RALEIGH: The Pen and Shield Project is appalled by the news that a Union County Commissioner trumpeted the endorsement of an antisemitic organization during her campaign last month.
On Melissa Merrell's campaign website, she highlighted six glowing testimonials on her endorsement page. One endorsement came from Lynn Hoosier, the president of the fringe group North Carolina Citizens for Constitutional Rights (NCC4CR), who claims that the Holocaust was a “Jewish hoax” and that Jews worship Satan, which makes them enemies of Christians and Americans.
From Commissioner Merrell's archived website:
My wife and I fully support Melissa Merrell as a candidate for Union County Board of Commissioners! Ms. Merrell has served our community, as board member and Chairwoman of Union County Schools system since 2014. We appreciate her efforts and dedicated service to ensure that the families and our children were provided for and received the most essential requirements of a future life, a good education through proper oversight and leadership. We thank you and you have our vote to make Union County a better community in which to live and thrive!
- Lynn & Phyllis Hoosier, Director NCC4CR
Last December, Merrell, and NCC4CR conducted an education town hall in Monroe to discuss age-inappropriate reading materials in school libraries. At the meeting, Hoosier introduced himself as a concerned grandfather and touted his background as a criminal investigator and retired police officer.
Hoosier and NCC4CR avidly championed antisemitism during Merrell's primary and general campaigns, at the same time she chaired Union County's board of education. Across multiple social media accounts, Hoosier and his group shared stories from far-right platforms like BitChute which effectively operates as a YouTube equivalent for neo-Nazis, conspiracy cranks, would-be terrorists, and other extremists. Hoosier and his members also created original antisemitic screeds and posted them for readers to share all over the internet.
After the international watch group, Gnasher Jew published an expose on NCC4CR, FaceBook removed the group's page.
Politicians like Melissa Merrell and others who worked with NCC4CR must speak out forcefully against the antisemitic rhetoric that group, and others like them, spew to Jewish communities all over our state,” says Sloan Rachmuth, President of Pen & Shield Project.
“When communities fail to protect their Jewish populations—by ignoring, or minimizing antisemitism—they fail to safeguard democracy likewise. America becomes a safer place when antisemitism and those who espouse it are pushed to the fringes of society.
Thousands of professionals working in Charlotte have moved to neighboring Union County in the last five years as they seek better schools and safer neighborhoods. Charlotte, the state’s largest city, is home to its largest Jewish community with some 15,000 Jews. The city houses Shalom Park, a 54-acre campus that houses synagogues, Hebrew schools, a Jewish community center, and a Holocaust center to serve its rapidly growing Jewish population.
POLITICAL GROUP TARGETING SCHOOL BOARDS AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSION
NCC4CR spreads its messages far and wide via email too, with newsletters focusing typically on Jewish people's supposed role in the demise of American politics and culture.
We reviewed four of the newsletters published this Summer, and here are the highlights:
The American government writes laws that support the “Jewish fraud” called the Holocaust
Jews caused World War II
Jews are the reason for pornography in America
Jews have a plot to murder non-Jews
Jews caused COVID so that Pharma can create vaccines with nanobots to track Americans
Jews are a direct threat to American values and are anti-Christian
Throughout the state, NCC4CR's lawyer Matthew Ceradini has sent demand letters to school boards, accusing them of violating such things as the Geneva Declaration, the Nuremberg Code, and other international humanitarian laws. NCC4CR members often appear at school board and county commissioner meetings threatening school board members with lawsuits and removal for failure to comply with their policy demands. After receiving an NCC4CR demand letter, the lawyer for Dare County schools said: “Quite frankly, this is a new one for me,” Richard Schwartz said. “Any lawyer trying to file this claim ought to be laughed out of court.”
Pen & Shield is a news and public policy group that produces investigative journalism with a moral conscience. Led by Sloan Rachmuth, Pen & Shield’s work focuses on exposing injustice in order to bring about positive changes in North Carolina. Visit www.penandshieldproject.org
NCC4CR social media posts and newsletters
See our email to Melissa Merrell dated December 19th: