• White supremacy flyers found across Puget Sound region

    By: Deborah Horne


    Nate Bowling found flyers promoting a white supremacist group on his South Sound doorstep. 

    It appears to be a coordinated effort., as the flyers were found in at least eight cities.

    They are the work of the Patriot Front, a group based in Texas.

    Bowling, Washington State's teacher of the year in 2016, tweeted about the flyers Sunday.

    "I'm a resident of East Tacoma," Bowling said. "And my wife and I woke up to find a flyer from a neo-Nazi organization in our front yard."

    Initially, Bowling thought the flyers had been left at their home because of their social justice activism. Then he found out his entire Tacoma neighborhood was littered with them.

    "And so we walked through the neighborhood and basically gathered all of them, with some community members volunteers," Bowling said. "And so a lot of folks in the neighborhood didn't even see the flyers. But we picked over 100 of (the flyers) yesterday."

    He says he has seen these flyers elsewhere in Tacoma.

    "But never that much density in our neighborhood," he said.

    When asked what they did with the flyers," he looked away and said, "I can't say."

    Over this past weekend, there have been reports of the flyers showing up in Olympia, Tacoma, Edmonds, Everett, Seattle, West Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond.

    "We're seeing members of community (members) report to ADL that they've either been left in neighborhoods or on porches or on their homes," said Miri Cypers, who runs the Pacific Northwest office of the Anti-Defamation League.

    She says it isn't anything new. 

    The ADL tracks hate groups across the country, including Patriot Front, whose name appears on the flyers.

    "Patriot Front is a national organization with roots in Texas that's an alt-right white supremacist group," Cypers said. "They have cells and groups all over the country. And they seem to be pretty active in the Pacific Northwest, where they spread a lot of propaganda materials. They spread literature near college campuses. 

    And they're really targeting homes and communities, which is a very recent concerning trend that we really haven't seen in the past."

    Indeed, Patriot Front was born in the aftermath of the deadly alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. 
    A then-18-year-old Texas man led a splinter group that formed in late August of 2017.

    According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the far right group connects activists online around the country, who then plaster spread the flyers in local communities.

    "They try to paint themselves as an American nationalist group that tries to preserve their European identity," says CypersCypers said. "But it's really a cloak and a guise for their racism, their anti-Semitism and their idea of an America that's only white."

    It is for that reason that Nate Bowling says white Americans are in the best position to fight white supremacy.

    "Now with that said," Bowling said, "I have a platform, right? I have social media followers. I have a podcast. I have a following. And so I can amplify that message. But in the end, I think it takes every-day, middle class, white Americans standing up and saying, 'You won't do this in our name.' "

    To that end, he says there is a group here called Tacoma Against Nazis. It is made up of people who are nonactivists - computer programmers, moms, marketing people, teachers and others -- all of them working, he says, toward ridding society of white supremacy.


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