WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Racist flyers from a group called the “New England Nationalist Social Club” were found in several West Hartford neighborhoods, according to police.
The West Hartford Police Department found the flyers in the areas of Whitman Avenue, Fernridge Park, Walton Drive, and Braeburn Road on Monday.
West Hartford police are working alongside state and federal law enforcement partners to find those responsible for creating and distributing the flyers.
The above video is from a previous newscast.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said this is just the tip of the iceberg as to what is going on around Connecticut.
“The trend is alarming because ADL views anti-Semitism as the canary in the coal mine,” said Stacey Sobel, ADL Connecticut regional director.
ADL said hate is on the rise. 2,700 incidents were reported in 2021 in the U.S., an all-time high.
From the flyers found on driveways in West Hartford this week to recent pamphlets placed on walkways in Hamden, all of it has the ADL on high alert.
“Each incident is meant to create fear. It’s meant to disrupt and it’s meant to create fear and it lowers the level of what’s acceptable in public discourse and it really just helps fray democracy,” Sobel said.
ADL said the latest flyers are sponsored by a group that now has chapters in all New England states.
“Once it’s organized it becomes a lot more dangerous and we are seeing that,” said Rabbi Jeffrey Bennett of Temple Sinai in Newington.
Bennett has been following the upward trend not only in Connecticut but across the United States. He said his congregation has been targeted.
“We had an incident when we have our services on Zoom and we had an anti-Semitic incident early on with COVID and it was really very disturbing,” Bennett said.
A new ADL report released Tuesday showed a “historic high” in anti-Semitic incidents in the state in 2021. The report showed incidents increased by 42% in the last year as compared to 2020.
Anti-Semitic symbols have been found from Yale to UConn, Portland to West Hartford, and assaults have been on the rise as well.
“Hurtful and harmful. Words do lead to action so as much as I want to dismiss it, there is something in me that says alarm, alarm,” said West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor.
ADL said it is important to report every incident. You can click here to report an anti-Semitic, bias or discriminatory incident.
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