A group considered white supremacist by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center appears to have posted promotional materials around Tulsa on the second anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the third anniversary of the murder of Khalid Jabara in south Tulsa.
Fliers for Patriot Front, founded in 2017 and labeled a hate group by the SPLC, were posted on the door of Phantasmagoria Books and Records near 11th Street and Yale Avenue.
Shannon Iwanski, a co-owner of Phantasmagoria, said that unlike in a previous instance, when similar materials were posted on the front doors of his store and others, he arrived Monday morning to find only his store targeted among the retailers in the shopping center.
Iwanski said he thinks the store was targeted because of who he is and what the store sells.
“We have a lot of left-leaning material,” Iwanski said. “Basically it’s anti-white supremacist, pro-socialism; we also offer LGBTQ+ materials. I’m gay, and one of the other owners is trans, so we kind of hit every demographic that this group doesn’t like.”
Another flier, reading “better dead than red,” was stuck to the store’s window near where it normally posts information about its drag queen story hour, and Iwanski said he filed a vandalism report with police online.
Patriot Front split off from Vanguard America after the Unite the Right rally two years ago after a leadership dispute, according to the SPLC. A man who protested with Vanguard America in Charlottesville, James Alex Fields Jr., drove a car into a crowd at the rally, killing a woman. He pleaded guilty to 29 counts of federal hate crimes and to state charges including murder and has been sentenced to life in prison.
Jabara died in Tulsa on Aug. 12, 2016, and Heather Heyer died in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017.
A photo posted to Facebook also reportedly showed a Patriot Front banner reading “Reclaim Hope” flying on the L.L. Tisdale Parkway pedestrian bridge early Monday. The banner reportedly had a link to Patriot Front’s website’s home page. By about 9:45 a.m. Monday, the banner was gone.
Hate incidents and hate crimes may be reported to SPLC at splcenter.org/reporthate. The group advises that reports also be filed with local law enforcement agencies.
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