Carol Sowers, Arizona Republic (Phoenix), June 15, 2007
The Mesa branch of a White supremacist group is distributing “tens of thousands” of fliers around the Valley, protesting what it calls a failure on the part of the press to cover “anti-white hate crime.”
Specifically, the fliers allege that the media has failed to properly cover a Knoxville, Tenn., murder of a young white couple. Four Black men and a Black woman have been charged in the case.
“Whenever there is a White on Black crime, the media makes a big deal about it. But a Black on White crime doesn’t get the same attention,” said Alan Hosier, a member of the Mesa branch of the Nationalist Coalition, which defines itself on its Web site as advocates for the White race.
L.B. Edison, a Gilbert resident who received the flier this week, said it was offensive.
“It scares me to think that people who have these hateful feelings can be wandering in my neighborhood or are possibly my own neighbors,” Edison said.
Entitled “Another Anti-White Hate Crime the Mass Media Do Not Care About,” the fliers show a picture of murder victims Christopher Newsom, 23, and Channon Christian, 21, of Knoxville. It includes pictures of five “Black perpetrators of this tragic hate crime,” a phone number and Web site and incorrectly says that the couples’ bodies were dismembered.
Fliers get national press
The Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks groups affiliated with hate crimes, classifies the Nationalist Coalition as neo-Nazis.
Jamie Satterfield, a reporter for the Knoxville News Sentinel, said she gets 40 to 50 e-mails a day from readers accusing her of not covering the case.
“We are covering it ad nauseum,” Satterfield said, adding that the murders “are a huge case here, but not a huge case nationally. I don’t know that it is any more horrible than murders in Detroit or L.A.”
Valley reaction critical
The Rev. Oscar Tillman, president of the Maricopa County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said several Valley residents have called him about the fliers.
“Some people worry whether those people in Mesa are trying to get the Klu Klux Klan going again,” Tillman said.