By Jack Toomey
In the early morning hours of May 29, a man who appeared to be in his 20s or 30s was seen walking the streets of Lakelands. He had a stack of papers under his arm and on several occasions, he approached homes and placed a one-page flyer at the front door. Since many homeowners have motion-activated cameras. the time can be determined. A Lakelands resident posted on a social media forum that at 1:54 a.m. her camera was activated, and she went to the front door to investigate. She found a leaflet warning that “White Genocide is Real.” The man’s image was shared on social media and forwarded to the police.
According to The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), some white supremacists believe that the white race is dying due to non-white populations. This White Genocide movement also involves anti-Semitic views, the ADL notes.
At least 20 people on the social media discussion thread reported that they either found the same flyer on their property or called for the police to be notified. All expressed disgust at the message being promulgated.
Officer Dan Lane, the public information officer for the Gaithersburg Police Department, said that his department was aware of the incidents but explained that no laws had been broken. He urged residents to be alert and to report incidents of this type.
Several days later, Commander Dinesh Patil with the Montgomery County Police Department posted to Nextdoor that the incident is now being treated as a bias event and warrants further investigation. “The Montgomery County Police and the Gaithersburg Police Department are working together as always and will keep the community updated,” he noted.
Julian Haffner, a candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates, District 17, posted a strong statement on his website. He said that he felt compelled to take a stand and post a strong statement on his website because of the lack of response by elected officials. “It was incumbent of me to call out hate,” he said. “(If you are identified) you will suffer the consequences of a public shaming. We know hate speech when we see it and will do everything to keep it out of our community.”