Flyers promoting a white nationalist group have drawn strong condemnation from city hall. The messages appeared in Tacoma on the morning of Jan. 6. Dozens of flyers were placed inside sealed plastic bags weighted down with rocks. They depict an arrow going through a hammer and sickle, with the phrase “Better dead than red.” They contained the website for an organization called Patriot Front. The same flyers were distributed in neighborhoods in Seattle and Olympia as well.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Patriot Front was founded by a Texas man in 2017 after breaking away from Vanguard America after the protests in Charlottesville, VA, in which a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19.
During the Jan. 8 City Council meeting, Mayor Victoria Woodards read a statement affirming the city’s commitment to diversity. She described it as an opportunity to stand up for the values of a diverse community.
Councilmember Chris Beale thanked the city staff for writing the statement. He said the message on the flyers goes against Tacoma’s shared values and moral compass. “This is a big step forward in starting a community of healing.”