Neo-Nazis Say They’ll Infiltrate Philly on Election Day

City officials struck back at the ridiculous claims: “We're not afraid of Nazis or Klansmen,” Mayor Kenney said.

Neo-nazi flags

File photo of neo-Nazi protest by David (license)

In an apparent attempt to suppress turnout in Philadelphia, neo-Nazi groups have told Politico that they are planning disruptive activities in the city’s African-American neighborhoods on Election Day.

Let’s put it out here: Their plans are nonsense. They vary from giving out alcohol and marijuana to distract people from voting to filming polling places in an attempt to find voter fraud to just watching the polls. Neo-Nazi leader Andrew Anglin said he has actually has hidden cameras in Philadelphia polling places that will watch the polls.

All of this is, almost certainly, bunk. The white supremacists who spoke to Politico are prone to serial exaggeration, says the Southern Poverty Law Center, and their claims betray a hilarious unfamiliarity with any actual reality on the ground in Philadelphia. Far from a real operation, it’s merely classic racist internet trolling to rile up people about supposed voter fraud with the hope of scaring away Hillary Clinton voters.

Check out their description of Philadelphia schools: “Many polling locations are in schools, and black schools are so disorderly that pretty much any official-looking white person with a clipboard can gain access to them ahead of time and set up a hidden camera,” a representative of neo-Nazi website TheRightStuff.Biz told Politico. “You don’t really ever even have to speak with an adult. Simply walk in like you belong there and no one even asks you why you are there. So we usually go in teams of two, one person driving and one person dressed as a blue-collar worker with a clipboard, and we set up a hidden camera in the school cafeteria. Go during lunchtime and the teachers are all so busy trying to contain the kids that no one says anything. We already have a few set up.”

It may go without saying, but: This is not how security at Philadelphia schools works. It appears that this white supremacist got his information about schools from the Jon Lovitz film High School High. Schools in Philadelphia have extensive security measures. People are not able to just walk into Philadelphia schools without being noticed. There are security guards. There are metal detectors.

It’s true that the schools are not fortresses — students have, in the past, propped doors open in order to go to a convenience store and come back, or sometimes to let friends into the building — but it’s going to be hard for fake blue-collar workers to get into a Philadelphia school since 1), they don’t have friends inside and 2), they just told their supposed plan to everyone.

In addition to their laughable hidden camera scheme, neo-Nazis also told Politico they plan to “have some teams going into the ghettos in Philly with 40s and weed to give out to the local residents, which we think will lead to more of them staying home.” They claimed to have success with this strategy in the past, but do not offer any proof of this (obviously).

Philadelphia officials are nonetheless on alert. This morning, district attorney Seth Williams announced an election fraud task force.

“The coverage of this upcoming election is unlike anything we have seen before, not to mention the fact that one of the nominees for president has been making false allegations about the integrity of Philadelphia’s elections for weeks now, but we are ready,” Williams said. “The Election Fraud Task Force is ready to respond to whatever happens on November 8th, and I want to make sure each and every Philadelphian who has a concern or is experiencing difficulty casting their ballot calls us.”

Williams told Billy Penn he hadn’t heard of the neo-Nazis’ supposed plans, but the city would be ready for whatever happened. “We welcome people to come see our election process and see how it runs,” Williams told the site. But “we hope that no one will come to Philadelphia to intimidate voters.”

Mayor Jim Kenney, too, hadn’t read the story. But he dismissed any stories of white supremacists coming to Philadelphia. “I’m not worried,” he told Philadelphia magazine. “There’s not enough of them, and they’re not going to stop us from voting. Those are crazy claims that people say in order to suppress the vote, and we’re not afraid of Nazis or Klansmen.”