Nearly 15 white, high-school students from an affluent, Denver suburb participated in the "4th Reich's Official Group Chat," a Nazi-themed Facebook group that called for the execution of Jews and Blacks.
The students encouraged each other to "recruit more members so they can complete their ‘mission’” and described guns as “(N-word) BLASTERS,” exchanged “white power” salutes, rape jokes, gay-bashing taunts, anti-Semitic memes, and anti-Mexican stereotypes.
The Facebook group was discovered when the Boulder Daily Camera, reported that one of the group’s teenage leaders committed suicide reportedly to “show his allegiance to the (Nazi) party and the killing of Jewish people.”
“It was a shock to the community,” said Scott Levin, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. “It isn’t as if there is any identifiable group (in Boulder) that is advocating this. There’s a lot of hateful rhetoric going on in this country right now, and that has just empowered some teenagers.”
Participants gave themselves nicknames based on ranks within Third Reich institutions, ranging from Fuhrer to Gruppenfuhrer to Sturmbannführer. They wrote that their goal was to “eradicate all lessers,” with some writing jarring messages such as, “Let’s have fun killing Jews” and “You can hang Jews on trees, shoot them right in the knees. Gas as many as you please.”
While officials from Boulder Prep, a charter school, told police they had expelled five participants, police decided not to press charges after determining that “there is no evidence or documentation to support there being any credible threat to any students.”
One student involved said the group was meant to be “funny” and that the acts they discussed were never intended to be carried out.
One mother told reporters she was “visibly shaken by the conduct of her own son.”
“What we would really like to see is for the district to step up and do more … in implementing an anti-racism curriculum and programs,” Christina Hughes, a member of Black Lives Matter 5280, a local Colorado chapter of the movement said. “We want to see systems put into place that (can) eradicate these mindsets altogether.”
Colorado is home to perhaps the most infamous school shooting in U.S. history. On April 20th, 1999, Ryan Harris and Dylan Klebold fatally shot 12 classmates and one teacher, and injured another 24 before committing suicide.