In a display of solidarity, Democrats on Sunday raised some $13,117 to held rebuild a local North Carolina Republican Party office that was destroyed in a firebombing.
Organized by David Weinberger, a research fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, the GoFundMe campaign surpassed the $10,000 fundraising goal in under 40 minutes. The effort was inspired by a tweet from University of North Carolina professor Zeynep Tufekci, who called on Hillary Clinton’s campaign to lend office space to staffers at the Orange County GOP headquarters, which was left gutted and unusable.
“Nazi Republicans leave town or else” was painted in graffiti on an adjacent building, along with a swastika.
“Act of political terrorism”, indeed. The Clinton campaign should let the GOP take over one of its offices so no time is lost for them. https://t.co/werFh6FUEI
— Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) October 16, 2016
Other Democratic academics, including Arizona State University professor Dan Gillmor and City University of New York journalism professor Jeff Jarvis helped coordinate the effort.
As Jarvis wrote on the GoFundMe page, “This is a moment for graciousness, not fractiousness.”
No suspects have yet been identified in the attack, though Donald Trump was quick to attribute it to “Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems.”
Hillsborough police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are investigating the incident.
According to the GoFundMe page’s organizers, the quick response from small donors who left messages decrying violence proves “Americans are thirsty for civility and decency, and that we love our democracy above all our differences.”
Other Democrats criticized the effort, arguing that the state Republican party’s anti-gay legislation and history of voter discrimination against African Americans rendered it an undeserving recipient of progressive dollars.
“the money isn’t to support Trump but to support non-violent democracy”
but it was both. at best, it was both.
— nathanjurgenson (@nathanjurgenson) October 17, 2016
Everyone can do what they think is right. I know the violence the local GOP has inflicted on black people like mine.
— Tressie Mc (@tressiemcphd) October 17, 2016
Correction: This post initially stated that the Berkman Klein Center was at Harvard Law School, not Harvard University.