Residents of Palm Coast’s C-Section on Monday and several in Ormond Beach were the apparently random targets of dozens of anti-Semitic fliers dropped in driveways, in ziplocked bags leaden with rice. (See one flyer here.)
The fliers claim that “Every single aspect of the Biden administration is Jewish” or ‘Every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish,’” and are also headlined with “Let’s Go Brandon,” a euphemism of the hard-right intended as a slur against President Biden that even GOP leaders such as Gov. Ron DeSansis have tacitly endorsed.
Compounding the fliers’ falsehoods, they typically state: “these flyers were distributed randomly without malicious intent.” Anti-Semitism is by definition malicious. It constituted 9 percent of all hate crimes in 2020 (down from 13 percent the prior year), though Jews are the target of 58 percent of all hate crimes motivated by religion, according to the FBI: nationwide, there were 683 anti-Jewish incidents in 2020, compared to 110 anti-Muslim incidents.
“While anti-Semitism is ongoing for many centuries, the statement at the top of these flyers ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ makes them unique in that they can be attached to a partisan political party active in our area,” Rabbi Merrill Shapiro, a member of the national board of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and of FlaglerLive’s board, said today. The Sheriff’s Office is not taking action, since the acts are not criminal. “There is, however, wide-spread recognition that in 1933 most Germans thought of Hitler and his Nazi Party as a bunch of crackpots who would never amount to anything. Thus, we have learned that these things will not go away by ignoring them,” Shapiro said.
The fliers have been appearing at least since December in neighborhoods in Surfside, Miami, San Francisco, Denver, Las Vegas, Kenosha, Wis., Cartersville, Ga., towns in Texas, and California, according to press reports and a tally by the Anti-Defamation league.
In Palm Coast, the fliers were dropped on Coral Reef Court and numerous driveways on Columbus Court, according to a Flagler County Sheriff’s report. “I located and disposed of approximately 50 of these pamphlets from Coral Reef Court and a majority of its side streets,” a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy reported.
In each case the fliers were in sandwich bags with some rice, to keep them from drifting, and suggesting that the bags were thrown from a driving car. As in other cases, the flier directed readers to go to an anti-Semitic website that amplifies disinformation, falsehoods, Neo-Nazi messages and like-minded slurs.
Deputies have been attempting to locate surveillance camera footage that might capture the passing car or cars that dropped the leaflets. One resident had a “showing a vehicle driving northbound on Columbus and throwing an item onto his driveway at 0201 hours,” meaning just after 2 a.m. on Tuesday. “The angle of the camera does not record much of the road, light from headlights and wheels are the only thing visible of the vehicle.” Another “recorded video of a dark color vehicle that had silver on the bottom.” Yet another, on a cul-de-sac, “recorded in infrared and showed a dark-colored vehicle throwing an item in their driveway at 0200 hours. The vehicle’s tag was unreadable.”
A vehicle with the approximate matching description was located through the sheriff’s Real Time Crime Center, getting off I-95 southbound at 1:43 a.m., but the tag was not readable, and the vehicle was not located again. Sheriff’s officials believe the vehicle may be a Jeep Patriot. “Information was sent to Volusia and St. John’s counties to see if they had any similar incidents that night and were able to get a tag.”
There were additional incidents Tuesday in Ormond Beach. An Ormond Beach resident described the fliers dropped at her driveway as “extremely biased content with Satan Symbols and reference of ‘synagogue of Satan.'” She sent the flier to the ADL for documentation.
“We are aware of GDL and its activity this past weekend,” the ADL informed the resident. “Unfortunately, while the flyer is despicable, antisemitic, and the activity creates fear in the community, it is not a criminal act and therefore not a hate crime. It is an antisemitic incident and we will add it to our audit of antisemitic incidents. They are very careful to keep to protected freedom of speech activity, and it is our hope they will make a mistake so that law enforcement can take action. We also do not have any information of a direct threat to the Jewish community.”
The Ormond Beach incidents were documented in the area of Riverside Drive, according to an Ormond Beach Police report. A resident told police that “he was out walking his dog when he noticed a silver Jaguar convertible with a loud exhaust driven by a black male, black female passenger on Riverside Drive. [The resident] said the driver kept stopping the vehicle and revving the engine, reversing and then going forward again. [The resident] thought this was odd behavior seeing that part of the road is one way and he did not see them actually park or pull into someone’s driveway as if they were looking for a specific address.” The resident “strongly believes that the subjects in the silver Jaguar are responsible for the unwanted printed material found.” But the resident “did not say he actually saw these persons throw the material from the vehicle, he just noted that their behavior was odd.”
A couple out walking their dog noticed the plastic bags in people’s driveways as well and commented about the silver Jaguar almost running them over, according to the report. “They did not see anything being thrown from the vehicle either however they stated the male driver was driving carelessly on the one way street.” Moments later, the officer was approached by one more resident reporting the anti-Semitic material.
“At this time, it is unknown if the materials were randomly distributed due to two of the residents that I contacted are/or have Jewish backgrounds,” the officer reported. “It is also unknown at this time if the subjects seen in the silver Jaguar were indeed the subject distributing the unwanted material.”
Ormond Beach was the site of a criminal anti-Semitic incident in November, when anti-Semitic stickers were found on city property in the Nova Community Park area. Several more anti-Semitic stickers and spray-painted stencils were found throughout the city. Daniel Howard McGinnis, a 34-year-old white male, admitted to causing the racist vandalism, and implicated his friend, Jeremy Todd Imbler, a white male of the same age, according to Ormond Beach police. Both were charged with felony vandalism.
To report anti-Semitic bias or discriminatory incidents, go to the ADL’s form here. In addition, report all incidents to your local law enforcement agency.
I fail to see “Let’s go Brandon” on the flyers. Looks like a misinformation article to me. Additionally, please support your “hard-right intended slur ” with some facts. Prove this is not supported by independents and possibly some smart democrats.
One born every day…….
So instead of saying, this is reprehensible, you chose to go this route. Your response is disgusting and shows your ignorance.
Just somebody’s opinion. Of course only liberals are allowed to have opinions. All other opinions are reprehensible or racist, without a cogent argument. Making thought and opinions illegal is not a plus for people exposing they want to strengthen democracy. Democracy doesn’t include trying to control people’s thoughts, period.
Deborah Coffey says
Ditto. Thank you.
Ben Hogarth says
Mark, your comments are incredulous as always. The flyers very clearly say “Let’s Go Brandon” at the top in big bold letters. I’ve personally seen sadistic neo-nazi / far-right stickers and profanity at gas pumps all over my county. All too often there are Swastikas, and Hebrew “Star of David” drawings placed near Nikki Fried’s name or over her picture (as an example). The rise of extreme racism in this country again is so disturbing, but people like you who are desperate to deflect blame to anyone but the obviously guilty party is simply astonishing.
Rational, sane Americans look at the flyer and know what it says. And no amount of ranting and ravings of madmen will convince them otherwise.
Get a grip. Did the info you saw hurt you? Take it down, throw it on, change the channel. Deflect blame? Blame for what? Quit trying to control thoughts. Quit cancelling people for having an opinion. Where in the Constitution is hateful thought or opinions illegal?
Guilty party? Please show me some facts about who uses “Let’s go Brandon” Prove this phrase is supported by the the GOP. A few examples of a few people doesn’t prove anything. What it proves is that some people like to cherry pick to support their opinion or talking points. Where is this “rise of extreme racism” in America you speak of?
[Note: the commenter is misinformed. See: “How ‘Let’s go Brandon’ became an unofficial GOP slogan,” the Washington Post, Nov. 15, 2021, and “‘Let’s Go, Brandon’ Zooms From Vulgar Meme to Campaign Ad: How an inside joke among Republicans became one candidate’s tactic for reaching the G.O.P. masses,” The Times, Jan. 12, 2022.]
Orange Koolaid to the Right ohh here’s your hood
Pretty much mainstream Flagler Republican rhetoric, readily disseminated at your typical School Board meeting. Fortunately, they have blacks to scapegoat, in a silver jag convertible with loud muffler no less.
“Those people ” will call it legitimate political discourse.
Land of no turn signals says says
What’s the big deal?Pick it up and throw it away and don’t give it a second thought.By making giving it a lot of attention it’s free publicity.Dumb ass’s.
Deborah Coffey says
Really? Half my family were sent to gas chambers because “All that is required for EVIL to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” It’s a BIG deal.
Since some of our “leaders” continue to bang the drum for the last traitorous administration will they speak out about this or just put their heads in the sand. President Mr. Haney emboldened these people.
Say his name says
Oh Mark, must you make it so easy and literally”out” yourself and your agenda with the far right racist, white nationalist, anti/Semitic hate groups?
We will not tolerate such vile behavior.
Another great comment Ben!
Those not speaking out against this organized “hate” activity are then tacitly approving of it.
As wonderful Martin Luther King once said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.
Speaking out is fine. Just remember, people of another opinion get to speakout just as you do.
@ the Mark calling this article “misinformation”. . . those of us who are “non-haters”, educated, caring and open minded will continue to “consider the despicable source” when it comes to what you post.
Take a moment to open your minds and hearts! More appropriate and inspirational words from MLK:
“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
“The ultimate measure of a (hu)man is not where (s)he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where (s)he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But … the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'”
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
Thanks for sharing Sherry! From the Mark that’s not myopic, think I’m going to have to add a number to my name.
Oh, more bigotry from the mouth breathers of Trumplandia?!?
I’m sooo shocked.
I feel like we are going backwards as a society
It seems prejudice of all types reign supreme. We have been through this in the city’s and sixties. Can’t we live and let live. Everyone better start reading about the results of nazism and other isms and how dictatorships became reality.
David Schaefer says
I wish someone would catch this asshole who sent these out and put them in jail.
Or they are from Israel and he is putting them in key positions to garner favor with Israel. It was a Rep president that finally moved our embassy to the rightful place. Finally doing what all democrat presidents said they would do but didn’t. They can’t make up for this blunder in any way but this.
@the Mark that is not myopic. . . thanks so much. I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts.
@radicalrightwinged Mark. . . It’s trump’s Republicans who are “legally CANCELLING” speech. Just read the articles about bills legally prohibiting discussions of gender in schools currently being considered in the Republican majority Florida legislature.
Regarding your personal “hate speech” . . . notice Flaglerlive IS publishing your despicable words. As a responsible member of our community, you can count on me and many others to continue to “speak out” AGAINST your extreme right winged talking points that you mindlessly regurgitate here daily. If and when you ever have any “original” reasonable thoughts on the actual issues presented in these articles, I am happy to debate them. Until then, I will continue to “consider the despicable, mindless source”. . . of you and several other “cult members” who comment here frequently. There is nothing new and original in your “HATE”. . . it begins in your rotting soul.
Seek joy, peace and love from within!
Not trying to be insensitive 😌, but signs don’t bother me. As a Black I’m used to things like that. We learn to live with it. I’m sure more pamphlets will follow with crazy statements. Life goes on. There will always be a group of people doing crazy hurtful murderous things to other people. Look at this country now and the history of this country. Those that lynched and those that were lynched. Those that could vote and those that were lynched because they wanted to vote. We learn to live with it and hope things will change.