Confronting Hatred

To no one’s surprise, the story about the #WhiteLivesMatter flyers found in Westport has moved beyond our borders.

But even the most glass-is-half-empty among us might be surprised at the virulence that’s lurking in cyberspace. — a gun-lovers’ site — reprinted a Stamford Advocate article about the incident. It elicited only a few comments. One reader suggested Westport needed “more section 8 housing” to increase our diversity. Another said simply, “boo hoo faggots.”

That’s nothing, compared to Click on this gruesomely racist, anti-Semitic, anti-just-about-everything site only if you have a strong stomach.

The site — whose motto is “Fighting Against Total Enslavement” — titled its piece “White Hating Marxist Retards Cry About ‘#White Lives Matter’ Flyers.”

No, it’s not satire.

Here are just a few of the anonymous comments:

  • Westport needs a huge infusion of Burn this Bitch Down Burntitmore and Fergadishu blue gummed Jungle Bunnies. Let’s start a campaign to Diversify Westport! Show them what they’re missing.
  • The old saying -THERE IS NO BLACK POWER>>>>>>JEWISH POWER >>>>ILLEGAL ALIEN POWER …. only white weakness…
  • Westport is located in Fairfield County, which is the wealthiest county in the Empire and includes or included residents like Paul Newman, Henry Kissenger, William F. Buckley, David Letterman and Kathi Lee “the Jewess” Gifford. But it also includes one of the shittiest ghetto cities in the Empire as well…Bridgeport. The jews and White liberals have been trying to get Bridgeport removed from their otherwise extremely affluent county for decades. They were also unsuccessful in keeping Interstate 95 from going right through the middle of their upscale little bedroom communities. GOOD.

Other anti-Semitic comments attacked Westport’s selectmen, and claimed “the only negro I ever saw in that town was old Otis who ran the dry cleaner shop (dumb as a bag of rocks but mostly harmless).”


A “cartoon” posted on the Daily Slave website.

I debated with myself for quite a while about the wisdom of posting this piece. Would giving these sites publicity further embolden them, or provide some kind of credence? Am I playing right into their hateful hands?


But ignoring the fact that these websites — and their readers — exist is dangerous too.

Commenters on those sites accuse Westporters of burying our heads in the sand about the real world.

No, we aren’t.

Not with #WhiteLivesMatter.

And not with you.

15 responses to “Confronting Hatred

  1. Susan Ellis

    It can be easy to dismiss these virulent racist and anti-Semitic comments as the work of deranged kooks. But I don’t want us to let ourselves off the hook. We need to confront the continuing legacy of racism and anti-Semitism in Westport and to recognize the existence–and benefits–of “white privilege” which the majority of us enjoy.

  2. Dr. Michael Savage (original last name Weiner) is an AM radio talk host who in 2006 had already gained the 3rd highest audience on radio in the USA. As one of the most right-wing ultra-conservative radio personalities and with such a large audience, it’s little wonder so many people share the views of the messages dropped in the driveways of Milford and Westport. I listen to his programs just to hear the shear craziness out there among his callers and listeners. As an alternative to Savage’s views,published on 5-06-15, is a long and eloquent essay very worth time spent, educating ourselves to a perspective many may not have considered.

  3. Sven Davidson

    Ms. Ellis: can you please elucidate on “…the continuing legacy of racism and anti-semitism in Westport…”? Didn’t know there was a “legacy.”

  4. Elizabeth Thibault

    Shining light into the dark and dirty corners of humanity’s brutish beliefs helps clarify exactly where society needs to clean things up. Anonymity makes it easy to espouse bigoted ideals. This anonymity also makes it easy for the majority to dismiss and ignore, as Susan Ellis points out above. The problem is, by ignoring it, we embolden the behavior and ignorance behind the advocacy that we’re seeing with these flyers and sites. It’s only by speaking out and condemning the perpetrators, do we help bring an end to the cycles of hate. Sitting by quietly and hoping it goes away does nothing to improve the problem; sometimes it’s these jarring examples that are required, to provide the impetus that compels action by the silent majority.

  5. Ralph Demattio

    Woogs, with all due respect, it might be best to revisit that debate with yourself. The light is so much more powerful than the dark! Continue, as you have in the past to focus on the great people n great things around us, how can it benefit of us to bring energy to the vile darkness these sites portray. Love your work!

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Ms. Ellis may be referring to the very restrictive zoning laws that once prevented multi-family housing and set standards very difficult to achieve if wanting to provide housing to low income families. Historically this has always been a means by which communities have prevented ‘undesirables’ from entering enclaves of the wealthy. There was a time when I lived in Westport that persons ‘unrelated by birth or marriage’ were outlawed from sharing a rental house. Obviously it wasn’t normally enforced but the law was there in case it needed to be used in a case where a neighbor didn’t like who moved in next door. I was, like so many others, a law breaker, white, and with no real worry. I left the Town long ago and it may well be that these restrictive policies have been lifted. I hope so.

  7. Marcy Anson Fralick Class of 1970

    As we all know, racism and hatred are learned. Children learn it from their parents, or learn it from their friends, or personal experiences, or by joining groups, but however they embrace it, it was taught and learned. It’s also a predictive result of a bad experience with a person of color ( or white, if you’re the person of color). There are so many ways people can learn prejudice, it will be almost impossible to eradicate.

    There are explanations for every hatred on this planet, from the obscure to the obvious, and each of those hatreds is handed down from generation to generation. That’s not to say, by any means, that ALL members of a minority (which will soon be the white people) are prejudiced, but the ones that are, are vocal, organized, angry, spiteful, vehement, unwavering, dogmatic and righteous despite attempts to prove to them their hatred is misguided, because to them, it’s not. Racism and hatred isn’t just an American problem, and it’s not just Black/White, Christian/Jew, it’s in every country, in every color, in every religion in the world. Africans against other Africans, Asians against Asians, Whites against Whites, religions against other religions, country against country, nationality against nationality and within nationalities. The struggle to prove superiority is endemic. Playing on a level field isn’t an option for humans. One group must always be superior to another. Dominance against perceived inferiority.

    I honestly don’t think there is an answer to racism. It’s too pervasive in too many places on Earth. We can’t end it here in America. There will always be fanatics of color, nationality, religion, and race in this country that will try and stir the pot and incite hatred against others. What we can do is teach our kids multiculturalism, expose them to multiculturalism, and never teach them that their color, race, nationality, religion or beliefs are superior to anyone else’s. Teach them that every person has a voice and it’s important to listen. You may not change the world, but you’ll change one person, and that’s a start.

  8. Mary (Cookman) Schmerker

    Thank You! Hiding our heads in the sand will not accomplish anything.
    I am a native of Westport, born in 1940 , graduated from Staples in 1958. After college I found my self in NYC and then transplanted by the corporate world to Texas. Growing up in Westport was a privilege and amazing. We had the very affluent living beside those who worked in Bridgeport factories, or served coffee and waited tables. People with great talent or who were nationally known were given space to just be. I remember seeing Marilyn Monroe in high heels, jeans and a full length mink coat at Fillow Florists on Clinton Avenue. No one batted an eye lash. The teenager purchasing a corsage for his date was treated with the same respect that the iconic movie star received. Joe. Fuller was a black man who owned his own business and was respected by all. I often wonder what is happening to this country. Where is all the disrespect and hatred coming from. I now live just outside of Houston in what has been called the most diverse county in the country. We are not immune to unrest, disrespect or even hatred. It is ironic that this article follows the inspiring article about Babatunde. What has happened to us? Have we forgotten the Statue of Liberty and Emma Lazarus’ inspiring words: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shores. Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
    Shouldn’t it be #All Lives Matter? They do! Who is to say? The cure for cancer may be the curious mind of a refuge from Uganda or Somalia. Westport was and still is a place where the artistic, active, curious mind is still recognized and nurtured.

  9. Dan – Airing awful stuff, as in your latest column “Confronting Hatred” is mega-important. It’s hard to believe that such rage lurks just below the surface, even in a place as urbane as Westport. But your flyers and such web-based hatred are nothing new.

    Within a decade of the camps being opened in Germany (mid 1950s – I was about 11) anti-Semitic unpleasantness visited our home in Westport. My father’s position at Bantam Books insured that every paperback book published arrived at our South Compo Road house on a weekly basis. My household chore was to open the boxes and shelve the freshly minted titles. Small cardboard boxes, each holding about 10 books, were deposited in our breezeway with unrelenting regularity.

    One morning, one of those cardboard cartons held a life-lesson having nothing to do with literature. Inside was a dead rat – covered by a hand-written note that read JEW VERMIN. The scream that I let out when I opened that box still echoes in my head.

    Police were called. I have a vague memory that the FBI was involved but the damage was done and the message was clear. I later discovered (sources fade away) that there were several such packages mailed that same day to prominent Jewish citizens around the state of Connecticut. The mailings may have been attached to the election campaign for soon to be Governor Abraham Ribicoff, as my dad was then Chairman of the Westport Democratic Town Committee.

    Racial slurs continue to this day and there is nothing much new in my story – except that it happened at all. Today we recognize such acts as hate crimes, which now carry federal legal consequences. Shedding light on these anonymous acts reminds us that this sort of cowardly behavior is no longer tolerated.

    At least that’s the hope.

    • Wendy, we are the same age, so I identify with the horror that you must have felt that someone as wonderful as your dad would be sent this (and you were the first to see it). I agree that shining a light on the racism today is our only hope to change it. Love you.

  10. Dan, thank you for opening this treacherous door to allow in some badly needed fresh air. This racism business, and I refer to all kinds of racism, is not only backward and ignorant but also counterproductive and just very, very sad.

    There definitely is a moral majority who would also applaud you and others who have the courage to say, “Enough of this. Get over it. Despite our differences, just be nice to one another.”

  11. Pearl Richman