Hate speech found in Augusta County less than a week after KKK fliers
Neighbors living on Sangers Lane in Augusta County woke up to swastikas spray-painted on a bridge not far from their homes. There was spray paint there previously, which they had gotten used to, but swastikas and other hateful messages appeared overnight, and neighbors found them on Sunday morning.
Daniel Shifflett, a neighbor in the area, says it is a quiet, rural area, and neighbors were shocked to find such outright expressions of hate emblazoning their road.
"They're wondering why it's happening here, you know, and not somewhere where more people would see it. It's just kind of a rural area, so it just shocked people, because no one would ever really expect it here," said Shifflett.
Deputies with the Augusta County Sheriff's Office responded to calls about the paint, but say they have no leads on who did it.
Shifflett did say they have a neighborhood watch in the area, and plan to increase measures for it after this.
This incident comes less than a week after people in cities and towns throughout the Shenandoah Valley
on their cars.
Those were found primarily in more populated areas, however, like Staunton, Waynesboro, and Winchester.
"If people are going around putting these things on cars, who's to say they won't jump out at you and try to force you to take something or scream out ugly things at you or even throw things at you?" asked Nikkie McCoy, a Waynesboro resident, after the fliers were found.
In response, a former hate group member in the Valley spoke out against what he saw as growing concerns about racial hatred in the area.
"If they've got the ability to go out and do that, and preach about hate, why can't we get out there and preach about peace?"
While the fliers did not constitute a crime, since leaving literature on vehicles parked in public areas is legal, the spray painting of a public roadway would be considered vandalism.