Officials: White supremacists exploiting COVID-19 crisis to incite violence, create fear

Officials say white supremacists are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to incite violence and create fear of minority communities, including in the Hudson Valley.

News 12 Staff

Apr 21, 2020, 9:48 PM

Updated 1,497 days ago

Share:

Officials say white supremacists are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to incite violence and create fear of minority communities, including in the Hudson Valley.
Stu Hackel sits on the town of Greenburgh's Human Rights Advisory Committee.
In a recent video chat, he told News 12 that there has been a dramatic spike in online activity by neo-Nazis and other racist extremist groups. He says they are looking to weaponize the deadly pandemic and use it as a digital tool to spread hate and conspiracy theories as more Americans spend time on their computers.
"We are facing a migration of white supremacy activity online...in an attempt to create chaos in society," say Hackel.
It's a concern shared by officials at New York's Anti-Defamation League, which issued an alert on rising anti-Semitic rhetoric in Rockland and Orange counties.
It's not just Jewish people who have come under attack. There has reportedly been a 900% growth in hate targeted against Chinese people on Twitter and violence on the streets of New York City.
One woman wearing a mask was recently punched at a subway station, and a man was verbally abused and sprayed with Febreze.
News 12 contacted political leaders to find out what can be done to stop it.
Gov, Andrew Cuomo has made it clear that virus-related hate will not be tolerated. Cuomo ordered state police to increase investigations into white supremacy activity.
In Westchester County, where Zoom-bombing incidents targeting Jewish synagogues are on the rise, the district attorney told News 12 he's also on high alert.
undefined
 
 


More from News 12
1:27
Driver airlifted to hospital after crash on Palisades Parkway ramp in Bardonia

Driver airlifted to hospital after crash on Palisades Parkway ramp in Bardonia

2:10
Mix of sun and clouds today with highs near 80 today, chance of more thunderstorms Wednesday

Mix of sun and clouds today with highs near 80 today, chance of more thunderstorms Wednesday

1:01
Headlines: Woodbourne double stabbing, Rye crash, attempted arson in Poughkeepsie

Headlines: Woodbourne double stabbing, Rye crash, attempted arson in Poughkeepsie

News 12 Westchester/Hudson Valley Daily Poll

News 12 Westchester/Hudson Valley Daily Poll

0:24
Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain State Park reopens after yearlong closure

Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain State Park reopens after yearlong closure

2:17
Made in the Hudson Valley: Tarrytown's Main Street Sweets celebrates 25 years of homemade ice cream

Made in the Hudson Valley: Tarrytown's Main Street Sweets celebrates 25 years of homemade ice cream

0:22
Traffic Alert: Kingston water department working to locate system leak

Traffic Alert: Kingston water department working to locate system leak

1:59
Stormy weather doesn't deter holiday travelers

Stormy weather doesn't deter holiday travelers

Is your dad awesome? Hudson Valley tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? Hudson Valley tell us why your dad rocks!

0:22
All lanes reopen on Mario Cuomo Bridge following vehicle rollover accident

All lanes reopen on Mario Cuomo Bridge following vehicle rollover accident

1:04
Mount Vernon offers Civil War songs presentation to commemorate Memorial Day

Mount Vernon offers Civil War songs presentation to commemorate Memorial Day

1:58
White Plains celebrates Memorial Day with parade, ceremony to honor those who have served in U.S. military

White Plains celebrates Memorial Day with parade, ceremony to honor those who have served in U.S. military

0:19
Woman arrested for attempted arson in Poughkeepsie

Woman arrested for attempted arson in Poughkeepsie

0:24
Bruce Springsteen postpones 2 more shows due to vocal issues

Bruce Springsteen postpones 2 more shows due to vocal issues

0:24
2 arrested for double stabbing incident in Woodbourne

2 arrested for double stabbing incident in Woodbourne

1:42
Memorial Day ceremonies and parades kick off around the Hudson Valley

Memorial Day ceremonies and parades kick off around the Hudson Valley

2:11
Fallen heroes honored during Memorial Day ceremonies in Westchester and Rockland counties

Fallen heroes honored during Memorial Day ceremonies in Westchester and Rockland counties

1:44
Remember and honor: Mamaroneck Memorial Day parade pays tribute to sacrifices of veterans

Remember and honor: Mamaroneck Memorial Day parade pays tribute to sacrifices of veterans

Wennberg scores in OT, Rangers top Panthers 5-4 to take lead in East finals

Wennberg scores in OT, Rangers top Panthers 5-4 to take lead in East finals

1:41
Not forgotten: Revelers enjoy Memorial Day parade in Hastings-On-Hudson

Not forgotten: Revelers enjoy Memorial Day parade in Hastings-On-Hudson