Spring Green residents are banding together after residents found racist posters around town — stuffed in mailboxes and scattered on windshields.
The flyers are simple. White sheets of paper headlined White Lives Matter with links to six different racist and anti-Semitic websites and YouTube channels. No photos. No contact information. Just typed out links to websites.
In response, residents and business are owners are taking a stand.
If you drive through downtown Spring Green, about an hour west of Madison, you’ll see blue yard signs with a heart and flag dotting the windows of houses and shops. They say “Hate has No Home here”.
Carey Cannon was one of a handful of people who made this happen. They bought a hundred signs online to distribute, but then didn’t want to wait for the mail.
“That’s just now how we were rolling at that moment,” Cannon says.
So she and a few others downloaded material from the website to make posters. Within a night they’d made 55, and by the next morning they were gone.
“By 10:00 that morning they were all gone and in people’s cars,” Cannon says. “There was a demand for more, so we’ve gone after ordering more.”
Joel Marcus has one of signs hanging in his department store, Nina’s. The store’s been in his family for four generations.
He was one of the first to put a sign in his downtown store widow. He says as the village has shifted from a rural community to a place with more art and tourism, it’s also become more diverse. Recent census surveys show that 96 percent of Spring Green residents are white.
“We really want to make everybody feel welcome in the community, and we really don’t want to let a few individuals intimidate and basically tell people that they’re not welcome in the community or that they can’t enjoy the community,” Marcus says. “It goes against my core believes as well as most of my neighbors.”
Spring Green isn’t the only place where these racist flyers have popped up. The exact same flyer has been spotted in Baraboo, also this week.
In addition, an Indiana newspaper reported the same flyer found in Gary as well.
Cannon says other nearby towns have also gotten flyers, including Dodgeville and Ridgeway.
“The worst thing we can imagine is it’s one of our neighbors,” Cannon says. “We don’t want to think it’s here. And we don’t want to be naive about where we live, it’s not utopia. There is hate in our community, of course there is … but this thing felt like somebody coming through.”
Hate has No Home here describes itself as a nonpartisan, and Cannon says one of the signs is hanging in the town library, which is a polling place.
“I think it’s really apolitical in Spring Green right now,” Cannon says. “Of the people I know who asked for these signs, I am very clear that more than one of them does not agree with me politically.”
Hate has No Home Here started in the North Park neighborhood of Chicago, sells yard signs and buttons in communities around the country.