Students at Salt Lake Community College were shocked when they found alt-right propaganda plastered over various surfaces around campus.
The fliers were distributed by the white supremacist group Patriot Front, calling for students to “Keep America American” and report any illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
@SaltLakeCC is this really acceptable to be posted around campus? School/campus is considered a safe space. No student should fear deportation or something like this when obtaining their education and contributing to society in a positive way. This is disturbing and disgusting! pic.twitter.com/wyw8UG8Nkw
— brianna🦋 (@ilovebagals_) February 20, 2019
Staff charged with maintaining campus facilities were told to take down all known fliers, something that proved to be difficult as most of the papers had been glued to the surfaces where they were placed.
Utah Highway Patrol informed concerned students and faculty that while a work order had been filled to repair the damages, no other measures had yet been taken.
UHP Sgt. Donovan Lucas says that this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Similar fliers were posted last year on SLCC, Westminster College, and University of Utah campuses but were deemed not a threat by UHP.
Lucas says that the fliers are less of a threat and more of an attempt to recruit for the organization.
Patriot Front, the organization behind the fliers, is a white supremacist group that promotes anti-Semitism and neo-Nazi ideologies. They hold strong beliefs that non-white Americans aren’t “real” Americans.
One line from their manifesto reads as follows:
An African, for example, may have lived, worked, and even been classed as a citizen in America for centuries, yet he is not American.
They also believe America as a nation to be weakened by its strong sense of democracy and call for a strong, single ruler reminiscent of Julius Caesar in the Roman Empire.
The fliers caused strong reactions among students and staff.
“I’m a little horrified that this happened here,” says Jude Owen, who works in the Communication Department. “I definitely think that a case could be made for vandalism if nothing else, but the fact that this, frankly, disgusting material was on campus at all is extremely disturbing.”
“It just makes you feel so unwelcome, especially because you go through so much to come here,” says one source who wished to stay anonymous. “You always dream that everyone’s going to be welcoming. To see [this messaging] so close to your home and your college, you just freak out.”
Currently, it is unknown who hung the fliers, but students are encouraged to report any they find to a facilities member.
Photos by Elijah Earl