This Christmas Day some Springfieldians woke up not to presents but to antisemitic flyers.
The flyers were left at the front steps of houses in central Springfield sometime during the night of Christmas Eve. At least two dozen flyers were found for several blocks in a neighborhood near Bass Pro Shops.
The antisemitic flyers attempt to tie the Jewish faith to false conspiracies about the COVID-19 vaccine — declaring “every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish.”
The flyers are part of a nationwide antisemitic campaign of a hate group formed in 2020 – the Goyim Defense League.
In a Dec. 18 video, that group’s founder issued a challenge to his followers — telling them to spread these flyers across the Christmas holidays.
“It’s going to feel good when you do this … know that you are helping out your race and you’re helping out mankind,” the founder said in the video.
Since then, hundreds of the flyers have been spotted in at least ten states, including Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas and Vermont. The flyers found in Springfield were the first reported in Missouri.
The hate group was formed after being banned from various social media outlets. The founder has since started his own video sharing platform, which he uses to share the group’s message and spread antisemitic hate. They deny the existence of the Holocaust and falsely claim Jews were responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York. Members of the group also routinely give the Nazi salute at their public demonstrations.
The City of Springfield “strongly condemned” the flyers. “The distribution of such language is intolerable and the thoughts expressed do not reflect our inclusive community. Further, we believe that false conspiracy theories like this spread harmful stereotypes,” said city spokeswoman Cora Scott.
Lt. Jennifer Charleston with the Springfield Police Department said they are aware of the situation and are looking into the incident, but do not have any more information to release at this time.