CARTERVILLE — It’s been about seven months since neo-Nazis left flyers on community college campuses around Southern Illinois, and some are reporting they have made a return.
Less than 100 flyers from The Creativity Alliance, also known as the Church of Creativity, a white nationalist group that has ties to Southern Illinois, showed up last week at John A. Logan College.
Steve O’Keefe, who works for JALC’s college relations department, was unequivocal in his response.
CARTERVILLE — More than a week after declining to denounce hate speech disseminated through flyers on campus, John A. Logan College has releas…
“We just want to be clear: We don’t condone it. We don’t tolerate it,” O’Keefe told The Southern Monday. He said as soon as the flyers were reported, they were removed by campus police.
The college was a bit slower to respond last year, when about 50 to 100 flyers proclaiming “It’s Alright to Be White” appeared on campus, but did release a letter condemning hate speech a week after the first incident. O’Keefe said everything in that letter still stands.
“John A. Logan College is deeply disturbed by the recent appearance on our campus of white supremacist flyers from the Church of Creativity and feel compelled to speak out and condemn the message of intolerance the group promotes. History makes clear that ignoring such hate speech will not make it go away and that it must be confronted directly,” the statement reads.
O’Keefe said the flyers are not indicative of the campus climate. He said he honestly thinks it was a quick hit that was easy to make because of the convenient location.
John A. Logan College was not the only place these flyers have showed up. In January, Southeastern Illinois College also saw the same racist flyers on campus.
“We were kind of surprised they came all the way out here to do that,” Angela Wilson, executive director of marketing and public relations for SIC, said Monday.
Already in the works was the school’s Civility Pledge that pushed students and faculty in February and March to not use language that stereotypes or denigrates others with different viewpoints. It asked those who signed to “disagree without being disagreeable.”
Wilson said while this plan was already in the works, the flyers on campus earlier this year made the pledge even more poignant.
The Creativity Alliance was formerly run by Matt Hale, who was sentenced to prison in the early 2000s for soliciting the murder of a U.S. federal judge who had previously ruled against Hale in a copyright infringement case — another, non-racist church sued Hale’s group, previously called the World Church of the Creator.
According to a CNN article from 2003, Hale’s indictment accused him “of seeking to have the presiding judge in that case, U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow, killed and of attempting to influence her decisions ‘corruptly and by force.’”
The group is listed as a hate group on the Southern Poverty Law Center website. The SPLC keeps a running record of known, active hate groups throughout the United States.