114

Antisemitic Propaganda Litters Redding Neighborhoods, Triggers Hate-Crime Investigation

 

A picture of the antisemitic pamphlets left in Redding’s Alder Creek and Hacienda Heights neighborhoods. Photograph by Gail Paulsen

Residents in the east Redding neighborhoods of Alder Creek and Hacienda Heights awoke Monday morning to find that antisemitic pamphlets had been left in their front yards. Residents of the two neighborhoods estimate that the pamphlets started to be dropped off around 11 p.m. on Sunday night. Alder Creek and Hacienda Heights sit between Simpson University and the McConnel Foundation’s Lema Ranch on opposite sides of Shasta View Drive.

Bridgette Jacobsen, a resident of Hacienda Heights contacted by A News Café, praised her neighborhood for being safe and “super peaceful.” Jacobsen is shocked the antisemitic pamphlets were distributed in Hacienda Heights and said “most neighbors are really kind.”

Jacobsen was the first resident to call the Redding Police Department to report the antisemitic literature, doing so late Monday afternoon. The Redding Police issued a news release at 4:30 p.m. saying the police were investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Alder Creek resident and head of the neighborhood watch in the community Gail Paulsen was also contacted by A News Café. She was the first person to share a picture of the antisemitic pamphlet left in her driveway, doing so on the Facebook group page Thought You Should Know – Shasta County. Paulsen has lived in Alder Creek for 17 years. She was shocked to find the antisemitic pamphlets because the neighborhood feels isolated and safe, but not totally surprised considering the far-right politics present in the North State.

Jacobsen and Paulsen are searching to see if anyone has camera footage of the culprits who left the antisemitic literature.

The pamphlets, titled “Every Single Aspect of the Media is Jewish,” include six headshots of media executives. Each are identified as Jewish and each have a blue Star of David superimposed on their foreheads. The pamphlet also lists other media executives identified as Jewish. The antisemitic conspiracy theory that people of Jewish descent are part of some sinister left-wing plot to take over society expressed in the pamphlets by other extremist groups such as QAnon.

Similar pamphlets were distributed earlier this month in Arcata and Scotia in Humboldt County. They have also been distributed in recent years in neighborhoods across the United States.

The dispersal of the pamphlets in Redding comes just a month after California Attorney General Rob Bonta released the 2021 Hate Crime Report that says hate crimes in California increased by 33% from 2020 to 2021. The report also says Anti-Jewish bias events increased by 32% from 2020 to 2021.  

The pamphlets were created by an antisemitic hate group known as the Goyism Defense League. Goyism is a disparaging Yiddish and Hebrew word for non-Jews. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the GDL was responsible for at least 74 anti-Semitic propaganda incidents in 2021.

Here’s what the ADL has to say about the GDL:

GDL’s overarching goal is to cast aspersions on Jews and spread antisemitic myths and conspiracy theories. This includes frequent references to Jews having undue power through their ‘control’ of major institutions such as media networks, the economy or the government, or disparaging Jews as degenerates who molest children and advocate for pornography, abortion and LGBTQ+ communities. GDL maintains that the Holocaust is a Jewish lie, and accounts of the Holocaust are merely propaganda or lies generated by Jews for their own benefit. Similarly, the GDL says that Jews were responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York and Israel intentionally targeted a U.S. warship during the height of the 1967 Six-Day War.”

The GDL is led by Jon Minadeo II of Petaluma, |Calif. Minadeo has been active for several years. After being kicked off of YouTube and other online media platforms in 2020 for expressing hateful messages, Minadeo and Dominic Di Giorgio (also known as Ned Flanders) of Port St Lucie, Florida, launched GoyimTV.

GoyimTV is a video media streaming service that focuses on antisemitic and other far-right extremist content. The antisemitic pamphlets distributed in Alder Creek and Hacienda Heights lists the GoyimTV web address.

The ADL says GoyimTV is popular among white supremacists and that its most active followers are based in California, Colorado, Florida, and New York. The ADL also says that even though Minadeo’s podcasts are filled with racial slurs and neo-Nazi and white supremacist remarks, he says he’s not a white supremacist.

Minadeo refers to COVID-19 as the “Jew flu.” In August of 2020, he drove through Santa Monica yelling at pedestrians wearing protective face masks to “mask shame the sheep.” In December of 2020, GDL members held a banner over a Denver, Colo., overpass which read “COVID-19 IS A LIE. IT’S NOT ABOUT HEALTH. IT’S ABOUT CONTROL.” In October of 2021, GDL members harassed people at a COVID-19 testing site in Austin, Texas and held a banner on an overpass that read “VAX THE JEWS.”

According to the ADL, several members of the GDL were charged with violent crimes between 2020 and 2022. In one instance a Chula Vista man received felony battery charges and an anti-gay hate crime for attacking another man while yelling homophobic slurs.

Antisemitism in the North State

Antisemitism and neo-Nazism surfaces every now and then in the North State. In October of 2021, a Red Bluff teacher went viral on social media for attending a an anti-COVID-19 vaccine and safety mandates protest wearing a homemade Yellow Star of David pinned to her chest. The teacher compared vaccine mandates to the attack on Jews during the Jewish Holocaust.

In November of 2021, Redding police officers arrested a man with giant swastika tattoos on his shoulder and stomach. The man was wanted for multiple felony warrants, including assault with a deadly weapon. In May of 2022, a group of male students at Foothill High School in Palo Cedro reportedly gave the “Heil Hitler” Nazi salute to an ex-girlfriend of one of the boys. School officials reported the matter to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office and quickly disciplined the students who gave the Nazi salute.

And last summer, A News Cafe published a letter from a Jewish man who said the presence and seeming acceptance of neo-Nazi images led him and his family to vow to never visit Shasta County again.

And going back to September of 2000, Redding neighborhoods in the Benton Drive and Loma Street areas were littered with thousands of neo-Nazi fliers.  

There is definitely a Nazi presence here,” said one person in response to the picture of the antisemitic pamphlets distributed in Redding shared on social media. The commenter reminded others that a few years ago members of Identity Europa – a racist far-right hate group – displayed a banner on the Sundial Bridge.

The GDL’s homophobic agenda is also lockstep with beliefs shared on Red, White, and Blueprint’s far-right propaganda podcasts. In one podcast, RW&B co-owner Jon Knight complained that the LGBTQ+ community had an entire month dedicated to them in June while veterans only get one day. “What are we actually celebrating” responded RW&B co-owner Carlos Zapata. Zapata said he knew a lot of gay people who didn’t believe in celebrating gay pride. Zapata referred to the movement for LGBTQ+ rights as a “pedophile-led type of movement”.

Last June, Zapata retweeted a tweet from a group known as Gays Against Groomers that was against what he and others on the far-right refer to as the indoctrination and sexualization of children.

Glad to see there are still gays with a conscience,” said Zapata. “Many of the gays I know are morally sound folks. Good to see them speaking up.”

Zapata simultaneously otherized members of the LGBTQ+ community and painted himself as an extreme homophobe.

Paulsen, the Alder Creek resident contacted by A News Café, said, “The hope I have is that the last election was a positive step to show those anti-democratic, racist, militia members that sanity can raise above their bull”.

By “bull” Paulsen was referring to the recent Shasta County elections in June that resulted in losses for several of the far-right candidates running against more mainstream Republicans for various positions.

Alder Creek and Hacienda Heights, like the rest of Redding and Shasta County, are solidly Republican. In the 2020 presidential election, 65% of the population in the precinct encompassing the two neighborhoods voted for Donald Trump.

The dispersal of the antisemitic pamphlets in these two neighborhoods is yet another example of some people’s attempt to push Shasta County’s Republican-majority to the far-right fringes.

###

If you appreciate professor Shawn Schwaller’s reporting and commentary, please consider a contribution to A News Cafe. Thank you! 

Shawn Schwaller

Shawn Schwaller grew up in Red Bluff, California. He is an assistant professor in the History Department at California State University, Chico and holds a Ph.D. in history and an M.A. in American studies. Schwaller specializes in North State stories about law-enforcement corruption and far-right politics. He can be reached at sschwaller@csuchico.edu and welcomes your story tips.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
114 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments