Racist leaflets distributed in downtown Waterloo have city officials and human-rights leaders vowing their messages will not be tolerated. The leaflets from the American Nazi Party and the National Alliance, a West Virginia based neo-Nazi group, contain racial slurs and advocate “cleaning the land” of people who are not white. Mayor Tim Hurley says the flyers were allegedly distributed in a city parking garage.
Hurley says he can’t express strongly enough his revulsion at the language and intent of the white-supremacist literature. “It is despicable,” he says saying the ideas are poor, the content poor, and “it is in a way pornographic.”
Waterloo Human Rights Commissioner David Meeks says ignoring the literature is the same as accepting it. That’s why he says any citizen, and anybody in the public arena who finds hate literature in a public place shouldn’t pass it on, they should report it. A murmuring crowd agreed as Meeks declared it should be forwarded to police, the human-rights commission, other agencies and even the NAACP. “Then trash it. Then we will begin to stop it.”
State Representative Deborah Berry compared the distribution of the leaflets to “racial terrorism.” Berry says in Iowa, we try to promote diversity, and this incident not only targets certain groups, it hurts all of us. She says it won’t be tolerated, and people will do everything they can to stop this kind of behavior. “If you personally feel hate toward anyone, then that’s your business.”
No charges have been filed because law-enforcement officials say they aren’t sure if hate-crime laws apply in this case. Waterloo police say they’ve identified a “person of interest” who may have been distributing the flyers and are researching both local and state hate-crime laws.