White supremacist propaganda disguised as a health warning about COVID-19 is being distributed in eastern Iowa. Residents in Iowa City, North Liberty, Cedar Rapids and Davenport have recently reported finding messages from the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group, tossed onto their lawns. Stickers labelled “National Alliance health warning #3” have been stuck onto rolled-up copies of issues from Little Village that were published last year.
The problem of the National Alliance using copies of Little Village or other magazines that are distributed for free to add heft to their fliers and stickers so that they can be tossed onto lawns and driveways isn’t new — it’s been happening since January 2018 — but the white supremacist stickers currently being used are.
Next to the words “Racial Distancing” in big block letters, the stickers say, “Whites should practice racial distancing as well as social distancing.” It concludes, “The government won’t warn you, but the National Alliance will.”
The National Alliance is an explicitly racist and anti-Semitic group that has repeatedly called for the elimination of Jews and racial minorities in America, and the establishment of an all-white homeland. For 30 years after it was founded in West Virginia in 1970, until the death of its original leader in 2002, the National Alliance was considered a very dangerous group, and was implicated in many crimes, including murder. But after the death of its founder in 2002, the group largely fell apart.
Its new leaders fought among themselves, accusing each other embezzlement and threatening lawsuits. Membership dwindled. Currently, the group does little beyond selling white supremacist books and paraphernalia to its few remaining supporters. In September, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described the National Alliance as “a mostly defunct white supremacist group with deeply anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant beliefs.”
There appears to one active member of the group in the Quad Cities area, who was arrested in January 2018 while putting National Alliance fliers on cars parked at high school sports facility in Davenport. The flier he was sliding under windshield wipers was one that had been distributed in Iowa City’s Wetherby Park neighborhood two weeks earlier. That time, it was wrapped around copies of the Davenport-based River Cities Reader, a free monthly newspaper.
Since then, the National Alliance has used old copies of Little Village on several occasions to add weight to its fliers and stickers, so they can tossed into yards.
It should go without saying that neither River Cities’ Reader nor Little Village has any connection to the National Alliance, beyond reporting on the hate group.