One Big Spring family woke up Monday morning to what they considered to be an alarming situation — a self-proclaimed “socialist” group touting neo-Nazis propaganda and symbols had left flyers at their home.
According to the local resident — who asked to not be identified to prevent retaliation from the group — discovery of the material was a shock.
“It was outside my home. I'm not sure when anyone dropped it off or where they may have been traveling to, but it was certainly there in the morning,” the man said. “The flyers identify the group and provides a phone number, e-mail and website for them. It was surprising, to say the least.”
According to the flyer, the group is identified as the National Socialist Movement headquartered out of Detroit, Mich. A quick look at the group's website was nothing short of an unsettling experience, according to the man.
“The first thing you see when you go to the website is all of the swastikas,” he said. “And if you read their propaganda, they are pretty straight forward regarding what they are after. It was sickening, to tell you the truth.”
Flyers have been reported in the Odessa area, according to reports by television news group CBS 7. Similar flyers also announce the NSM has a group in West Texas.
The NSM recently addressed local concerns the group's “hate speech” could have a negative impact on the Permian Basin area.
“To all West Texas, we are not a hate group,” the release reads. “We are a political party for the best interest of white/European people. We are using our First Amendment right of free speech. You will never hear us use any type of foul language or hate speech. We just want to get our message out to other like-minded, white Americans.”
According to the NSM website, the group was started in 1974 by Robert Brannen and Cliff Herrington, former members of the American Nazi Party and limits its membership strictly to non-Semitic heterosexuals of European descent. The group also touts a “Party Viking Youth Movement” for members less than 18 years of age.
In 2009 the NSM had 61 chapters in 35 states, making it the largest neo-Nazi group in the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the NSM is one of the “most explicitly 'Nazi-like' neo-Nazi groups, which emulates the Third Reich. It has a vaguely paramilitary structure, with military ranks for its members.”
While the flyers may be incendiary to most West texas residents, Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker said there is little that can be done to stave-off flyer distribution.
“For the most part, distributing flyers like this isn't illegal,” Parker said. “In most cities it's governed by city ordinances. If you see someone trying to leave a flyer on your property it is your right to tell them to leave. If they refuse to leave, contact law enforcement and you may be able to file criminal trespass charges against them. Unfortunately, if you wake up with this type of thing on your porch in the morning, there isn't a lot you can do.”