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1996-02-25 Michigan: On This Day in History


Today in history: Spread of white supremacist propaganda in Cadillac has many concerned

Chris Lamphere | Cadillac News (Michigan USA) | 25 February 2021

25 February 1996

There's proof at the post office. A mailbox at the U.S. Post Office in Cadillac rented by the Cadillac Church of the Creator shows the white supremacy group is serious about promoting its views in the community, said Cadillac Police Youth Officer Jeff Hawke. "We certainly don't want to create a panic, but we do want to let people know what's going on," Hawke said. "We need to raise the level of awareness."

The post office box is just another piece of evidence members of Team Up say shows the area is on the verge of a youth gang problem.

"We don't have a problem now, but the potential is there," said Dave Monson, president of the concerned citizens group. Anyone writing the post office box receives literature from the Church of the Creator.

Hawke knows because it's circulating among some area youth. "Propaganda is circulating and we have some youth claiming an allegiance," Hawke said. The white supremacist group is different than traditional gangs, which also have shown evidence of existence in Cadillac.

"It's a racial hate-type thing," Hawke said. "Their views are fostered in hate." Particularly hatred toward Jews, some the literature shows.

One of the church’s Sixteen Commandments listed is: "Remember that the inferior colored races are our deadly enemies, and the most dangerous of all is the Jewish race. It is our immediate objective to relentlessly expand the White Race, and keep shrinking our enemies."

Graffiti on several Cadillac businesses boasts of "White Power" spray-painted next to swastikas and other messages of hate. Other literature circulating depicts racial cartoons "provided as a public service" by the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan chapter in Waters.

Hawke, Monson and Team Up coordinator George Corliss are heading a group of parents, business, law enforcement and school officials, ministers and other concerned citizens in dealing with the issue.

Today in history: School policy, forum target gangs, violence

Chris Lamphere | Cadillac News (Michigan USA) | 2 March 2021

2 March 1996

Some groups might envy so much media coverage of a problem they brought to the public's attention. But Team Up Cadillac Area hopes area parents remember the real purposes of a forum next week on gangs and violence. "We're trying to help parents become aware," said Dave Monson of Team Up. "We're not trying to have a media event here." A flurry of media coverage, including a recent article in the Detroit Free Press, has focused attention on would-be gang members in the Cadillac area. The Free Press article was apparently inspired by a Cadillac High School student newspaper interview with a self-proclaimed skinhead student. Skinheads shave their heads and are often falsely identified with white supremacist groups like the Church of the Creator, a group that until recently rented a post office box in Cadillac.

Cadillac police said criminal youth gangs from the Saginaw area have also been trying to recruit Cadillac-area youth, and graffiti around town are just one sign of their activity. Parents' help is needed to prevent these gangs from becoming established in Cadillac, Monson said. That is a main purpose of the forum. The first step is to increase parents' awareness, he said. For instance, Holland-area probate court officials Sandi Metcalf told a recent Team Up meeting how violent drug-dealing gangs became firmly established there in just a few years. Some parents there were shocked when police showed up at their door to question their sons or daughters about gang activities. They never realized that their youngsters wore certain colors and style of clothing to identify themselves as gang members.


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