After he, his wife, Maria, and her brother were the subject of a New York Times article, they all lost their jobs at 571 Grill and Draft House, where Hovater worked as a part-time cook.
While the original article did not mention his place of work, many people learned that that’s where he worked and started calling the establishment and leaving the business online messages. Because of the threats the restaurant received, the manager said, Hovater allegedly “suggested that we release him from employment.”
When talking to the newspaper about his situation, Hovater said he was "canned," and that he and his family were moving for safety reasons.
On social media, some users were not surprised, claiming that this was the natural consequence of being ousted as a Nazi sympathizer.
https://t.co/rmH4Cl1Kw4 #MakeRacistsAfraidAgain @washingtonpost: white supremacist & nazi sympathizer Tony Hovater profiled by the New York Times says he, his wife and his brother-in-law were fired from work & will soon lose his home.— Pete LOL (@That_LOL_Pete) November 30, 2017
File this one under… pic.twitter.com/2uxLD5O0c7
Life comes at you fast, Nazis.— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) November 30, 2017
Nazi Sympathizer Profiled by The Times Loses His Job https://t.co/Z5g3PfcFtR
Oh well, you want sympathy for hatred and persecution? pic.twitter.com/QxOBcU8Piz— AmyAze Eng (@AmyAzeEng) November 30, 2017
Life 😂 comes 😂 at 😂 you 😂 fast 😂— Maaarcus, darling. (@marcusjdl) November 30, 2017
Nazi Sympathizer Profiled by The Times Loses His Job https://t.co/SBJCn7yMQ6
Others weren't sure the outcome was warranted.
On one hand, social pressure and stigma are good ways to discourage and dis-incentivize evil. On the other hand, I can't imagine loss of income and death threats make a reprehensible person less partial to their evil views https://t.co/nuUnYicUpM— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) November 30, 2017
Regardless of what people think of what eventually happened to Hovater, it should have been obvious to him that he would be under the spotlight after agreeing to talk to The New York Times. Now, he needs to face the music.
The New York Times recently published a revelatory and rather amiable profile of a young man from Ohio, Tony Hovater.
The profile, literally titled “In America’s Heartland, the Nazi Sympathizer Next Door,” follows Hovater through his rather quaint life in the Midwest — including flashbacks of his courtship with his wife, Maria, and their eventual marriage attended by her best friends and his family. Readers, however, felt the profile downplayed a critical aspect of Hovater’s life: He is not only a white supremacist but also an avowed fan of Adolf Hitler.
Here is an excerpt from the piece:
“He is the Nazi sympathizer next door, polite and low-key at a time the old boundaries of accepted political activity can seem alarmingly in flux. Most Americans would be disgusted and baffled by his casually approving remarks about Hitler, disdain for democracy and belief that the races are better off separate. But his tattoos are innocuous pop-culture references: a slice of cherry pie adorns one arm, a homage to the TV show ‘Twin Peaks.’ He says he prefers to spread the gospel of white nationalism with satire. He is a big ‘Seinfeld’ fan.”
Seriously, are we trying to normalize Nazism now?
The profile also admiringly talked of Hovater’s ability to maintain composure in these politically-charged times. In reality, Hovater has little to be angry about, considering he does not worry his family will be deported from the country they call home or banned from entering it.
Moreover, the profile also talked of the horrors of being a Nazi in the United States.
During his wedding, the man who believes “races should be separate” was afraid Antifa, an anti-fascist organization fighting neo-Nazis, might show up to ruin the event. Thankfully, the bigot confessed President Donald Trump had placated most of his fears as his administration has carved a safe space for him.
After today, I’m convinced more than ever that the New York Times needs more women and more minorities on their editorial board and senior management.— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) November 26, 2017
A human interest piece on a literal, actual Nazi would never have made it off the drawing board in a diverse, mixed newsroom.
Get ready to read a fucking sentence. It's a sentence about a Nazi. Are you ready? Lay the fuck down.— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) November 25, 2017
Quick reminder: It's about a fucking Nazi. A Nazi. Nazi. It's a sentence about a Nazi.
"In person, his Midwestern manners would please anyone’s mother."
With all the criticism coming his way, writer Richard Fausset attempted to do some damage control and published another piece, where he accepted his profile did not answer the question he had set out to ask.
“Why did this man — intelligent, socially adroit and raised middle class amid the relatively well-integrated environments of United States military bases — gravitate toward the furthest extremes of American political discourse?” he wrote.
Here is an idea. How about we all accept in a country built on genocide and racial apartheid, white supremacy is so embedded, it only takes a bigoted leader for people to accept their latent racism. Minorities are only OK as long as they do not stand up for their rights or demand equality.
We eat Wheaties, watch Seinfeld, have hipster beards and at night we march with torches hoping to eradicate the world of Jews and the colored. Other than that, really we're normal and harmless: "In America’s Heartland, the Nazi Sympathizer Next Door" https://t.co/UA3UDk7W5I— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) November 25, 2017
This dreck and the “dapper Nazi” dreck is what led us here.— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) November 25, 2017
Newspapers, you have a responsibility. I mean, I wouldn’t think this would need to be spelled out but...
DO ????NOT????NORMALIZE????NAZISM???? https://t.co/jMPdkyv8P2
I’m stunned. The Times wrote a domesticated profile of a Nazi (about his wedding & cats & family life) & actually acknowledged within the damn piece that this is exactly what the far-right wants pic.twitter.com/r3ZRC5adTk— David Mack (@davidmackau) November 25, 2017
giving people like this some of the finite space, attention and empathy in your newspaper is a choice. shame on the Times https://t.co/ctsxCLMj8n— Owen Ellickson (@onlxn) November 25, 2017
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Brian Snyder