Chelsea Leaders and Community Condemn Antisemitic Flyers
On the night of October 14, hateful, antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ, anti-feminist propaganda was left in driveways and yards in the Lanewood neighborhood of Chelsea.
One Chelsea resident voiced her concern over the incident to the Chelsea City Council at its Monday, Oct. 16th meeting. She summarized her comments for the Sun Times News, saying, “I was disappointed to hear about the flyers dropped in Lanewood. I am very happy the police are looking into this. This is a hate crime, so my hope is the FBI has been contacted. We don’t need to like or agree, but I hope we can be civil with each other.”
Later in his report to the council, Police Chief Kazyak confirmed that the distribution of the flyers is an active investigation and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, and FBI have been engaged.
Chelsea City Manager Marty Colburn uncharacteristically took time to respond to Monday night’s public comment. Mr. Colburn stated that international incidents sometimes impact local actions, but laws are in place to protect people from bad or unfair behavior.
“So, the real message here is to be civil to one another, to care for one another,” said Colburn. “The Michigan Municipal League had a president, Ms. Morris. I believe it was in 2019, and was right as the Black Lives Matter issue was really growing strong. She ran for and was selected as the Michigan Municipal League President for that year. She was also African American, and I really appreciated the message that she said loud and clear time and time again, and that is love. Love each other. Peace. Take care of your neighbors. That's what it's about in terms of the local level of government, to truly care for one another and look out for your neighbor.”
Other Chelsea groups and residents have united in their condemnation of the flyers in the following statement:
“This weekend ugly anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ flyers were distributed in parts of Chelsea. In response, community organizations, congregations and citizens have issued the following statement:
“We, the undersigned, come together today to strongly condemn the recent acts of hatred and discrimination that have targeted our Jewish and LGBTQ+ neighbors. Flyers of vile, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda were distributed this weekend here in town. It is with heavy hearts that we address the rise of anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ+ incidents within and around our community, and indeed across our country, acts that stand in direct contradiction to the values of love, respect, and inclusivity that we hold dear. This incident is a stark reminder that hatred and bigotry persist, even in places where we strive for acceptance and understanding.
“In Chelsea, we take pride in our diverse community, where people of all backgrounds, faiths, and orientations live together in harmony. The strength of our community lies in our unity and our shared commitment to fostering an environment of love, compassion, and mutual respect. Acts of discrimination, prejudice, and hate not only harm those directly affected but also tarnish the very fabric of our community.
“We call upon all residents of Chelsea and our surrounding community to join us in denouncing these recent acts and to stand together in solidarity with our Jewish and LGBTQ+ community members. Together, we can and will overcome these divisive forces. Let our unity be a beacon of hope and a testament to the strength of our community. Chelsea, Michigan will continue to stand as a place of love and acceptance, where all are welcomed and celebrated.
“Equality Chelsea, One World One Family, St. Paul United Church of Christ, First United Methodist Church of Chelsea, and numerous Chelsea citizens
“Chelsea Police Chief Kevin Kazyak requested any citizens who received these flyers to please call the Police Department at 475-1771. The police department is particularly interested in any details or witnesses to this distribution.