‘Very troubling’: Antisemitic flyers found at dozens of Mount Pleasant homes

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 4:46 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2023 at 6:21 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - People living in some Mount Pleasant neighborhoods are reporting hate speech flyers delivered to their own front yards in the last 24 hours.

Posts with pictures of antisemitic flyers began circling around social media Tuesday morning after residents say they were distributed Monday night. They were found at dozens of homes in different neighborhoods, like the Tupelo Community and Charleston National.

“Very, very troubling to see first thing in the morning,” Jed DeMuesy of the Tupelo Community said.

What people found were bags of what looked like pine pellets and flyers in their front yards. Some residents, like Cristina Shelton of the Charleston National neighborhood, thought it was just a simple advertisement.

“And then, to my surprise, it’s antisemitic propaganda instead,” Shelton said.

The flyers show graphic images alleging things like the Kennedys, pedophilia and homosexuality in relation to Jewish people.

“We have some Jewish people in this neighborhood and, you know, I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for them to pick it up and see it,” DeMuesy said.

Shelton says she heard from some Jewish people in her inner circle.

“I had multiple messages from Jewish families reaching out saying, ‘Do you think it’s targeted?’” Shelton said. “‘I’m so scared. I have three young children.’”

In South Carolina, there is no active hate crime law. The closest thing to it going through the statehouse is the Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act, which would provide an enhanced penalty for those targeted for things like race or religion. However, the Senate will not be able to pick it back up for discussion until session resumes in January.

Neighbors, like DeMuesy, say this bill needs to become law.

“If you’re getting up at 3:00 in the morning just to be disgusting and despicable,” Demuesy said. “...So, if there’s no penalty for doing something like that, then it could potentially keep happening.”

Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie posted to X on Tuesday afternoon:

There is no place for hate in our community. To whoever distributed the vulgar, antisemitic flyers overnight (at the time of Yom Kippur, no less) in our community, you failed. We are responding with love and concern for those you targeted and with disgust for your kind of hatred.

Shelton says it’s time for lawmakers in South Carolina to change.

“The South has a bad enough stigma for being racist and terrible,” Shelton said. “Why don’t we prove them wrong with our southern hospitality and show that we will not stand for that?”

DeMuesy says it’s been heartwarming to see his community come together and agree that this behavior isn’t tolerable.

“I want the people to be held accountable, but I want the people who are here, who live here every day, to understand that we, as far as I’m concerned, this is a community that has their back and that doesn’t stand for anything like that,” DeMuesy said.

Some of the neighbors who received these flyers have filed reports to the Mount Pleasant Police Department. The department says they will not provide a comment because it’s still an active investigation. Once the department knows more, officials say they will update the public.

Neighbors are encouraging those who received flyers to contact the Mount Pleasant Police Department at 843-743-7200 or file a report under their Public Safety Citizens Service Portal.

The communities also encourage those to file a report with the Anti-Defamation League so incidents like this cannot happen again.