White supremacist flier found in downtown Murfreesboro

Jul 26, 2019 at 10:00 am by Michelle Willard

Hateful state

A flier for a Neo-Nazi, white supremacist group was found in downtown Murfreesboro Thursday night.

Stating "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Victory," the flier is from Patriot Front, a splinter group of Vanguard America. The propaganda was tacked to a light pole at corner of North Spring and College streets.

In addition to the failed white supremacist rally in October 2017, fliers for other Neo-Nazi groups have been found on MTSU campus.

RELATED: "White Lives Matter" Rally photos

What is Patriot Front?

Patriot Front formed a few weeks after the deadly "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The group espouses the same hateful and xenophobic rhetoric, but cloaks it in patriotic symbolism in an attempt to make it more palatable. White nationalist groups like Patriot Front have rebranded themselves in the imagery of Americana in order to create a more marketable image for their dedication to creating an all-white nation.

According to its "manifesto," Patriot Front embraces white supremacy, antisemitism, fascism, and a racist version of American nationalism.

Patriot Front frontman Thomas Rousseau led protesters from Vanguard America, including Alex Fields Jr., the Ohio man who drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. Fields killed Heather Heyer and injured others. He was recently sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder and nine counts of malicious wounding.

Why Murfreesboro?

Groups like Patriot Front, Vanguard America and others target college campuses in an attempt to lure in students who are then encouraged to engage in real-world activism on college campuses.

Since 2017, fliers for Vanguard America and Idenity Evropa have been found on MTSU campus. Identity Evropa has been rebranded as "American Identity Movement" in an attempt to distance itself from the fall out of the Charlottesville rally.

Perhaps they think they can find a willing audience in Middle Tennessee. In 2018, Tennessee ranked No. 2 on a list for states with the most hate groups. We had 37 hate groups for the 5.6 per million people living here, but when adjusted for population, Tennessee ranks higher than all other states.

 



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