As we are all too well aware, organized anti-Black, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ hate groups and their racist ideology are seeing a major resurgence in our country. Evanston is not immune, and we must be vigilant.
Yesterday, white supremacist posters from the hate group American Identity Movement (AIM) were reported in Evanston. Today, a Dear Evanston follower reported another AIM poster on a utility box at Sherman and Main.
The posters, which say "Embrace your identity," with artwork of a pink-cheeked, white woman with open arms and dressed in the American flag (yesterday's poster was of a male), are courtesy of AIM, which describes itself as "defending our nation against mass immigration and the scourge of globalism." [Globalism is an anti-Semitic code word that originates from a reference to Jewish people who are seen as having allegiances not to their countries of origin like the United States, but to some global conspiracy.]
According to a report by the ADL, the American Identity Movement is lead by Patrick Casey, who participated in Charlottesville as member of Identity Evropa.
Identity Evropa was best known for its distribution of white supremacist propaganda, often targeting college and university campuses. In 2018, the group was responsible for nearly half (503 of 1,187) of the year’s white supremacist propaganda distributions.
In 2019, before they became AIM, Identity Europa was responsible for 138 propaganda distributions in 28 different states. Their final batch of fliers, featured George Washington or Andrew Jackson, read, “European roots American greatness."
***So, what to do when you encounter this or other kinds of hate material in our city?***
DON'T SHRUG IT OFF.
-- RESPOND: Take pictures and record all the information you can. Then you can remove the hate propaganda or posters if it's safe to do so (be aware that there could be razor blades hidden behind the poster--so remove carefully).
-- REPORT: Report the information to the Evanston Police Department and the Anti-Defamation League. You can file an incident report online here.
--RESIST: Resist the urge to post or re-post images online. Don't give hate a wider audience. Simply alert others in the area and encourage them to be on the lookout and to report as well.
This month marks two years since hundreds of far-right extremists descended on Charlottesville. Dubbed “Unite the Right,” the gathering was the largest and most violent public assembly of white supremacists in many years. It also demonstrated a resurgent and emboldened white supremacist movement.
Read more about the resurgence of far-right extremism since Charlottesville here.
Hate is an attack on all of us. If we don't challenge it, it will persist and grow. Don't wait to fight hate--in all its forms.