A federal prosecutor in Ohio took time during a press conference announcing criminal charges against a white supremacist to warn the rest of their ilk of the repercussions of their actions, CNN reports.
“Go ahead and make your case for Nazism, a white nation, and racial superiority,” Justin Herdman, the US attorney for the Northern District of Ohio said at the Thursday press conference. “The Constitution may give you a voice, but it doesn’t guarantee you a receptive audience. Your right to free speech does not automatically mean that people will agree with you. In fact, you have a God-given and inalienable right to be on the losing end of this argument.”
“What you don’t have, though, is the right to take out your frustration at failure in the political arena by resorting to violence. You don’t have any right to threaten the lives and well-being of our neighbors,” he added. “They have an absolute and God-given and inalienable right to live peacefully, to worship as they please, to be free from fear that they might become a target simply because of the color of their skin, the country of their birth, or the form of their prayer.”
Herdman made his statements while announcing the charge of one count of transmitting threatening communications via interstate commerce against self-described white supremacist James Reardon.
Reardon’s Instagram account drew attention as it was filled with anti-Semitic slurs and threats. According to CNN, one post showed a video fo a man shooting a rifle, tagging the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown. The threatening caption read “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.” The moniker “Seamus O’Rearedon” is the Gaelic version of the suspect’s name.
Herdman showed no love for Reardon’s views, implying that those who threaten or act on these threats, will be punished accordingly.
“Threatening to kill Jewish people, gunning down innocent Latinos on a weekend shopping trip, planning and plotting to perpetrate murders in the name of a nonsense racial theory, sitting to pray with God-fearing people who you execute moments later – those actions don’t make you soldiers, they make you cowards,” he said. “And law enforcement does not go to war with cowards who break the law, we arrest them and send them to prison.”
Herdman also pointed to those who “voted with their lives” against this type of “hatred and failed ideologies.”
“Thousands and thousands of young Americans already voted with their lives to ensure that this same message of intolerance, death and destruction would not prevail,” he said. “You can count their ballots by visiting any American cemetery in North Africa, Italy, France or Belgium and tallying the white headstones. You can also recite the many names of civil rights advocates who bled and died in opposing supporters of those same ideologies of hatred. Their voices may be distant, but they can still be heard.”