Monroe Street and Riverside Avenue in downtown Spokane were tagged with white nationalist and anti-refugee posters Thursday morning.
The posters, which linked to the alt-right website dailystormer.com, were stuck to light posts, traffic signs, street electrical enclosures and the John Robert Monaghan statue between Monroe Street and Jefferson Drive on Riverside Avenue.
Workers at the Spokane Club, at 1002 W. Riverside Ave., said they didn’t see the signs at 7 a.m. when they came into work.
The posters depict white nationalist and racist sentiments, some reading “It’s only racist if white people do it,” and “refugees not welcome.” One poster linked to several alt-right websites and YouTube channels.
One poster reads: “Our nation is being destroyed. Within the next 40 years, our people and our culture will be completely erased. Thousands of years of toil and sacrifice will have been in vain because we failed to protect our heritage,” referring to the white supremacy ideology that the white race is under attack.
The Daily Stormer, which was featured on many of the posters, is now the top English-language hate site in America, a feat it accomplished in July, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The site’s owner and founder, 32-year-old Andrew Anglin, of Worthington, Ohio, is depicted in numerous news stories as a neo-Nazi who outwardly embraces Nazi ideology.
Anglin did not respond to requests for comment.
Debra Mally, a front desk clerk at the Spokane Club, said this is the second time this week racist graffiti had been posted in the area.
“I don’t know who’s doing it, but it’s not a good thing,” she said. “I can tell you that.”
But this week isn’t the first time this has happened, she said. For the past few years, new graffiti of some sort has regularly ended up around their building, or in one case, a large graffiti drawing was tagged directly onto the club’s athletic center.
“It happens all the time, unfortunately,” she said.
Mally said the club didn’t take the posters too seriously and hadn’t called law enforcement.
“This is all news to us,” said Spokane Police Department spokesman Shane Phillips. “Hopefully it’s just one person being a nuisance, as opposed to an organized group.”
A Spokane Club worker tore down most of the signs shortly after 8 a.m.
Phillip Tyler, the president of Spokane NAACP, denounced the message behind the posters, writing that they are “meant to threaten and place fear in the minds of our citizens, our neighbors, our friends.”
In a group statement prepared by the NAACP, Spokane Human Rights Commission, Spokane County Human Rights Task Force, Spokane Interfaith Council and the YWCA of Spokane, they wrote, “We cannot let the hateful voices of a few, threaten and harm the collective hearts of our citizens, our neighbors, our friends.”
“We must stand against and repudiate any and all acts of racism, in words, actions or posters,” the statement said.