and is seemingly white and American, but not really, with an ulterior motive,” said Schneider.
Although the author of this article now lives in the south, Schneider came across him frequently during his time in the U.P.
“He was also a customer of mine. When I first graduated from NMU, I opened a coffeehouse in town called, ‘Emma Joes Coffee House’ and there was a lot of live music. We were there for about four years and he was a regular,” said Schneider.
With the article being published around 3 years ago, the community continues to be astonished that anti-Semitism occurs everywhere, even here in the U.P.
“We see the national news and we just assume that we’re in Marquette and it’s not really here. No, it’s really everywhere, hopefully something like this reminds people that everybody gets impacted by this,” said Schneider.
Since the Charlottesville protests, State Representatives have been addressing hate groups in the country.
“We are a country not of hate, we have fought hate historically in our country. My parents and my uncles were all in World War II and they fought fascism, Nazism. There is no place for hate in our country, there is no place in our country for people who don’t treat others with dignity and respect,” said Representative, Jack Bergman.
What can you do to make an impact in the community and prevent the spread of hate?
“The issue with hate groups like this is, they want the attention and when it’s a website, you can see how many clicks you’re getting from different areas. So with the resurgence of this, it makes everyone really curious and everyone goes to the website to read it and look at the train wreck, what that does is show thousands of views and it makes them feel like they have power and authority,” said Schneider.
The author of the article has since been watched and monitored by authorities who believe he is not an imminent threat.
“To me it’s hurtful but I can’t compare my experience to an African American’s experience in the U.S. or a Hispanic American’s experience, my one threat of someone writing this in a paper from the south, just doesn’t compare. It does make me think very heavily about the hate that exists in our country and how much of a block it is for all of us to move forward,” said Schneider.