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'It's heartbreaking': Neighbors report racist pamphlets in Fond du Lac

Posted at 5:59 PM, Apr 10, 2024

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — Racially-charged pamphlets found in a quiet Fond du Lac neighborhood are worrying people in the community.

  • Neighbors report racist pamphlets discovered in Fond du Lac.
  • Police say they're aware of the pamphlets and looking for the source.
  • Some community members say they're concerned.

MaryBeth Cole said it started on Easter Sunday, when she was walking her dog through her neighborhood near Chegwin Elementary School. She said she noticed something at the foot of a neighbor's driveway, and picked it up thinking it was trash.
But what she found instead immediately made her uneasy.

"I opened this unaddressed packet, and it's postcard-size propaganda about a white nationalist group... that's talking about illegal immigrants, Judaism, people of color, how whites are getting erased," Cole said.

Cole said she's found nine packets total, including three just this week. But based on fading color in the photos, she thinks they were all distributed around the same time.

"To have someone take the time to print this out, cut it up, package it and then distribute it around the neighborhood, it's heartbreaking," Cole said.

Antonio Godfrey has been working for racial equality in Fond du Lac for years, and he said this serves as a reminder that there's still more work to be done.

"As much as myself and other organizations, we fight for racial equality, there are people that are still out here," Godfrey said. "Just because people seem to think it's not here, it doesn't happen here, they don't see it on a regular basis… it's here."

The Fond du Lac Police Department said they’re aware of the pamphlets, and are working to learn more about their source.

Once they determine the source, police said they’ll determine which actions may be protected under the First Amendment, and what actions may be a violation of a city ordinance like littering.

Police said there appears to be two local individuals involved, and the rest are outside the area.

In the meantime, activists like Godfrey said they’ll continue to fight against racism in Fond du Lac.

"Take your hatred, and keep it at home in your living room... we don't want it here," Godfrey said.

Anyone who witnesses littering or the defacing city property is encouraged to contact the Fond du Lac Police Department.