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White Supremacist Propaganda Pops up in Tulsa

Matt Trotter

White supremacist propaganda appeared in Tulsa on Monday, the anniversary of two hate crimes.

Drivers on Tisdale Parkway in the morning saw a banner telling them to "Reclaim Hope," but that message was not what it appeared to be. We The People Oklahoma’s Marq Lewis said it’s tied to the hate group Patriot Front and is part of such groups’ broader effort to normalize their views.

"So, they would use something that is catchy, such as 'Reclaim Hope.' It speaks of oppressed people, but then the group that’s behind it is very nefarious. They are a neo-Nazi group, and they’re not afraid of saying it," Lewis said.

People of color account for more than 80% of the area’s residents.

The banner was removed before 10 a.m.

Phantasmagoria Books and Records co-owner Shannon Iwanski arrived to stickers on the midtown shop window bearing Patriot Front's logo and saying things like 'Keep America American.'

Iwanski said it’s the second time since May that’s happened, but last time every store in the strip mall was hit, and he knows why they were targeted.

"We have a Red Scare Info Shop, which is books that are more left-leaning, more socialism, more social program–minded, and we also have books that cater to LGBTQ+ people. We have a drag queen story hour here," Iwanski said.

Iwanski said the best remedy to hate is to call it out.

"Any time you see it, any time you experience it, let people know that it’s happening. Do not be afraid to contact the police. Do not be afraid to tell people about it. And whenever the time comes, you need to vote for people who are going to put a stop to this," Iwanski said.

Khalid Jabara was murdered by his white neighbor in Tulsa on Aug. 12, 2016, and Heather Heyer was killed when a white supremacist drove into a crowd of anti-racist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017.

Propaganda linked to Patriot Front was also found along Cherry Street in 2017.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.