North Richland Hills, The Colony, Wichita Falls and Archer City all have been recent targets of flyers by Patriot Front, a Texas-based white supremacist group.
Some of the flyers say, “Keep America American” and encourage people to report “any and all illegal aliens,” calling them criminals. Some are as inconspicuous as dog whistles: “To Ourselves and Our Prosperity” and “Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Victory.”
But they’re all propaganda tools used for recruitment into the group, according to investigative researcher Carla Hill from the Anti-Defamation League, who says Patriot Front is second only to Identity Evropa, an alt-right group whose propaganda also has nationwide reach.
Patriot Front is classified as a white nationalist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a neo-Nazi group by It’s Going Down and a white supremacist organization by the Anti-Defamation League. The group is a breakaway from American Vanguard, another hate group, and was formed after the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.
This year, 276 incidents of propaganda distribution have been attributed to Patriot Front, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. Forty-two of those happened in Texas.
“The biggest change we’ve seen from the flyering is their focus away from campuses and into communities,” Hill says.
Their flyers and those from the group’s older iteration have caused controversy at the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, the University of North Texas and Rice University.
The flyers have been popping up around North Texas since October, according to Patriot Front's Twitter page.
They’re also the types of flyers that got notorious white supremacist and leader of Patriot Front, Thomas Rousseau, a citation from the Fort Worth Police Department, according to a story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Rousseau was given the citation in October “for placing signs, banners, stickers and other objects on public property without permission, which is a misdemeanor,” the paper reported.
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According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Rousseau is the 19-year-old founder of Patriot Front and grew up in the suburbs of Dallas.
Police from North Richland Hills and The Colony say they haven’t heard from residents about the flyers. Police from Archer City and Wichita Falls did not respond to requests for comment.
Hill says the best thing to do is take down the flyers and speak out against the group’s rhetoric.
“It’s not all blatantly white supremacist rhetoric. It’s kind of cloaked in patriotism so it's important to call them out and take down those flyers,” Hill says. “Don’t let their hate go unchecked.”