Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Continues to Combat Violent White Supremacist Conduct

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 3, 2018

Washington, DC The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has taken successful action to shut down Richard Spencer’s Altright.com website.  In April 2018 the Lawyers’ Committee issued a demand letter to GoDaddy.com alerting the company to the fact that Altright.com was using their services to incite violence, threats, or other unlawful activities targeting minorities and women. Altright.com is a major white supremacist website owned and operated by Richard Spencer, a leader of white nationalists and the alt-right movement. Following receipt of the Lawyers’ Committee’s letter, GoDaddy.com stopped providing domain registration services to Altright.com.

“Websites like Altright.com fuel racial violence and dangerous white supremacist activity all across our country. We will continue using every tool in our arsenal to confront the rise in hate and to obstruct the work of those bent on polarizing communities and sowing hatred by inciting violence,” said Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  “Richard Spencer’s site, Altright.com, was a primary feeding ground for white supremacists that promoted violence against minorities and others. Following our action and GoDaddy’s decision to terminate domain registration services, white supremacists who frequented Richard Spencer’s website won’t find it as easy to carry out their dangerous and violent activities.”

Altright.com promoted and encouraged acts of violence against African Americans and other historically marginalized groups. For instance, an article from January 26, 2018, encourages use of live ammunition at the border, in order to create a “substantial chance that they [immigrants crossing the border] lose their life in the process.” The article goes on to argue that “A little bit of lawlessness and savagery in the ranks of border patrol should be encouraged … One of the West’s primary problems is that we have become too law-centered, too law-abiding. Superiors would do well to turn their heads to a bit of brutality and vengeance by our guys on the border, perhaps even tolerating a massacre here or there.”

As the Lawyers’ Committee letter to GoDaddy noted, this type of language clearly violated the provisions of GoDaddy’s terms of service that prohibit content which “promotes or encourages” illegal activity or violence against people.

In addition, by encouraging illegal and violent acts against minorities in its articles, Altight.com’s content had an impact beyond its published articles and incited a downward spiral of violent and threatening posts in its comments’ section. For example, comments on Altright.com encouraged “gassing the kikes,” “round the clock beatings” of women, and smashing Jewish skulls with lead pipes and axes. Some of the comments on Altright.com included direct threats against specific individuals.

Unlike other sites that routinely remove content that promotes or incites violence, or otherwise institute policies for engaging in the comments section, Altright.com allowed comments that incite violence against racial and religious minorities, immigrants, women, and others to remain on the site in perpetuity.

Today’s action is part of the Lawyers’ Committee’s ongoing efforts to confront racial violence and hatred online.  Last summer, the organization took action that resulted in the shut down of Stormfront.org for more than 2 months.

Contact: Sue Dorfman, [email protected], 202-662-8317

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About The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Stop Hate Project: 

The Lawyers’ Committee’s Stop Hate Project was founded in the wake of the 2016 presidential election and works to strengthen the capacity of community leaders, local government, law enforcement, and organizations around the country to combat hate.  The Stop Hate Project’s resource and reporting hotline for hate incidents, 1-844-9-NO-HATE (1-844-966-4283), connects people and organizations combating hate with the resources and support they need.  The Stop Hate Project helps ensure people understand their rights under federal and state laws to pursue civil legal action to combat hate. For more information, visit https://lawyerscommittee.org/project/stop-hate-project/.

About The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers’ Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The Lawyers’ Committee celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 as it continued its quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment, voting, education and environmental justice.

For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.