Residents react to pro-white flyer passed out in Blythewood neighborhood
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. (WIS) - WIS is continuing to look into the distribution of pro-white flyers that have allegedly been passed out to some people living in the Blythewood neighborhood.
A Blythewood resident says he was handed one of the flyers on Halloween night. The resident says he believes the masked men were going door to door with these flyers.
WIS spoke to a few people in the area about the flyers and there seemed to be some mixed reactions. Some people were shocked to see something like this being passed around but others were not.
Some stated that it’s just a representation of the society we’re living in. The flyer gives information on a pro-white group called the Southern Sons Active Club.
It claims that the white race is going extinct and one of the group’s goals is to secure the existence of that race. The flyer also makes use of the “SS” symbol, which is commonly associated with officers in Nazi Germany.
“It doesn’t put any fear in me. It just lets me know that I must be aware of my surroundings,” said James Gibbs.
The resident called the Richland County Sheriff’s Department which sent a deputy to the scene.
According to an incident report, the two men that gave him the flyer were wearing black masks with a white design resembling a ghost. When questioned, the men ran off. WIS showed the flyer to people near the gated neighborhood.
“I don’t agree with it. I can’t understand why we’re still at that point at all,” said Kimberely Beam.
WIS did some digging on the Southern Sons Active Group and found a video with a link to the group’s website which is the same link on the flyer. In the video, you can see the group doing some sort of protest while chanting through the streets.
“Within today’s society, you would think that people would know better, think better and believe better, but that mindset is still available,” said Gibbs.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has an online map that identifies hate groups by city and state. A researcher with the group Cassie Miller said in an email that the Active Club is a white nationalist hate group with about a dozen chapters around the country, including the Southern Sons Chapter in South Carolina.
The group was started by longtime white nationalist activist Robert Rundo. Rundo was formerly the leader of the Rise Above Movement, a white nationalist group that engaged in violence at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Since last year, Rundo has been encouraging his followers to begin their own active clubs which he said would “combine fitness, nationalism, activism, camaraderie, and skill-building.”
“I disagree with all of that they have going on. It’s just a lot of hateful people in the world and I just don’t have no use for that,” said Nick Argo who lives in Blythewood.
Miller went on to write that these active groups meet regularly. They engage in activities like hiking, training other members, and spreading propaganda like the flyer. She also tells me that these flyers are used to recruit new members but they’re also used as a form of intimidation.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department says they will continue to investigate to find out who passed out the flyers by running a lab analysis on the paper. WIS also reached out to the FBI about whether they’re investigating the Southern Sons here in the Midlands.
They sent WIS this statement:
“The FBI investigates activity which may constitute a federal crime or pose a threat to national security. Our focus is not on membership in particular groups but on criminal activity. The FBI cannot initiate an investigation based on an individual’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of first amendment rights, and we remain committed to protecting those rights for all Americans.”
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