LEMONT — Lemont, in the southwest suburbs, has become the latest Illinois community to see racist flyers pop up. It’s also at least the third community in the 3rd Congressional district to be hit. The Chicago neighborhoods of Beverly and Mt. Greenwood have also seen the flyers appear. It’s also the same district where self-proclaimed neo-Nazi Arthur Jones ran as a Republican in the 2018 election.
EVANSTON — A racist poster has been seen in Evanston, the liberal suburb just north of Chicago. Local news site Evanston Now reported that the poster promoting the American Identity Movement was found on a traffic signal box at the corner of Chicago and Main streets in the southeastern part of the city on Friday morning. The Southern Poverty Law Center said on a March 12 blog post that American Identity Movement is the new name for Identity Evropa, a fast-growing far-right group that became infamous after the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally. They classify the group as a white nationalist group. Flyers for the group were found along the route of Chicago’s South Side Irish Parade back in March.
CHICAGO/CARBONDALE — While not coordinated, there were two separate protests at the extreme ends of the state, speaking out against the immigration crackdown and white supremacy. WSIU, a Carbondale NPR station, reported that the Southern Illinois Immigrant Rights Project showed support for the residents of El Paso on Wednesday. The radio station said the group delivered a letter and held a picket asking U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) to condemn the white supremist rhetoric and policies coming from the White House. Becca Tally told WSIU that the group wanted Bost to make a statement. “That is necessary for the people that are here residing in his district to know that he wants to serve and protect everyone of us no matter what race, religion, creed or national origin that we are from,” she said.
EVANSVILLE — On Tuesday flyers with the slogan “Proud to be white?” were found on cars at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) in the southwest corner of the state. This was the second time in as many days that racist flyers appeared at an Indiana state university.The Indiana Daily Student reported on Monday that flyers promoting the Ku Klux Klan were found in parking lots and driveways in Bloomington. The Evansville Courier & Press reported that university spokesman Ben Luttrull confirmed that the flyers had been distributed a day after employees had been posting about it on social media. He told the newspaper that USI security was investigating.
CHICAGO — The Lighthouse Foundation is hosting an organizing meeting about the Center on Halsted using Walsh Security as the building’s security firm. From the Facebook event:
Come pursue racial justice in Boystown and beyond. Allies and African American LGBTQ+ are coming together through Lighthouse Foundation to end Center on Halsted’s CEO Modesto “Tico” Valle’s continued employment of a racist security firm, Walsh Security, at Center on Halsted. This organizing work is being done through Lighthouse Foundation’s organizing arm, the Coalition of Allies for Racial Equity (CARE). Allies of African American LGBTQ+ folks who want to see racial injustice within the LGBTQ+ community challenged and ended are encouraged to participate.
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association (IRCCA) posted then deleted a Facebook meme that images of the “Squad,” U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, on a mock-up movie poster calling them “The Jihad Squad.” The meme comes after a week of controversy because of Trump’s racists comments about the group, saying they should go back to their “own countries” and fix them. All four are American citizens and three were born in the United States. The meme was posted over the weekend then deleted.
CHANNAHON — U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) called Trump’s recent racist tweets were wrong and divisive but also said “seeing countless media folks threaten over the ‘supposed’ silence” also contributed division. Kinzinger is the only member of the Illinois Congressional delegation’s GOP members to even object to Trump’s tweets. There has also been silence from the Illinois Republican Party and the Log Cabin Republicans of Illinois. Kinzinger put the statement out on his Facebook and Twitter profiles on Monday, more than a day after the tweets.
Trump sent out a series of tweets saying Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashia Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), progressive Democratic representatives and members of “The Squad,” were really American and should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley were all born in the U.S. and Omar has been a citizen since she was 17 and has been in the country since she was 10.
Trump has doubled down despite condemnation by Democrats and the media, with some token objections from the GOP. He’s even demand the four representatives apologize for “horrible & disgusting actions.”
Kinzinger said in the statement that “what the president tweeted this weekend was wrong, and does nothing but further divide us.
CHICAGO — Flyers promoting racist websites have appeared on Chicago’s southwest side, WGN reported. The Chicago TV station said 19th Ward alderman Matt O’Shea was notified about the flyers on Tuesday morning. The ward covers Beverly, Mount Greenwood and Morgan Park on the far southwestern corner of the city. “Frustrated that cowards come into our community in the cover of darkness, and place this hate literally at our doorsteps looking to create strife, scare the people,” the alderman told WGN. The station said the flyers were put on hundreds of cars in the area.
CARBONDALE — The Du Quoin State Fair has come under fire after taking the band Confederate Railroad off the line up, reportedly because of their use of Confederate imagery.
The Southern Illinoisan reported on Monday that a Facebook group called #boycottduquoinstatefair has reached more than 2,400 members in four days, with members discussing their frustration with the cancellation and plan their protest. From The Southern Illinoisan:
The cancellation was first acknowledged by Du Quoin State Fair Manager Josh Gross in a statement to the Du Quoin Weekly. “The Illinois Department of Agriculture has removed Confederate Railroad from our 2019 Du Quoin State Fair Grandstand lineup,” he said. “While every artist has a right to expression, we believe this decision is in the best interest of serving all of the people in our state.”
That comment has led many to infer that the decision was made by Illinois Department of Agriculture leaders in Springfield, and not by local employees. The Department of Ag manages the two annual state fairs in Illinois.