City officials are speaking out and police have been alerted after people in a Colleyville neighborhood woke up to anti-Semitic and other racist materials tossed onto lawns over the weekend.
Lynda Harris lives in the Ross Downs neighborhood of Colleyville, a city roughly 20 miles outside of Dallas.
She’s stunned by the hate-filled messages. She said what she’s experienced in the neighborhood over the last 25 years makes this even more hurtful and shocking.
“We have neighbors around us of all ethnic backgrounds and races," she said. "It’s been a wonderful neighborhood."
On Sunday morning, dozens of people woke up to plastic sandwich bags weighed down by rocks. Inside the bags, they found anti-Semitic, anti-Black, white separatist messages.
“I’m really sorry for the person that felt so much hatred in their heart, that they had to distribute a flyer to tell other people about that,” Harris said. “I don’t get it.”
This comes just over a month since members of a Colleyville synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, were taken hostage by a gunman. The synagogue released a statement after hearing of the flyers. The statement reads in part:
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“Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is a reality in the United States and around the world. Each of us has a responsibility to root out hate, and work towards building a community where all belong, and all can thrive.”
Colleyville Mayor Richard Newton also released a statement that says in part:
“I am saddened that individuals chose to bring this intolerance to Colleyville. These viewpoints do not reflect those I find in our community members. Our citizens have consistently chosen to love and support one another, no matter their religious beliefs or heritage.”
Harris said even with this she’s hopeful that an upcoming interfaith community gathering will quell fears and promote peace. She reflected on what she’d like to see moving forward.
“That people will stand together to be a witness against that type of behavior and that type of hatred,” she said. “There’s enough of it already in this world. We don’t need anymore.”
Colleyville Police said they’ve been in touch with the FBI and are investigating the act as a hate crime.
Similar flyers have been reported in Denver, San Francisco, and Miami over the last month. In his statement, Mayor Newton acknowledged that this appears to be a coordinated effort across the country.
Colleyville Police have asked anyone with information or video to call the non-emergency line at 817-743-4522.
On Monday night, Colleyville Ministerial Alliance is hosting an event called "Colleyville Strong: A Celebration of Faith & Community" at the Colleyville Center.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with music and speakers beginning at 7 p.m.
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, one of the people held hostage during last month's attack is expected to speak.
Mayor Newton said he helped organize the Ministerial Alliance after being elected in 2016. The group represents 20 faith groups and meets quarterly.
"Through these relationships everyone knows each other, everyone talks and is actually close friends, " Newton said. "If there is healing needed in the community this is a place where it can start."