Residents of a Calverton neighborhood woke up to find “white lives matter” flyers in their driveways this morning.
“ITS [sic] NOT RACIST TO LOVE YOUR OWN PEOPLE – TAKE A STAND – BEING WHITE IS STILL RIGHT,” the flyer states in capital letters under a picture of the hand of a white child touching the hand of a darker-skinned adult.
The flyers were folded and enclosed in plastic bags — along with pebbles apparently aimed at preventing them from blowing away.
Some of the plastic bags had stickers affixed to them which read, “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE.”
The flyers also feature an email address: “WLM1488@gmail.com.”
The number 1488 is the combination of two known white supremacist numeric symbols, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
“The first symbol is 14, which is shorthand for the “14 words” slogan: ‘We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,’ the ADL website states.
The second symbol is 88, which stands for “Heil Hitler” — H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
“Together, the numbers form a general endorsement of white supremacy and its beliefs,” the ADL states. “As such, they are ubiquitous within the white supremacist movement – as graffiti, in graphics and tattoos, even in screen names and e-mail addresses,” according to the organization.
The plastic bags could still be found at the ends of at least 25 driveways late Friday afternoon in the wooded residential neighborhood off Nugent Drive.
The Suffolk County Police public information office said police had not yet received any reports about the flyers and could not comment.
Residents in the area said they were puzzled about the flyer and concerned about its message. One Highview Drive resident, an African-American man, said he was “a little offended” by the message. He discarded it.
“I can’t imagine who would do that — and why here?” he asked.
A Maple Street woman expressed similar thoughts. “I wasn’t sure what to do with it,” she said.
An email seeking comment sent to the address printed on the flyer drew no immediate response.
The flyers — along with the method of distribution in a plastic bag containing pebbles — are identical to ones distributed last month in Center Moriches, as reported by News 12 on July 11.
A Suffolk Police spokesperson said residents could report the flyers to police to document the incident.
If you find one of these flyers or something similar in your driveway, you can also report it to the Documenting Hate project being undertaken by Pro Publica in partnership with news organizations across the country, including RiverheadLOCAL, to document bias incidents. More information about the Documenting Hate project here.
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