After Virginia Mayor Slams Rally, 'Bigots' Go After Him

Mike Signer says he's been targeted online
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2017 2:17 AM CDT
Updated May 15, 2017 6:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – The mayor of Charlottesville says he has been targeted by bigots online after criticizing torch-carrying pro-Confederate protesters in the Virginia city as either "profoundly ignorant" or trying to instill fear in minorities. Mike Signer says the anti-Semitic abuse he's receiving is a sign of the "juvenile mentality" of the "alt-right bigots" involved. "You're seeing anti-Semitism in these crazy tweets I'm getting and you're seeing a display of torches at night, which is reminiscent of the KKK," the mayor tells Reuters. "They're sort of a last gasp of the bigotry that this country has systematically overcome."

Signer tells ABC News that he thinks the Saturday night rally, which was led by white nationalist Richard Spencer and involved up to 150 people protesting plans to remove Confederate statues, was "horrific" in a city that values its diversity. Republican gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart, a prominent defender of the statues, hasn't commented on the rally, which was denounced by the other four candidates for governor, including Republican state Sen. Frank Wagner. "These actions are totally unacceptable. These people are racists," Wagner tells the Washington Post. "They don't represent Virginia values. I condemn their actions and beliefs." (Read more Virginia stories.)

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