The Henderson Center flier, cropped so as not to show the group's name or contact information.
The Eureka Police Department has issued a press release, which you can read here
The Eureka Police Department is investigating an apparent militaristic white supremacist group that is recruiting locally, both through social media and fliers posted around the county.
A flier with an image of an assault rifle was found posted in a free library stand in Henderson Center this morning, reading: “White youth! This entire system hates you and wants to see our race dead organize with us and bring an end to it.”
The flier was created by a group named after an apparent reference to the effort to recruit young people to fight for Nazi Germany detailed in the book All Quiet on the Western Front. Another flier reading “It’s okay to be white” and including a bar code that linked to the group’s Instagram page was found on a Eureka street a few weeks back by local photographer Mark McKenna.
“It’s deeply concerning and something we’re looking into,” said EPD Chief Steve Watson, adding that an EPD detective has been assigned to research the group and the department has contacted the FBI and a local terrorism liaison office coordinator. “Obviously, it’s concerning to see anything that looks to be a hate group and it’s more concerning that there’s an assault weapon on there.”
The group’s Twitter account also posted an image this morning of one of the “It’s okay to be white” fliers on a bulletin board next to a poster honoring the memory of David Josiah Lawson, a black 19-year-old Humboldt State University student fatally stabbed in 2017. The post read: “One of our guys placed this card at a little hippie shop in Eureka, California.” There are other local links on the group’s social media platforms, including a video posted July 4 of what appear to be fireworks over Humboldt Bay with the caption: “The collapse will sound like the Fourth of July every day for a while.”
A screen shot of this morning's Twitter post, cropped to exclude the hate group's name and Twitter handle.
The group’s blogspot website contains a manifesto outlining its ideology, which is militant, anti-establishment, anti-Semitic and overtly racist. It contains references to the nation's "forefathers" never wanting "America infested by blacks, Latinos and Jews" and notes that America was "never meant to be a melting pot" but a "shining beacon of true Aryan spirit."
The website Homeland Security Today, a nonprofit media outlet dedicated to reporting on national security and intelligence issues, posted a story about the group yesterday, reporting that it was started by a 17-year-old male in California and has been active on social media since August.
“It’s online content, which stresses the need to take violent action, is aimed at both incitement and at recruiting new members in order, it says, to move from online to ‘in real life activism,’” the article states, adding that the sites contain imagery of Hitler, other white supremacist leaders and lots of firearms. The article notes the group's reach appears limited, with just about 154 followers on Instagram, 137 on Twitter and 18 subscribers on YouTube.
Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideologies have been present on the North Coast for years.
“This is something we know is out there,” he said, likening hate groups to child abuse, which typically happens behind closed doors and is shocking when publicly revealed. “We know there are counterculture groups, white supremacist groups, racially motivated groups and hate groups. I think it’s been going on behind the scenes. It hasn’t been in your face like a recruitment flier. I think this is new and it’s obviously disturbing.”
Honsal speculated that criminal justice reform laws that have kept more young people out of California Youth Authority facilities, which white supremacist groups have long used as recruiting grounds, may have thinned the groups' ranks, spurring them to take bolder recruiting steps, like public fliers.
Outside Eureka, other law enforcement chiefs told the Journal
they haven’t seen fliers like this popping up. HSU Police Chief Donn Peterson said there were some racist fliers on campus last year, but they were of a different type than those found in Eureka. It’s clear word of the Eureka fliers has traveled fast and all the local chiefs contacted by the Journal
said they are aware of them and asked officers to keep an eye out.
Honsal said most speech — event the hateful variety — is constitutionally protected so there’s not much law enforcement can do until a crime is committed. But if there’s a crime that seems to be racially motivated or carried out in an effort to promote the interests of a hate group, he pledged to work with the district attorney’s office to prosecute them to the full extent of the law.
Calling the fliers “deeply troubling and concerning,” Watson said he appreciates that citizens have reported them and asked that anyone who sees materials posted recruiting for or promoting hate groups notify EPD.
Looking at the fliers and social media accounts, Honsal said there’s no question what this group is and the ideology it is promoting.
“It’s definitely hate speech and it’s definitely hate mongering,” he said. “It’s disturbing and I hate seeing this. It just disgusts me.”
Editor’s note: The
Journal has made the editorial choice of not including this hate group’s name or linking to its social media accounts or blogspot page because we are not in the business of promoting hate or making it easier for militant bigots to find like-minded assholes.