Update (10:17 a.m.): All St. Louis area campuses are closed for daytime classes. Evening classes will…
White supremacist group places recruitment fliers around St. Louis campuses
Several fliers linked to a white supremacist group were found on Webster’s main campus September 5. According to a Webster University statement, the fliers did not contain a message of hate, but instead the organization’s motto and website address.
According to Director of Public Relations Patrick Giblin, the fliers were posted outside the front entrance of the library, parking signs outside of the Thompson Music Building, the exterior of Browning Hall and the exterior of the Loretto-Hilton Center.
Karen Aroesty, the Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Missouri, confirmed the group advertised on the fliers was Identity Evropa.
According to Identity Evropa’s website, they are a fraternal organization for people of European heritage located in the United States that participates in community building and civic engagement.
“Identity Evropa is a white supremacist group that has essentially targeted colleges and universities,” Aroesty said.
Aroesty said Fontbonne University and Washington University have also found the same group’s fliers on their campuses as the group attempts to attract younger people to join their organization.
“There has been an assumption, for a while, that folks who engage in white supremacy, who actively join groups and are ideologically motivated by white supremacy are all old men,” Aroesty said. “I think what Identity Evropa and others are trying to show is that this is not an old man’s game, it’s a young man’s game.”
While a majority of people that associate themselves with these organizations are men, Aroesty understands that women are included, but the primary supporters are men.
In August, similar fliers were found on the University of Missouri-Columbia in an attempt to recruit students. According to the Columbia Missourian, the fliers were looking for “Midwestern patriots.” The email was reportedly linked to the group Midwestern Alliance. The organization calls for a “white ethnic state.”
On the Webster Groves campus, the fliers were taken down due to the violation of university policy on fliers around campus. According to Giblin, none of the fliers were placed in areas that the university allows students to place them.
The fliers were first reported to Public Safety by an employee of the library. A second employee also found one of the fliers outside Browning Hall. Public Safety searched the rest of campus and found the fliers in the other locations.
In Webster’s press release, it is stated the university, “rejects any speech that promotes hate and intolerant behavior based on a person’s race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, disability, religion or military status.”