The Sheriff cited the jailer’s “younger years” and “foolish things;” not a luxury everyone has.
Sheriff Eddie Mixon said jailer Trent East of Haralson County, Ga., could keep his job despite connections to Richard Spencer and other alliances with white nationalist groups.
“According to the FBI, he’s not on any list that would need to concern us and everything, so I think it should stand the way it is,” Mixon said.
“I’m sure during our younger years we have all done some foolish things.”
East and Dalton Woodward, another member of a sympathizing Facebook group they started called Ravensblood, attended a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer at Auburn University, carrying signs riling up fears of “white genocide.” They also gave the Nazi salute for “hail victory.”
Woodward, a guardsman currently serving in Afghanistan, is also under investigation. Spokesman Lt. Col. Jeff Freeman said that the National Guard takes such reports seriously.
Sheriff Mixon didn’t personally interview East — he had one of his deputies do it. Yet he made the decision to keep East in charge of prisoners who are more likely to be diverse due to racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
The group also uses several ancient Celtic symbols, including the “black sun” symbol adopted by Hitler’s Nazi regime.
Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow with the ADL’s Center on Extremism said, “All the armed services have regulations that prohibit white supremacy. And having a white supremacist as a correctional officer not only harms the image of a law enforcement agency, it can create security concerns.”
But this narrative of innocence is the same as other white nationalists and supremacists that were referred to as sick and in need of help, as opposed to Black and Brown “terrorists.”
Since 1982, mass shootings in the United States have been committed by white men who are often labeled “lone wolves” or “psychologically impaired.”
Yet there are loads of young Black men and women, who commit no crimes, yet are criminalized (and often killed by law enforcement). Studies show that white perpetrators are viewed as less threatening.