American Nazis post bigoted flyers on SMU campus
Posted December 4, 2017 1:37 p.m. EST
(CNN) — The Texas chapter of an American Nazi group says its members were just trying to help stop the opioid epidemic. Their signs tell a very different message.
"White men! Save your people. Reject the opioid beast!" one sign reads; two masked men stand in front, giving a Nazi salute.
Another reads, "misplaced pride," and is accompanied by false statistics about gay men.
The Texas chapter of the white supremacist, Nazi group Vanguard America is claiming responsibility for the flyers. Its leader says he's a Dallas-area college student in his early 20s but declines to identify himself further.
The Anti-Defamation League lists Vanguard America as a white supremacist group. The leader of the Texas chapter, Texas Vanguard, told CNN he is a white supremacist.
When asked by CNN whether his state chapter and Vanguard America are American Nazis, the organizer said, "We are a national socialist group, so yeah."
Vanguard America's leader, Dillon Irizarry, told CNN Monday that he and his group are not white supremacists, nor are they American Nazis.
"I care for my ethnicity above any others," said Irizarry, who identifies as a "national socialist/fascist" and believes the United States should be an exclusively white nation.
The unidentified Texas chapter leader claims he and four other members put up about 10 flyers and one banner on Southern Methodist University's campus in Dallas on Saturday evening. He says none of the participants attend SMU and that they chose it instead of their own colleges because it is a "bigger and more liberal place."
He claims to have posted similar flyers at almost a dozen other colleges in Texas since February.
In explaining why he began posting flyers on college campuses, the individual said he "got tired of being a keyboard warrior."
Now, under cover of darkness, he posts racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic flyers on these college campuses.
"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," said university president R. Gerald Turner.
Campus police investigating the incident released surveillance footage showing five people putting up the flyers. They asked any members of the public who have information about the five to call campus police at 214-768-3333.
Some SMU students on Twitter called the group's postings cowardly. When asked to respond, the organizer said their actions were "not cowardly" and that he actually hoped to recruit more members with the flyers.
The group is already recruiting online through social media and its website.
Both Texas Vanguard and Vanguard America have Twitter accounts; they actively push out messages full of Nazi symbolism, racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism.
At the time of this article's publication -- despite the nature of the sites -- the accounts were still active, despite Twitter's rules prohibiting hate speech. Twitter did not respond to CNN's request for comment.
Those accounts direct users to Vanguard America's website, which has an application for membership to the group. "We have no room for cowards and hobbyists," reads part of its racist and anti-Semitic introduction message, which references "bloodthirsty negroes" and "childraping politicians and their Jewish puppet masters."
Dynadot, which hosts the Vanguard America site, did not respond for comment on this article. At the time of this article's publication, the website was still active.