Rep. Manny Espitia Hit by White Nationalist Threats After Speaking Out Against Racist Graffiti

New Hampshire Democratic state Representative Manny Espitia of Nashua was hit by a white nationalist group after he called out racist graffiti allegedly left by the group in the neighborhood where he was elected to represent.

On Friday, pictures were shared to social media showing racist graffiti on the Rail Trail in Nashua, including "keep New England white" and "defend New England." Espitia and others blamed the graffiti on NSC-131, a self-described group of white nationalists.

"No person should ever be threatened because of race, ethnicity, nationality, or their identity. I will continue to fight against racism in our world. I won't stop because of Neo-Nazis. Let this be a reminder that #NHisnotInnocent and racism does exist in our state #NHPolitics," tweeted Espitia, who's also president of the New Hampshire Young Democrats.

No person should ever be threatened because of race, ethnicity, nationality, or their identity. I will continue to fight against racism in our world. I won't stop because of Neo-Nazis.

Let this be a reminder that #NHisnotInnocent and racism does exist in our state #NHPolitics https://t.co/9lSgIJmLdd

— Rep. Manny Espitia (@mannyfornh) May 21, 2021

Espitia said the group targeted him on their Telegram account after his remarks.

"Anyone with a name like 'Manny Espitia', State Rep or not, has no moral right to throw shade at any true (White) Nationalist New Hampshirite. You have no right to be here, you're an occupier here and the days of these types trampling on New England are coming to an end," read a Telegram post by NSC-131, provided as a screenshot by Espitia to News9.

Espitia called the attack "completely offensive language and dangerous language." He also said he's "not going to live in fear."

In a statement to Newsweek, Espitia added, "There's no room for white supremacy in Nashua or in New Hampshire. It's up to everyone to stand up and report racist remarks when we see them."

House Democratic Leader Renny Cushing of Hampton called the group's Telegram attack against Espitia, an elected person of color, "blatantly racist and frankly disturbing."

"No person should fear for their own or their family's safety. Period," Cushing wrote in a statement. "The fact that Representative Espitia is being threatened in the neighborhood where he lives and was elected to represent highlights how active racism and racist groups are in New Hampshire."

He added: "Representative Espitia and all BIPOC [Black, Indignenous and people of color] have every right to live and prosper in New Hampshire without fear of any type of threat or discrimination. We must stand together to denounce hate speech and racism against all Granite Staters. We need to call these attacks out when they happen, and all hold each other accountable to taking specific steps toward creating an equitable and safe state to live in."

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office is currently working with law enforcement to investigate the threat against Espitia. "We've also engaged our civil rights unit to determine if there is, in fact, a crime," said Deputy Attorney General Jane Young, according to local news. "Does it rise to the level of a hate crime or are there civil penalties that could be brought by that unit?"

Newsweek reached out to state Rep. Manny Espitia for further comment. This story will be updated with any response.

Manny Espitia New Hampshire state Rep racism
A white nationalist group targeted New Hampshire Democratic state Representative Manny Espitia of Nashua. Joseph Prezioso/Getty Images