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Northtrop Grumman Responds To Employing A Violent White Supremacist



As reported yesterday, a man publicly involved in the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville is currently employed by a government contractor, and holds a high-level security clearance. Since the man’s identity was revealed, Northrop Grumman has been so flooded with a public response that it has been forced to respond, promising that racist activity isn’t tolerated and that they are investigating and taking action.

Video from the event appears to show Michael Miselis attacking a counter-protestor by pushing him down and beating him with fists. Nearby, a known member of a White Nationalist group, the Rise Above Movement, or RAM, bloodied and choked two female protestors.

This proximity led to the association of Miselis with RAM, and when ProPublica followed up when they were able to identify him — and learn that he is a PhD student in UCLA’s aerospace engineering program, and a systems engineer at Northrop Grumman, a government security contractor. Miselis reportedly holds a security clearance through the Department of Defense.

However, the public didn’t find his position and clearance acceptable, and the resistance has let Miselis’ employer know. Northrop Grumman tweeted in late afternoon of July 5 to address the matter.

While this isn’t exactly a declaration that security clearance is being revoked or that violent and racist activity will be punished, the very fact that the security contractor was pressured into responding publicly and investigating the matter shows that the resistance is having an effect. Continued pressure on employers of people involved in hate groups or who engage in public displays of racism is forcing change.

UCLA is also facing public pressure, with tweets and Facebook comments calling for them to respond, but they have not done so publicly at this time.

In February, the Pacific Standard reported that new research showed Americans were becoming more accepting of racism and bigotry in the wake of Donald Trump’s election and noted the spike in hate crimes after the election.

However, the recent trend of recording racist behavior in public and holding individuals accountable for it shows that the resistance, at least, isn’t taking this lying down. The viral status of these videos demonstrates that this new acceptance and tolerance of racism isn’t universal.

Now, the fact that employers are being held responsible for allowing racism to be the public face of their companies, and that these employers are responding, shows that it’s working.