White Supremacist Propaganda Posted in Loudoun County

On January 19th, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was notified of multiple white supremacy propaganda flyers posted on roads in the Purcellville, Hamilton and Waterford areas. Approximately 50 posters were found, reading, “Pray for White America.”

It is speculated that the flyer was made by the Loyal White Knights, a group closely associated with the Klu Klux Klan. The Sheriff’s office is asking citizens to come forward if they have any information regarding the flyers, but as of January 25th, are not handling the case as a hate crime. The Woodgrove Outlander has contacted the Sheriff’s Office and has been unable to receive an official comment.

“[The situation] evokes anger just knowing that no one is being held accountable and there is no initiative to hold anyone accountable,” says Senior Tanner Vincent.

“It’s not the first time that something like this has been posted up in Purcellville or Loudoun County. It always just goes kind of unchecked. I don’t think there is even a precedent set for people who act out in a racist manner,” Vincent continues.

In addition to the flyers, racist and anti-Semitic writing has been found in the bathrooms of two Loudoun County high schools. President of the Loudoun NAACP Branch, Pastor Michelle Thomas, tells Fox 5 that “Every time you talk to the police they say it’s free speech. Somebody is paying for this, and let’s be clear, Black people are paying for this type of hate, Jewish people are paying for this type of hate, Latin American people – we’re paying for this type of hate, LGBTQ people. This is not free speech, it’s not free. Those who it is intended to intimidate, those that it is intended to harm, it is hitting. It is landing.”

The differentiation between free speech and hate speech has been debated in the Supreme Court for years. Some hate speech is protected by the First Amendment depending on the content and context. The flyers, while offensive and disrespectful, currently fall under the safeguard of free speech. However, Dr. Shipp has emphasized that hate speech will not be tolerated at Woodgrove High School.

Loudoun advocates are calling for more education and preventative measures. “I dont think it’s my place, or any Black person’s place to educate white people on racism. I think it just needs to be something that is universally taught and known. It’s tiring that we keep having to explain to them why what they’re doing is racist,” says Vincent.

The corner of Sagle and Harpers Ferry Road, where numerous fliers were found. (Claire Davison)