COLORADO SPRINGS — Anti-semitism has been on the rise around the nation in recent weeks and several cities have reported incidents of homes receiving antisemitic flyers on their doorstep. As of Tuesday morning, Colorado Springs has been added to the list.
Art Cooper, a resident of the targeted neighborhood, said his wife found multiple flyers near their garage and in front of a free library they had set up in their yard. Cooper said he doesn't know anyone in the neighborhood to be Jewish, but as a veteran, he was shocked to find the antisemitic rhetoric in his own neighborhood.
"Something like this when it's in your neighborhood, in your front yard, it destroys your worldview. If somebody can go to this much effort in our little neighborhood then can you imagine what they're doing in other places? That's the sad part of it," Cooper said.
He said some other residents in the neighborhood are veterans as well, and all had the same reaction to the flyers. Cooper said the rhetoric has no place in Colorado Springs or the nation.
"Our service was to defend freedom of religion, freedom of really anything. So you know, attacking somebody's sexual preference, religion, color, politics, whatever, infuriates me, because that's not what this country is about. It just isn't period," he said.
Paulette and David Greenberg founded the Greenberg Center in Colorado Springs which leads the discussion of justice and tolerance for many, including the Jewish community. The Greenbergs said the temple they attend has been on high alert ever since the pandemic and the 2019 plot by a 27-year-old white supremacist to attack a Jewish temple in Pueblo.
"Our temples have set up restrictions for people coming in and they're very aware of what's going on. When we go to services, there is a guard there," Paulette said.
The two agree there has been a recent rise in antisemitism across the nation, especially after remarks by Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. Most recently, antisemitic banners were seen over a bridge overpass in Los Angeles on Sunday.
"I don't think it's as explicit and as outgoing and as more obvious than it is right now," said David Greenberg.
The Greenbergs said they received a letter from the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. warning about the rise in antisemitism. However, Paulette said she is grateful residents of the neighborhood are speaking out against the hateful rhetoric.
"That made me feel terrific that somebody would stand up for what was being done that is wrong and shouldn't be done. Especially with somebody who was in the military," she said.
Cooper said he has notified Colorado Springs police about the flyers. Police told him this is the first incident of these specific flyers being handed out in Colorado Springs. Neighbors said they still do not know who is responsible for distributing them.
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