Some Bettendorf residents woke up Christmas Eve morning to find white supremacist flyers on their doorsteps. Papers promoting the group National Alliance were distributed in the Pigeon Creek neighborhood.
Benjamin Payne reports.
National Alliance is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a nonprofit organization that specializes in civil rights and litigates hate crimes.
National Alliance calls for the eradication of Jews, and for the creation of an all-white nation. The SPLC says that, for decades, the group was "the most dangerous and best organized neo-Nazi formation in America."
The flyers were found late Sunday night and Monday morning on Christmas Eve. Each one contained a picture of a young white woman with blonde hair. Above the photo in bold capital letters: "Love your race." Below the photo: a link to the group's website.
Among those in Bettendorf who found the flyers is Emily Paul, a student at the University of Northern Iowa who had returned to her hometown for the holidays. After learning that a flyer had been distributed at a friend's yard in Pigeon Creek, Paul and her sister went looking throughout the neighborhood to see if there were more.
"We were very angry," said Paul. "I think that's why, when we left [my friend's house], we went through the neighborhood looking for the flyers."
Paul says she and her sister found about five flyers, but expects that the total number distributed is higher, since many homeowners may have quickly removed the flyers from their properties.
"It was almost a second of shock at the beginning," said Paul. "And then we kind of realized maybe it's not all that surprising after all, because occurrences like this are nowadays more and more frequent."
This is not the first time that flyers for National Alliance have appeared in the Quad Cities. Since 2017, they have been found in several neighborhoods in Moline and Davenport.
National Alliance member James Mathias, of Davenport, was convicted in May 2018 of carrying a firearm on Davenport Community School District property, while distributing National Alliance flyers on car windshields in the parking lot of Brady Street Stadium during a football game in September 2017.