SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Neighbors on a block of Blaine Avenue in Sugar House got a rude delivery to their front doorsteps Wednesday morning: Hate disguised as their morning newspaper.
They found fliers from a neo-Nazi group based in Detroit, Michigan wrapped with a rubber band around copies of The Daily Utah Chronicle newspaper. Some got a flier condemning "interracial marriage" and others got one entitled, "Take back America from the Jews".
"I was not surprised when I got the call," said Ron Zamir of the United Jewish Federation. "In times of economic woes in our history, anti-Semitism and bigotry against blacks tend to rise." He said some people look for scapegoats for their own worries and problems and those scapegoats almost always are people who are "different."
Since the fliers were found only on the one block and since there are two multicultural families on that block, the fear is that they were the targets of the flier attack. That also implies that a local distributed the fliers.
By late afternoon, Dustin Gardiner, an editor at The Chronicle, was making the rounds of the neighborhood assuring residents that the student newspaper had nothing to do with the fliers. He was also looking for clues as to who did it. "Someone obviously stole a stack of newspapers. It's definitely upsetting to have our name smeared in that way."
In fact, he said if they find out who is responsible, "the university will press charges." He said The Chronicle is not technically free. It is a "student subscription" paid for through fees. Each student is entitled to one newspaper. If someone did steal a stack from campus then that would be theft.
As of Wednesday evening, ABC 4 was told by the Salt Lake Police Department that there was no active investigation of the fliers because there had been no complaints. That may change.
We talked to several residents on the street. All were upset that someone targeted them for the white supremacist message. Susan is a member of a multicultural family. She explained, "If somebody doesn't agree with my lifestyle or what I'm doing, that's their problem. They spend time hating other people, then they don't have to spend time figuring out what's wrong with themselves."
Susan doesn't think the hate message would escalate into violence, but the unwanted delivery does plant that worry in the minds of many who live on this one block of Blaine Avenue.