Campus police at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas are working to identify a group of men caught on surveillance footage posting racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic fliers around the campus over the weekend.
“White men! Save your people,” one sign read, according to photos posted to social media Saturday, Dec. 2, by Texas Vanguard, a local chapter of white supremacist group Vanguard America. “Reject the opioid beast!” the banner continues, as two masked men stand out in front, giving the Nazi salute.
Another poster read “misplaced pride” and displayed false and disparaging claims about homosexual men. “Protect white lives now” said yet another.
The leader of the Texas chapter, who only identified himself as a Dallas-area college student in his 20’s, told CNN on Monday that the group is in fact a white nationalist organization and believes the U.S. should be an exclusively white nation.
“We are a national socialist group, so yeah,” he said when asked if his state chapter and Vanguard America were American Nazis.
The Anti-Defamation League also names the organizations as white nationalist hate groups, according to the news network.
The unnamed chapter leader claimed he and four other members posted nearly 10 flyers and one banner on the SMU campus Saturday evening. None of the members attend the university, he said, adding that they chose SMU over their own campuses because “it’s a bigger and more liberal place.”
The Houston Chronicle reported that surveillance video from Park Cities Plaza shows five men hopping out of a dark-colored pick-up truck a little after 11 p.m. Two of the suspects were seen carrying a banner about an hour later. Now, local authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying the perpetrators.
“While SMU strongly supports freedom of speech and expression, the outside group featured on these signs promotes an abhorrent message that is opposite to SMU values,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said in a statement. “Our university community is deeply committed to maintaining an educational environment that is welcoming and inclusive. As an institution dedicated to learning, we value respectful and civil discourse.”
The Nazi-style signs are the latest example of white supremacist sympathizers boldly declaring their racist ideals on college campuses. Earlier this year, hundreds of TIKI torch-wielding white supremacists and Neo-Nazis stormed the University of Virginia campus for a violent “Unite the Right” rally that left one counter-protester dead.
Turner emphasized that anyone caught posting unauthorized signs or defacing the SMU campus will face prosecution.
The offensive signs have since been removed.