If you were one of the many people who thought The New York Times profile on a Nazi sympathizer was far too forgiving, at least one good thing has come from it. Although The New York Times did not state where Tony Hovater worked in its initial article, the white nationalist has lost his job. The controversial article reported that the 29-year-old was a “welder by trade,” but it turns out that Hovater, his wife, and her brother all worked at a restaurant in New Carlisle, Ohio. And because of the overwhelming response to Hovater’s hateful views, he — and his wife, Maria, and brother-in-law — no longer work there.
On November 29th, Hovater told The Washington Post that he and his family had all been fired from the 571 Grill and Draft House. He also said that he and Maria are preparing to move out of their home in New Carlisle, since their address was published on the internet.
As noted in The New York Times piece, the Hovaters were married this fall, and Maria is “pretty lined up,” politically, with her husband. Some of these politics include being a part of the deadly white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, thinking that people of different races should be kept separate, and that Adolf Hitler was a “guy who really believed in his cause.”
While Hovater said he was fired, his former employer has a different interpretation of these events. According to the Ohio-based TippNews DAILY, the 571 Grill and Draft House released a statement saying that Hovater suggested that he be let go after the restaurant received threatening calls and social media messages. The statement said:
The restaurant’s statement also explained that The New York Times article featured “very disturbing images and thoughts from this individual” and that “the 571 Grill and Draft House does not share any of these views with this person, nor was the owner aware of them prior to the publishing of this article.”
After Hovater lost his job, ThinkProgress reported that an alternative crowdfunding page (which has an anti-Semitic name) began to collect donations for him and his wife. Hovater told The Washington Post that the pair is staying at a friend’s house and that he expects to make money by doing contract work as a welder. Meanwhile, far-right extremists and supporters of Hovater are calling to boycott the Ohio restaurant on Twitter.
While people who support Hovater and his racist views may not dine at the white supremacist’s former employer anymore, the restaurant took a vital stand against hate — which is something we desperately need more of. And even though The New York Times piece didn’t condemn Hovater nearly enough for many, it did expose his hateful views, and he’s rightfully facing the consequences.