Racist fliers disparaging Black History Month and several black entertainers, sports and political figures have littered parked cars at Colorado State University for the past couple days.
Two different versions of the fliers contain photos of black celebrities such as Kobe Bryant, O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson and former Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry, and declare them criminals.
CSU police were notified Saturday that the fliers had been placed on cars in the Engineering Building parking lot north of the Lory Student Center.
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The fliers, the work of white supremacist group White Revolution, have also appeared in the past few days on vehicles in the Moby Arena and residence hall parking lots, said CSU police Sgt. Chris Wolf. “They basically are wanting to get people riled up,” Wolf said. “If you don’t pay attention to it, they can’t accomplish their goal.”
Police do not know if the person or people responsible for distributing the fliers have any connection to the university.
“I don’t like this kind of thing,” said Habib Palenfo, 26, a CSU mechanical engineering student who is black. “We are in 2006 now. The U.S. is about a mix of people.”
Another student called the group’s efforts “sad.”
“People will look for any scapegoat to give them an excuse about the state of the world, but really the current state of the world is because of people like them,” said Jess Alder, 22, a senior majoring in English.
While the fliers are racially insensitive, they do not contain any specific threats and the content is covered under the freedom-of-speech portions of the First Amendment, Wolf said.
Leaving fliers on cars is considered littering.
The fliers generated a small amount of discussion at the Black Student Services office Monday, said interim assistant director Lydia Kelow.
“We talked about the untruth of the claims, and everyone shrugged it off,” Kelow said.
Hal Mansfield, director of the Fort Collins-based Religious Movement Resource Center, gave three speeches on campus Monday about hate groups.
Mansfield said the person or people distributing the fliers were likely trying to disrupt life on campus while searching for just one or two recruits to pass out more of the group’s propaganda.
“The shock is what they want,” Mansfield said.
Distribution of fliers containing racial bias is not unusual, he said. “We see these kinds of things once a month all up and down the Front Range,” Mansfield said.
The fliers leave contact information for the Russellville, Ark.-based organization White Revolution. It lists a Web address and phone number.
A man who identified himself as Billy Roper, chairman of White Revolution, answered the phone Tuesday.
Roper said his organization is dedicated to white supremacy and members of his organization were responsible for the fliers.
The organization has “only a couple dozen members” in Colorado.
Roper said they target college students because they are “intellectually open-minded.”
CSU spokesman Brad Bohlander said the fliers in no way represent the university.
“This is a university that embraces diversity,” he said.