Residents from the Magnolia Park neighborhood in Burbank, located in Los Angeles County, were shocked to find white supremacist pamphlets left on their driveways. The pamphlets were branded with the logo of a nationwide neo-Nazi collective known as White Lives Matter. Inside, they contained white supremacist conspiracy theories such as the “White genocide” myth and fear-mongering about “Critical Race Theory.”
White Lives Matter is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Residents, especially those of color, say they feel upset and targeted upon spotting the racist literature near their homes. A Twitter user who documents local instances of hate who goes by “Bigots of Burbank” posted a photo of one of the pamphlets on Twitter.
I spoke to them about the incident, and they told me, “Magnolia Park is the same neighborhood as the Tinhorn Flats debacle. So I'm not surprised.” Tinhorn Flats was a popular conservative restaurant that defied the COVID-19 lockdown order and became the center piece for a wave of violent far-right extremist rallies.
The White Lives Matter neo-Nazis, on the other hand, have been active across California for some time. In Northern California, the same group held a small rally in Danville, CA. They also harassed locals while distributing more neo-Nazi literature in the area, including to a woman and child.
One of the collective’s first major rallies occurred in Huntington Beach, CA last April. While the neo-Nazis were heavily outnumbered by anti-racist counter protesters, there was open participation from Trump supporters, Proud Boys, brawlers with Nazi tattoos, and even a Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon named William Quigg.
Since then, they have opted for less public affairs, reducing their risk of facing opposition. Nowadays, the White Lives Matter chapter in Southern California focuses on spreading neo-Nazi propaganda via these pamphlets, stickers, or banner drops that feature the infamous white supremacist “14 words” creed. Anti-fascist locals often thwart the neo-Nazi attempts at spreading racist hate.
These actions and demonstrations by the White Lives Matter neo-Nazis adhere to a strict schedule planned out by the national organizers at the start of the year. Once a month, there is a White Lives Matter day of action. The last one was three days ago on September 17, around the time these flyers in Burbank were found. It’s unclear why the Southern California White Lives Matter neo-Nazis went for a more reserved propaganda approach as opposed to their usual banner drops, but the group has been on high alert ever since I published multiple leaks from their private Telegram group chat, including a full account member list. Several of their previously anonymous members have been publicly identified by extremism researchers.
There has also been a spike in more general neo-Nazi activity in California, including multiple neo-Nazi music festivals. Additionally, the White Lives Matter private chat shows that the group has been actively trying to join up with local traditional conservatives and far-right extremists in other direct actions, such as the recent anti-abortion and QAnon rally in Hollywood, CA.
Konstantine Anthony, the Vice Mayor of Burbank, commented on the situation: "the good people of Burbank do not tolerate hate speech of any kind, whether it's a pamphlet or a rally or any law or ordinance written to oppress one person over another. This disgusting show of bigotry will never have a place in our community. Hate has no home here."