Several months after a white supremacist order called The Patriot Front posted stickers in Columbia County, a similar entity has emerged from the shadows.
“White Lives Matter” stickers were found in Hudson, Stockport and Valatie over the weekend.
White Lives Matter is a phrase that originated in early 2015 as a white supremacist rebuke to the Black Lives Matter movement, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Local activist Michael Richardson thinks the objective of White Lives Matter is the same as that of The Patriot Front.
“Speculating about what’s going on, is it one person? Is it two people? It’s hard to say,” Richardson said Monday. “Knowing that there were three stickers put up, in three very different places, suggests that somebody is putting stickers out there trying to recruit.”
The sticker found in Hudson was reported to Hate Watch Report, an online tool used for disseminating and receiving news about hate or extremist groups. A local resident found the sticker affixed to a bench at the boat launch parking lot in Hudson.
Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson saw a White Lives Matter sticker in Valatie affixed to a gas tank. Johnson said he was disappointed to see the sticker and what it stands for. The third sticker was discovered in the brickyard in Stockport.
White Lives Matter is decentralized and anonymous — a mystery that makes it even more threatening. The stickers bear web addresses for a White Lives Matter site, which contains video clips of stickers being posted.
“So far, there have been over 25 rallies, 100 banner drops as well as over 1,000,000 stickers being put up in our first eight months of activity,” according to a post on the site, ending with this ominous declaration: “We look forward to increasing this tenfold in 2022.”
Warnings about The Patriot Front and White Lives Matter should be coming with speed and urgency from our elected leaders. At some point, disappointment must turn to denunciation to stop these phantom-like “recruiters” from sweeping across the county.