Online Troll Who Harassed Black Student Must Apologize, Renounce White Supremacy as Part of Settlement

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An internet troll who harassed a former student government president with racist messages online has agreed to receive “anti-hate training,” apologize in writing and on video, as well as publicly renounce white supremacy as part of a court settlement.

Tuesday’s agreement would resolve claims brought by American University alumna Taylor Dumpson against The Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin and an Oregon man named Evan James McCarty, the Associated Press reported. In a lawsuit filed in April, Dumpson accused Anglin, who runs the neo-Nazi news site, of orchestrating the online harassment she suffered last year after being targeted in a hate crime on campus.

Taylor Dumpson
Taylor Dumpson, 22, resigned from her post as student government president in January after the racist taunts. (Image courtesy of CNN)

Dumpson also sued Brian Andrew Ade over the harassment.

The young woman’s attorney’s had previously asked a federal court in Washington, D.C., to rule in Dumpson’s favor due to Anglin and Ade’s failure to respond to the suit, according to NBC News. Neither are involved in Tuesday’s settlement.

Dumpson’s nightmare began in May 2017 after she was inaugurated as the university’s first ever Black student government president, only to find that someone had hung bananas from strings tied into nooses across the Washington campus the same day she started her term in office. The bananas also contained hateful messages. A police investigation didn’t turn up any suspects, and university President Sylvia Burwell said that “all credible leads have been exhausted” in the case.

Anglin posted an article to his neo-Nazi site about the incident, which included links to her Facebook page as well as the student government Twitter page. In response, McCarty tweeted a photo of bananas with the caption, “READY THE TROOPS,” and later tagged Dumpson in a separate post that read “OOGA BOOGA,” the lawsuit alleges.

McCarty was tweeting under the screen name “Byron de la Vandal” at the time, likely a reference to white nationalist Byron de la Beckwith, who assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers in 1963, The Eagle reported.

Dumpson alleged it was Anglin who directed his readers to bully her online, making her the victim of “a vicious online campaign of racially motivated harassment designed to intimidate” her and make her fear for her safety. The now-22-year-old law student said the entire ordeal has caused her to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Under the terms of the settlement, McCarty will apologize directly to Dumpson via a video conference and in writing and attend at last one year of of anti-hate training sessions with a licensed therapist. Additionally, he must complete at least four academic courses on race and gender studies and a minimum of 200 hours of community service, AP reported.

Dumpson said she wants her lawsuit to “hold people accountable for their bigoted actions,” and believes the settlement will bring increased awareness to racial bias issues.

“I guess I was open to the idea that even the perpetrator of a racially motivated act of bias could still be more or less reformed,” she told the wire service.

Her attorney, Kristen Clarke, said the case should have a “chilling effect” on racists who spew hate while hiding behind a computer screen.

“At the end of the day, our settlement should send a strong message to white supremacists and neo-Nazis all across the country that they will be held accountable for their conduct,” she said.

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