SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - Two groups denounced Identity Evropa, a white supremacist group posting of fliers in multiple Central New Jersey towns. Both statements lay blame on President Donald Trump.
The New Jersey Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) and the Somerset County Democratic Committee issued statements today.
"The promotion of a racist and white supremacist group should not be tolerated in our communities," James Sues, executive director of CAIR-NJ, said in the release. "These fliers are a symptom of the spread of white supremacist ideology nationwide that has occurred under the Trump administration. While we condemn the distribution of these fliers, we also stand with the local residents who took action to reject Identity Evropa's presence in our state."
"The Somerset County Democratic Committee is outraged at the racist flyers posted in our County," SCDC Executive Director Max Blum said in the release. "Although the flyer does not mention the President, it is his incendiary, divisive, racist statements that have given voice to these white supremacists."
The SCDC's release said Trump's unwillingness to denounce the Charlottesville neo-Nazis has encouraged and normalized public displays of bigotry.
"We call upon our Republican elected officials to do more than pass toothless resolutions and to take steps to stop this behavior," Blum said in the release. "Our First Amendment does not protect hate speech."
According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” Facebook group posted a photo Saturday of a utility pole near Route 202/206 and Burnt Mills Road in Bedminster with the Identity Evropa poster.
In addition, Friedlander said, several people did some research and found that the group’s Twitter feed contained pictures bragging about their coverage in the area, including at the mall, the Hills Shopping Center in Bedminster, the Somerville Public Library and other areas in and around Somerset and Morris counties.
According to the ADL website, Identity Evropa is a white supremacist group focused on preserving white American culture and promoting white European identity. The group, the website said, spreads its message on the Internet, and by distributing fliers, posters, banners and stickers.
The group, the ADL website said, has participated in protests against Muslims and immigration, and joined events organized by other white supremacist groups.
An event was held Monday evening at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills, where about 20 local residents chose locations to post their own flyers about reporting hate crime incidents, while also discussing contacting local officials about taking a public stand against bias and hate incidents in the area.
A second event is being held by Pat Sodolak, of We The People NJ-07, Wednesday in Basking Ridge. It will focus on strategizing ways to respond and create a response guide.
Anyone interested in attending should contact Sodolak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the release, CAIR-NJ said it has seen an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since Donald Trump was elected president. They recently released a report, the release said, showing an unprecedented rise in bias-motivated incidents linked to the election.
In addition, in April, CAIR-NJ condemned the racist vandalism of a campaign poster with a Nazi swastika in South Plainfield.
CAIR's mission, the release said, is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice and empower American Muslims.