October 3rd, 2016

So, Xenophobic Bigoted Anonymous Trolls exist in what some would consider a bastion of liberalism: The Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, vacation spot for Boston’s elite and mecca for lovers of fall foliage. Then there’s Monument Mountain Regional High School home of the Spartans.

Eoin Higgins, in FBI “aware” of reported racial threat at Monument Mountain for The Berkshire Eagle writes:

The Great Barrington Police Department is investigating a hate speech threat in Great Barrington’s Monument Mountain Regional High School and the FBI is aware of the case.

“The FBI heard about the incident and also called us to inquire and offer any assistance,” Police Chief William Walsh said in a statement. “We are keeping them advised of the investigation.”

The investigation concerns an incident from last week around a school football player’s protest. On September 23, at a game in Athol, a player “took a knee” during the nation anthem. The following Monday, September 26, another student in the high school said he would “lynch” the player and “use his body for target practice.”

The student reported the incident to school authorities. Superintendent Peter Dillon confirmed to The Eagle that the school’s administration is looking into the matter.

As of this report no internal action has been taken at the school, pending the results of a school investigation. Requests for comment from Principal Maryann Young on Friday were not returned.

“Taking a knee” has become a popular form of protest in the months since backup San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for The Star Spangled Banner during a practice game in August. The protest has spread across the National Football League and to high schools across the country.

Reactions like the one at Monument have been isolated but have occurred in other high schools. In Brunswick, Ohio, senior Rodney Axson received death threats, including lynching threats, after he took a knee in early September.

FBI Boston office spokeswoman Kristen Sereta confirmed to The Eagle that the department knows about the situation.

“We are aware of the incident,” Sereta said in a statement.

Sereta could not confirm or deny the existence of any FBI investigation of the matter, citing Department of Justice policies.

There are no comments yet on the story, but perhaps The Eagle has a policy of banning local XBATs.


  1. Eoin Higgins says:

    The Eagle disabled site comments a few weeks ago.

    • Jeff Hess says:

      Good morning Eoin,

      First, thank you for stopping in, for reading and, most importantly, for taking the time to share a bit of yourself and enter the discussion by writing a comment. We build our communities with our conversations.

      Did The Eagle make a formal statement as to why comments were disabled?

      To most of America, the perception persists, despite the school desegregation battle in Boston (we have very short memories), that the northeastern corner of the country is a hotbed of liberalism; à la Bernie Sanders. I think that the convoy of xenophobic bigots driving from Wrentham to Foxboro, Massachusetts, that I mentioned back on 25 August, was a bit of a shock for many.

      How is your community dealing with this latest?


  2. Jeff Hess says:


    I’m also a journalist, class of ’84, so it’s all opining to me, but I take your point.

    Thanks for the links.

    I think The Eagle’s decision is a wise one for any publication unable to moderate the comments and drag the the XBATs into the light. I’m a firm believer in writing actual pen-and-paper letters to people I want to influence on matters that truly matter to me. Some think the method works better.

    Your Bernie essays are enticing. I was an early supporter of Bernie and that was a hard decision for me because I declared back in 2009 that I would never support another Democrat for President. As the process turned out, I get to keep my pledge.


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