A once powerful but now largely defunct neo-Nazi organization apparently has been leaving fliers beneath doormats in Mid-City, raising concerns among residents in a neighborhood that is largely white but still diverse.
The fliers — which talk about “fighting back” against a perceived effort to eliminate Confederate symbols and “wipe out” white people — bear the logo and mailing address of the National Alliance, an organization that has called for exterminating other races and that for decades was considered one of the largest, best-organized and best-financed hate groups in the United States.
Residents in at least two blocks of Mid-City reported finding the fliers, which rant against immigrants and “racial mixing,” after someone left them overnight this week. At least one family that received the flier is Hispanic, and several interracial families live nearby.
“It’s disturbing,” said one resident who received the flier and asked not to be identified. “I do think it’s indicative of the state of our country right now; it’s in such a state of turmoil. It’s worrisome that it’s kind of allowing racist groups to start coming to action again.”
The fliers’ appearance may, in part, be tied to New Orleans’ efforts to take down four monuments to Confederate officials and a white supremacist group. Similar efforts elsewhere have inspired backlash from white supremacist and other far-right organizations, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which studies hate groups.
The fliers include a photo of a Confederate battle flag on a grave with the words “They hate us” in the background.
“They hate our heritage,” the flier says. “They hate our flag. They hate our freedom to bear arms. They hate our monuments. They hate our traditions. They hate our very existence. And they are doing everything possible to wipe us out — and erase white people, and our posterity, from the face of the Earth.”
The flier goes on to blame the media and politicians for the “extinction and genocide” of white people, before directing readers to the National Alliance’s website and asking for a $3 donation.
The apparent recruitment drive surprised an expert at the Southern Poverty Law Center. He said the racist organization — which had 1,400 dues-paying members nationwide in the early 2000s and once had a record label, magazine and shortwave radio broadcast — dwindled to a few dozen people following the death of its founder, William Pierce, in 2002.
Pierce was the author of “The Turner Diaries,” a novel that depicts a race war in America and that has been linked to high-profile violence by white supremacists, including the Oklahoma City bombing.
The National Alliance is “all but dead now,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the center. He suggested the fliers may not be from the organization itself but from people who identify with its beliefs.
The New Orleans Police Department said Friday it had not received any complaints about the fliers.
A spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu condemned the National Alliance’s message.
“New Orleans is a welcoming and inclusive city to all its residents and visitors,” press secretary Hayne Rainey said in an email. “Diversity is our greatest strength, and this type of inflammatory, hateful rhetoric has no place in our city.”
Follow Jeff Adelson on Twitter, @jadelson.