A middle school teacher in South Carolina is on leave after being accused of having Nazi sympathies. The allegations were made on a social media post this week detailing supposed links between the teacher and various white supremacist organizations.
A Nazi Organizer?
The controversy began when a Twitter post from account @IdentifyDixie named Tim Manning Jr. of Columbia, South Carolina as an organizer for the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. That rally, held in August 2017, has become infamous for demonstrators sporting Confederate and Nazi regalia and chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans. It was also the site of an attack on counter-protesters that killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured several others.
Today I’d like to introduce you to the Nazi who gloriously fucked up the Airbnb accommodations for the #UniteTheRight white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA in August 2017.— Identify Dixie (@IdentifyDixie) May 13, 2020
1) Say hello to Tim Manning of Columbia, SC. pic.twitter.com/weRYaMRJ2v
The Twitter thread continued to provide further evidence that Manning was associated with white supremacist groups. The account linked to an article from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that monitors hate groups, naming Manning as the user behind the screen name “SCNazi.” According to the article, Manning used the name to organize Airbnb lodging for the Unite the Right rally.
2) Tim was identified by the @splcenter as the person behind the username SCnazi.— Identify Dixie (@IdentifyDixie) May 13, 2020
You can find this within the article linked, but I’ve provided a screenshot.https://t.co/c17TmbxUap pic.twitter.com/W9cclEESVH
A Digital Trail of Hate
The account also shared screenshots from a Discord server related to white supremacist website The Daily Stormer. In the posts, a user with the screen name SCnazi discusses lodging plans for Unite the Right. The screenshots also show the user making jokes about Holocaust gas chambers.
10) Tim’s “fake shower rooms” reference is about the fake shower rooms the Nazis used to gas Jews in the death camps. pic.twitter.com/nr8ZtWXZQN— Identify Dixie (@IdentifyDixie) May 13, 2020
Finally, @IdentifyDixie shared a screenshot from Identity Dixie, an online white supremacist group, of a personal profile for Tim Manning, including a picture. The same picture is in use on a dormant Facebook account belonging to Tim Manning, and appears to be of the same individual pictured in a second, active Facebook account under the same name. This second Facebook account features pictures and other documentation of Manning’s work as a social studies teacher and coach at Pleasant Hill Middle School.
School District, Family Respond
Without naming Manning specifically, the Lexington County School District announced an investigation into the accusations on Thursday.
“Late Wednesday afternoon, the district received social media accusations leveled at a 42-year-old social studies teacher at Pleasant Hill Middle School,” a statement to press said. “Acting in accordance with board policy and district procedure, Human Resources was immediately informed. The employee is on leave while the district thoroughly investigates the allegations.”
A post from the middle school’s Twitter account from last year, which welcomed Manning to his then-new teaching position, has since been removed.
Meanwhile, Manning’s wife, Melissa, has denied the allegations, according to ABC News. The Manning family’s lawyer, Elizabeth Millender, has also dismissed the accusations.
“Any insinuation that the Mannings are responsible for the subject social media account is tantamount to false light and will be dealt with appropriately in a legal manner,” Millender said. “The Mannings are good, hardworking public servants.”
The user behind @IndentifyDixie is standing by the allegations, telling FITSNews that they trust their SPLC sources.
“Because I know the SPLC had lawyers crawling all through the articles vetting EVERYTHING to protect them from liability, I’m 100% sure,” the user said.