Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Asks Attorney General to Investigate Fire at Highlander Center

April 5, 2019
Press Release
Historic social justice center spray painted with racist symbol

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) wrote to Attorney General William Barr Thursday asking him to investigate the recent fire at the Highlander Education and Research Center in New Market, Tennessee, for possible violations of federal law. Press accounts indicate a racist symbol, identical to one used by the mass murderer of mosque worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, was spray-painted at the sight of the Highlander fire. See the full letter here.

Congressman Cohen wrote:

“As you know, the Highlander Education and Research Center is world renowned for its social justice work as well as its historic role in the Civil Rights Movement. Highlander played host to civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose assassination in Memphis occurred 51 years ago today.

“I urge you to investigate this incident for violations of federal law as well as significantly increase the department’s efforts to combat the recent rise in hate crimes and white nationalism across the country.”