White supremacist fliers found with candy in Bellevue, Clyde Hill
Eastside residents found bags filled with candy and fliers last weekend, but the message wasn’t so sweet.
The Seattle Times reports that fliers in bags with candy were left around Bellevue and neighboring Clyde Hill over the weekend. Some were located near Clyde Hill Elementary School. The fliers carried an anti-immigrant message. A closer look revealed a connection to neo-Nazi groups active in Washington state.
The fliers stated “Keep America American.” They encouraged people to call Homeland Security to report illegal immigrants, stating “They are not immigrants, they are criminals.” The incident prompted the Anti-Defamation League to ask for reports of any new fliers popping up in the region. Bellevue police told The Times that it is not the first such incident in recent time, but noted that the fliers are likely protected by the First Amendment. They could be considered littering, however.
The fliers and candy have been tied to the group Patriot Front. The group emerged from Texas, is active in various states including Washington, and promotes neo-Nazi activism. It is labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.
White supremacist fliers in Western Washington
Patriot Front’s fliers were spotted in Kitsap County prior to the candy incident on the Eastside. In November 2017, KIRO 7 reported that the group plastered posters around Gig Harbor calling for an insurrection of the United States.
Their fliers refer people to the website for Blood and Soil — a slogan based on the German “Blut und Boden“ and re-purposed for American neo-Nazis. The “blood and soil” mantra was originally was used in Germany leading up to WWII in support of a racially-defined nation. It’s such slogans and wording that many white supremacist organizations have used to sugarcoat their messaging.
The white supremacist fliers and candy found in Bellevue are the latest in a string of similar activity in the region. Bias crimes in Western Washington were reported to be on the rise in 2017, with numerous incidents reported at Jewish and Islamic facilities.
Other white supremacist groups such as Identity Evropa have targeted school campuses and surrounding areas over the past year. In February, Eastern Washington University students held a unity rally in response to “White identity” fliers found on their campus. The University of Washington has also noted fliers posted on its campus throughout the year. Identity Evropa’s fliers were found near a West Seattle high school and around the University of Washington in February 2018.