ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – In a North Arlington neighborhood peppered with divisive, anti-immigrant fliers, a united neighborhood responds: your nonsense is not wanted here.
“It’s terrible,” exclaimed a furious Jack Whitten, while pulling weeds from a landscape bed, “just terrible.” Whitten says he wishes he could discard the bigotry behind such messages with equal ease.
“It’s just a really great neighborhood to live in and where this nonsense… where this horrible thing came from, I don’t know. It really upset me when I walked out to my mailbox and saw it on the ground. [There’s ] no place for it here! None. Absolutely none!”
In the neighborhood of manicured homes just North of I-30 and Cooper, George Gomez placed an American flag in its front door perch. And he couldn’t stop the tears that fell.
“I’ve been shot at for that flag,” recalled the Vietnam Veteran and native born American. “They killed some of my friends. Yes, that disturbs me. They’re animals. Those are animals…people that do that kind of thing, they’re disrupting this country and we need to get them out.”
We will not name the white supremacist group whose name appears on the fliers, as attention is often the goal. But, homeowners like Gomez say they will not be frightened, either.
“It’s not going to intimidate me, it’s not going to intimate the people that are in love with this country and the values that the country has.. we’re not going to go away. We are going to stay and fight the racism.”
The fliers also urged homeowners to report illegal immigrants to immigration authorities.
Neighbors like Richard Centner say the fliers represent a disturbing trend. “I’d just like to see people talking to each other rather past each other on this issue as well as on many others,” says Centner. “Perfectly fine to stand up for what you believe it, but it ought to be done in a civil way.”
Gomez, who was born in the US, says he’s lived in the Arlington neighborhood for more than 40 years and can’t imagine why the quiet, tidy area was targeted.
But, someone apparently worked hard to distribute the divisive messages: the full color fliers were enclosed in plastic sandwich bags and weighed down with small rocks to make them easier to throw. Now Gomez has a message of his own:
“They’re the ones that need to get out of the country,” says Gomez, “not us.”