New Hampshire’s political leaders condemned racist posts in an anonymous White nationalist forum directed at a Nashua state representative, after he drew attention to the group’s racist and anti-Semitic graffiti in his district.
Rep. Manny Espitia (D-Nashua) posted an image of the stenciled graffiti in Nashua, which reads “Keep New England White” and “Death to Israel” on Twitter.
“For folks who think that we live in a ‘color blind society’ you’re absolutely wrong. This was done in my district and in mostly Latino neighborhood,” Espitia wrote of the stencils. “Don’t ever tell me that racism doesn’t exist in NH.”
Smaller text in the stencils identifies the vandals as “NSC-New England,” a neo-Nazi group that maintains a page with about 200 members on the social media site Telegram and has painted graffiti and put up stickers in New Hampshire cities.
A few days after Espita tweeted about the graffiti, a post on the group’s Telegram page said Espitia “had no right to be here.”
“Anyone with a name like, “Manny Espitia”, State Rep or not, has no moral right to throw shade at any true (White) Nationalist New Hampshirite,” the post read. “The days of these types trampling on New England are coming to an end.”
Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) said in a Friday statement that the group’s language read like a threat, and he wrote a letter asking the state Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney to investigate.
“The fact that Representative Espitia is being threatened in the neighborhood where he lives and was elected to represent highlights how active racism and racist groups are in New Hampshire,” Cushing wrote. “Representative Espitia and all BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) individuals have every right to live and prosper in New Hampshire without fear of any type of threat or discrimination.”
Some prominent state Republican leaders said in statements Friday they stood with Espitia.
“There is no place for hatred in New Hampshire and groups like these do not represent the fabric of our communities,” House Speaker Sherman Packard wrote in a statement.
“This is shameful and has no place in New Hampshire,” tweeted New Hampshire Young Republicans President Rep. Joe Alexander.
The White nationalist group doubled down Friday evening on its anonymous social media page.
“Manny Espitia — for the duration of your stay here you’ll come to find the Granite State is EXTREMELY racist,” read a post in reply on the group’s Telegram page.