Posted on December 26, 2018

Student Targeted by ‘Troll Storm’ Hopes Settlement Will Send Message to White Supremacists

Karen Zraick, New York Times, December 21, 2018

An African-American student leader who was targeted by a racist “troll storm” says she hopes an unusual legal settlement with one of her harassers will send a strong message to white supremacists that they will be held responsible for online abuse.

Taylor Dumpson had sued Evan James McCarty of Eugene, Ore., and two other defendants, including the publisher of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, after she was viciously harassed online. As part of the settlement, filed this past week, Mr. McCarty has agreed to apologize, renounce white supremacy, undergo counseling and help civil rights groups fight hate and bigotry.

“People that decide to participate in this kind of activity, they should know that they’re going to be held accountable,” Ms. Dumpson said Friday.

She added that the settlement {snip} [was] a “unique opportunity” rooted in the principles of restorative justice, which focuses on rehabilitating offenders through reconciliation with victims.

“I’m using what was a traumatic experience for me to help promote racial justice,” she said.

Ms. Dumpson, now 22, was singled out after she became the first black woman to serve as American University’s student body president in May 2017. The same day, bananas hanging from nooses were found around the campus.

After news outlets reported on the nooses, Andrew Anglin, who runs The Daily Stormer, posted Ms. Dumpson’s picture and personal information online and exhorted his followers to harass and bully her, a tactic he has also employed against Jewish and Muslim targets.


The lawsuit stated that Ms. Dumpson constantly feared for her safety amid the relentless harassment, and was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. {snip}

As part of the settlement, Mr. McCarty agreed to assist Ms. Dumpson in her legal efforts against his two co-defendants, Mr. Anglin and Brian Andrew Ade.

Mr. McCarty must also apologize to Ms. Dumpson in writing and on video. She may use his video for “civil rights advocacy, outreach and educational activities,” the settlement states.

He agreed to undergo anti-hate training and at least a year of counseling, complete four academic courses on race and gender issues and do 200 hours of community service related to racial justice. Ms. Dumpson’s legal team will monitor his compliance and can inflict monetary penalties if he does not comply.

“What we are doing here is pulling back the veil on online racist trolls,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which filed the lawsuit on Ms. Dumpson’s behalf.

“For too long, they’ve been allowed to act with impunity,” she said.


Ms. Clarke said she hopes the agreement will have “a chilling effect” on white supremacists, and called on the Justice Department to do more to prosecute members of hate groups.