Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Racist booklets dropped in yards

Police are investigating four reports from last week in which hate mail was delivered to Evanston residences. In each case, police said the residents received an unsolicited 31-page booklet titled “Facts that the Government and the Media Don’t Want You To Know!”

The publication lists as its author the Rev. Matt Hale, leader of the same white supremacy organization that caused an uproar at Northwestern two years ago when it tried to gain recognition as a student religious group on campus.

The distribution of offensive material is not illegal unless it is classified as littering or the material contains threats against specific individuals, Cmdr. Michael Perry of Evanston Police Department said.

Perry said the statements made in the booklets are too general to constitute a threat.

“We don’t know if it’s criminal at this point,” he said. “Right now, we’re just investigating.”

The booklets from the World Church of the Creator, which contain anti-Semitic and racist propaganda, were delivered between May 13 and May 15, mostly during the evening hours. Some residents initially mistook the booklet for a newspaper because it was rolled up in an unmarked orange plastic wrapper.

Evanston resident John Austin, who lives on Girard Avenue, found the booklet on his front lawn Monday, packaged with a cover sheet from the office of state Rep. Jeff Schoenberg, a Jewish Democrat from Illinois. Austin said he assumed the publication was from Schoenberg’s office, and he said he was shocked by the offensive language about Judaism he found inside the booklet.

“I quit reading,” he said. “It was pretty hideous stuff. Hale has no shame.”

Austin had heard of Hale before last week, he said, but he did not know exactly what the World Church of the Creator stood for until he looked at the booklet.

Austin, who is not Jewish, said he respects Schoenberg and felt obligated to let the representative know that his name was being misused in the publication.

“They’re not slandering Schoenberg as much as they’re spreading lies about the Jewish faith,” he said.

The representative’s staff asked Austin to report the incident to police so they could track the publication’s delivery.

Schoenberg’s office could not be reached for comment Monday.

Austin said he does not think he was targeted specifically for the mailing, but rather that it was distributed randomly throughout local neighborhoods, possibly by a theological group opposed to Jewish political leaders.

“I would assume they just put different cover sheets on depending on the locale,” he said.

The city’s Human Relations Commission has asked residents who receive the booklet to contact police. The commission is working to track the movement and activities of Hale’s organization, though no charges have been filed against the organization at this time.

This is not the first attempt by the World Church of the Creator to spread its propaganda in Evanston. Similar copies of Hale’s booklet appeared on Northwestern’s campus in the fall of 1999. In January 2000, Hale staged a demonstration at the Technological Institute, which was met with violent protests.

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Racist booklets dropped in yards