Thousands of people in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, this week opened their mail to find vile and disturbing neo-Nazi flyers.
The white supremacist(s) behind the mass mailing appeared to have scoped out neighborhoods in three towns: East Greenville, Red Hill and Pennsburg.
East Greenville Police Chief Andrew Skelton told HuffPost that a resident with a Philadelphia Eagles flag in their front yard got an envelope addressed to “Eagles fan.” Another envelope, addressed to “Proud American,” was sent to a resident with an American flag in their front yard. And another envelope, addressed to “Intrepid Gardener,” was sent to a resident often seen gardening in their front yard.
Warning: Disturbing images below.
The flyers come two months after a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — the largest such rally in over a decade — drew attention to a resurgent and emboldened white supremacist movement in the United States.
Marilyn Mayo, senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said flyer campaigns like this are designed to “promote white nationalism and anti-Semitism.”
The ADL, Mayo said, has documented a “huge recruitment drive” by white supremacist groups in recent months that includes coordinated flyer campaigns in towns across the country, primarily on college campuses.
It’s unclear why this part of Pennsylvania, halfway between Philadelphia and Allentown, was targeted. Skelton, the police chief, said he had consulted with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, which told him the mass mailing didn’t amount to a crime.
“Is it disturbing? Yes,” Skelton said. “But a crime? No.”
A report by NBC10 estimated that 5,000 flyers were sent out in total. Allyson Sanders, 30, received one of those flyers at her Pennsburg home Tuesday afternoon.
Inside the envelope — addressed simply to “Head of Household”— was a flyer featuring an apparently non-white man holding a knife to the throat of a white man in a business suit.
“‘Multicultural’ USA’,” it read. “Felling Enriched?”
At the bottom of the flyer is the web address for The Right Stuff, a prominent white supremacist site, next to a Swastika in Confederate flag colors and what appears to be the logo for The Daily Shoah, a Right Stuff podcast.
“I’m glad I opened it and not my kids,” Sanders told HuffPost.
That night at dinner, Sanders said she was discussing hatred and intolerance with her two young daughters, when they heard a knock on the door. It was their neighbor, a 70-year-old immigrant woman.
“She came over completely shook up,” Sanders recalled. She had also received a flyer, this one featuring a man holding a Nazi flag next to the words “White and Proud.”
“Initially she thought she was targeted,” Sanders said, adding that she then explained to the neighbor that nearly everyone in town had received the flyers too.
Elsewhere in the area, people received flyers featuring quotes from Adolf Hitler and Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. Another included the Rudyard Kipling poem, “Wrath of the Awakened Saxon.” And another featured a crude, anti-Semitic drawing of a Jewish man playing puppeteer to American politicians.
Mayo, of the ADL, said that although such flyer campaigns rarely rise to the level of a crime, they still “impact communities and make them feel fearful or intimidated in some way.”
“We didn’t send those flyers,” Michael Peinovich, founder of The Right Stuff and a host of The Daily Shoah podcast who goes by the name Mike Enoch, told HuffPost over the phone on Wednesday.
“Our fans and friends will do flyering campaigns,” he said, but the flyers distributed in Pennsylvania this week weren’t the typical “aesthetic” of The Right Stuff.
Peinovich explained that Right Stuff campaigns typically feature only “positive” and “pro-white” messages imploring white Americans to “love your people.”
Although he didn’t rule out a Right Stuff fan having sent out the flyers, Peinovich suggested that the campaign could also be part of an elaborate scheme hatched by someone eager to play the victim.
Asked what he thought about the content of the flyers in Pennsylvania, Peinovich said the messages “didn’t offend” him.
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