On Sunday morning Reggie Duke walked out of his apartment and to his car, much like he does every week as he gets ready to leave for church. But this time he noticed a piece of paper on his windshield.
"I pulled it off my windshield and noticed it was a racist or antisemitic message. I was really kind of surprised by it," said Duke.
Even more surprising is what he read.
"It talked about white women being raped by gang bangers. Obviously not all African Americans are gang bangers," he said.
As a bi-racial man himself, Duke says the flyer and its message is offensive.
"It creates a culture of just hatred, and that's something God doesn't represent," said Duke.
He says he initially thought it was a ticket on his car because he was parked below this two hour parking sign, but he says what was on this piece of paper was no ticket at all.
The flyer was left by the National Socialist Movement, and while offensive to some, was actually completely legal.
"If the vehicle is not marked in such a manner that the person that leaves the handbill knows they shouldn't be doing it, it's not a violation. It's a matter of free speech," said Sgt. Brian Phillips of the Springfield Police Department.
He says if a parking lot or your car has it clearly posted that you do not want this type of literature, it's actually a violation of city code, but otherwise it's an acceptable practice.
"It's a long standing practice. It's a method of communication of the people that chose to employ. Sometimes the message is offensive. Sometimes it's not," said Phillips.
But for residents like Duke, he's still shocked by his finding.
"The biggest thing is Springfield being such a Christian community. It's surprising to find such hatred," said Duke.
We contacted the Springfield chapter of the National Socialist Movement. They would not go on camera to respond to what the flyers said, but did tell KSPR that they distribute them frequently and it's not uncommon. Meanwhile, police say incidents of this sort that actually lead to legal action are rare.
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Commander Jeff Schoep
"If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem."
National Socialist Movement www.nsm88.org
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