City officials in Des Moines joined members of various religious and minority groups today (Tuesday) to denounce fliers left in the yards of one neighborhood by a white supremacist group. The fliers left in the yards Sunday by a group called National Alliance say if the current trend continues, whites will be a minority in this country in 50 years. The flIer also says non-whites are turning America into a slum and come here only for welfare and to take jobs. Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie says that message is wrong. He says the community is proud of its diversity and embraces it. “And it saddens us to think that people from the outside are trying to influence our community to become something other than what it is.” Cownie says they see diversity as a strong asset of Iowa and the City of Des Moines. Keith Ratliff , the president of the Iowa conference of the N-A-A-C-P, also spoke. He says, “People of all backgrounds here we speak out against the racism of white supremacists. And yes, you have a right, you certainly have a right to your opinion. But we want those involved to know that when we feel something is wrong and not right. We pull together here, not pull apart.” Ratliff says there are problems in every community, but the difference between a good community and a great community is how it goes about striving to solve its problems. He says, “The days of your hatred and polarization and scare tactics are over. For America wants to move forward not backward.” Des Moines Police Chief Bill McCarthy says the distribution of the fliers is not illegal — so there’s no legal response he can take. He says it is something that requires, “a mobilization of community responsivity, so that we can say this is not acceptable as a community. That’s the real power that we have here, it’s beyond the law to be honest with you. We’re in a fight for the minds of young people quite frankly.” McCarthy says he doesn’t think the group has set up shop in Des Moines and they want to convince them that it’s not productive to try and do so. The National Alliance which distributed the fliers, is based in West Virginia.
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