Howard Costner and Jesse Jones were, until Monday, employed as jail guards in Spalding County, Georgia. But thanks to local anti-fascist (Antifa) organizers, both are now out of a job.
As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, Costner wrote on one of his YouTube videos last year (under the account howie3601) that he viewed the institution of racism as something that he naturally agreed with. He also spoke highly of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell (who hung an 18-foot-long swastika flag in his home and set up a shrine to Adolf Hitler).and changed his Facebook cover photo to that of a flag with an Iron Cross — a German military award that was discontinued after World War II that is still banned today.
“I’ll say this I am extremely right winged and I view racism as normal,” Costner wrote. “Just read the definition of racism and it’s not a bad thing. That’s my own belief though. I went from being a libertarian Conservative to more Authoritarian.”
Members of Atlanta Antifa also dug up comments from Jesse Jones on the gaming platform Steam, in which he wrote “Hitler did nothing wrong” on his profile. His Steam profile also has a “blue line” flag for his profile picture, which is a symbol of the “Blue Lives Matter” movement. The group was able to identify multiple accounts by both former guards that shared the same screen name on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Steam, Reddit, that were all interconnected with one another.
When contacted by the Journal-Constitution about Costner and Jones, Spalding County sheriff Darrell Dix said the two men had since been fired after Antifa dug up and published their racist posts.
“Both of these gentlemen are no longer employed by the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office based on some information that came to light today,” Dix told the paper. “It doesn’t fit what we want to represent to the community and what we want to represent as an agency.”
Dix said that even though both men had “minor disciplinary problems,” neither one had outwardly expressed any violent or racist behavior while employed by the county.
“No use of force, nothing where there were claims of him violating people’s civil rights or mistreating (people),” Sheriff Dix said.
.However, as Costner wrote on YouTube, many Nazis are hiding in plain sight.
“I’ve met normal everyday people that are ‘Nazi’s’ That you wouldn’t even be able to spot. They’re not Anti Semitic at all they’re just national socialists,” Costner wrote. “Some of them deny the holocaust and most of them think it was exaggerated.”
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.