NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Some residents and Rutgers University students were shocked this week after posters designed by a white-nationalist group were found in New Brunswick.
One flier asked passersby to “imagine a Muslim-free America” and was taped to the wall of a cultural center that houses a Muslim prayer room. Another flier, which was hung on a College Avenue Latino center, expressed anti-Latino sentiments. A student also reportedly came across anti-black posters last month on Rutgers’ Douglass Campus.
While the posters were designed by the American Vanguard, a white-supremacist group whose propaganda campaign has spread across the country, New Brunswick Police Capt. J.T. Miller told TAPinto New Brunswick that authorities don’t “have any indication” that the hate group is active in the city.
“The NBPD is not investigating any white-supremacist groups operating in New Brunswick,” he said.
City police are in touch with the Rutgers University Police Department, which Miller said is investigating the incidents. At this time, though, it’s unclear if the spread of the poster has any connection to New Brunswick, he said.
New Jersey is home to 15 of the country’s 917 active hate groups, according to new figures compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremists. Just a year ago, 40 hate groups operated in the state.
The nonprofit claims that the only hate group in New Brunswick is the black-separatist Nation of Islam.
But the center lists several white-power groups operating “statewide” and in nearby municipalities.
White supremacists have left their mark on New Brunswick and surrounding communities in the past.
In 2013, two members of a white-supremacist group called the Aryan Terror Brigade were sentenced after beating two Middle Eastern men in nearby Sayreville. While the hate group was based in Atlantic City, one of the attackers lived in East Windsor.
In the late 1980s, police uncovered a Central Jersey “neo-Nazi ring” after its members defaced the Rutgers Hillel building and a New Brunswick high school baseball dugout with bigoted graffiti. That sect was ultimately smashed after it came out of the shadows.
New Brunswick police officers work “diligently” to protect people from such threats, Miller said.
“We investigate all criminal incidents which occur in the city and monitor trends and actions worldwide which would adversely affect the city and its residents,” he said. “We take that information and work with our law enforcement partners to keep everyone as safe as possible.”