Last night, two kids found a flyer promoting anti-Semitic views in the small former company town of Scotia between 10:10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. By the time they finished picking up after the person or persons who spread the hate packets, they had found between 30 and 40 of the plastic baggies stuffed with anti-Jewish literature on porches throughout the tiny hamlet, reports the mom of one of boys who wishes to be anonymous for fear of retaliation.
The kids brought the plastic bag to show the woman. “It had a flyer and oatmeal or peanuts to weigh it down,” she told us. “It was anti Jewish propaganda.”
The woman told us that when she saw the flyers, “I was pretty shocked. I didn’t think what I was looking at…was what I was looking at.” She said she felt dread. “What else is going to happen now?” she worries. “What next steps are they going to take.”
After the mom explained to the kids how it was literature that was designed to stir up hatred for the Jewish people, her kids and a friend of theirs went out to see if there were more in the town. “They spent probably close to an hour picking them up from 2nd and Sixth [Streets] off people’s porches and throwing them away…My oldest guesstimated they found 30 to 40 in just Scotia.”
She explained, “We don’t want this to be something everyone sees and emboldens people to act out in hate. It is a shitty thing to come out on your porch and see.”
She added, “And you don’t want other people to come out on their porch and say there are others like me and want to do more… Seeing this kind of stuff and making it broadcast that there are other people on that spectrum, they might join forces and really ramp everything up….We have enough of [hate] here; we don’t need it spreading.”
The woman told us, “While [the kids] were walking around, I went to the FBI site and reported it and the Sheriff’s site and reported it.” She said asked a woman she knew who had RING doorbell to look at who had done it. “[The image] was really grainy,” she said. But she suggested that other people might have better images.
“Then we drove around town through Rio,” She told us. “We saw one of the Rio Dell cops and told him as well.”
The woman worries that telling the media might be problematic. “It’s a Catch 22. If you talk about it, that might embolden people.” But, she said that she wanted to “make people aware that this shit is going on.”
On July 4, someone distributed similar packets in the Arcata area. According to the Lost Coast Outpost, this is the work of a northern California group. According to an article they posted here,
Teresa Drenick, deputy regional director for the Central Pacific region of the Anti-Defamation League, is quite familiar with the spread of these bigoted baggies.
“We are seeing that happen all over California and pretty much all over the United States at this point…The organization behind the flyers has been identified and extensively researched by the ADL, but the Outpost has chosen not to identify it or the people behind it since they so clearly crave such attention and use it to recruit other lost souls into their hate-filled ideology.
“The stunt is the work of a cowardly group that espouses white supremacist themes and Holocaust denial,” Drenick said. “It’s known to focus its hatred and vitriol toward the Jewish community and other marginalized communities — oftentimes the LGBTQ-plus community as well.”
The mother who along with her kids and their friend helped clean up the trash left on people’s porches in Scotia suggested people in the Rio Dell and Scotia area check RING cameras and contact Sheriff’s Department at (707) 445-7251 if they have any information.
UPDATE: HCSO Investigating Distribution of Anti-Semitic Materials