Jessica Gregorio said she witnessed antisemitism growing up in New Jersey but usually through off-color jokes told around but never toward her. What she saw on Sunday — a group of about a dozen white men wearing Nazi symbols and white supremacist-themed attire — shocked her. The fascists were eating at Torchy’s Tacos, a Near Southside–neighboring chain where Gregorio and her mother, who are both Jewish, were visiting for lunch.
“I noticed this guy with a swastika armband,” she said. “ ‘It had to be a costume,’ I thought. Being Jews, that was pretty alarming. It was a white supremacy group. Many had Order of the Black Sun shirts. Some had chains with Nazi paraphernalia.”
Gregorio was vaguely familiar with the neo-Nazi-aligned Order of the Black Sun but had to Google the group to confirm its white supremacist roots. She decided to record the men on her phone.
“I wanted the public to see them for who they are,” she said. “They could be doctors or lawyers outside of this. After the video ended, one of the men walked by and said ‘white power.’ ”
Based on conversations she had with restaurant staff, Gregorio learned the men were staying at a nearby hotel, meaning they may have been from out of town.
The visit by fascists may be tied to a weekend meeting organized by Republicans. The Texas Tribune says organizers behind Defend Texas Liberty, a right-wing PAC (Political Action Committee), hosted white supremacist Nick Fuentes over the weekend in southwest Fort Worth. Tarrant County may have been chosen for Fuentes’ meeting spot because the county is run by right-wing extremists, most notably County Judge Tim O’Hare, Sheriff Bill Waybourn, and District Attorney Phil Sorrells, all of whom have either direct connections to right-wing militias or a history of spewing racist garbage. All three openly support Christian Nationalism.
Gregorio’s TikTok video (@dropdeadgorjessx) has more than 250,000 views and nearly 2,000 comments. Most of the responses are supportive and anti-fascist, she said. Torchy’s management apologized to her for the incident but did not describe a policy for handling white supremacists in the future, she said.
Nazis, she said, should not be welcomed in Fort Worth or anywhere on the planet.
“I do think if it was the KKK coming in with white cloaks, it would have been a different reaction” from Torchy’s managers, she said. “All you had to do was take a closer look at the group to tell what was going on.”