Antisemitic sign removed from pedestrian walkway to Charlotte Motor Speedway

Jeff Siner/jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

A sign bearing an antisemitic message was removed from a pedestrian bridge in Concord after law enforcement was alerted to it Saturday.

Blake Holler told The Charlotte Observer he was driving down Highway 29 midday Saturday when he saw what “looked like a homemade banner” hanging from the pedestrian walkway over the road leading to the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The banner, Holler and police say, said “No Zionists in Local Government.”

“It’s disturbing. Obviously, it’s anti-Jewish,” Holler said. “We really don’t have any place for that in our society.”

Holler called 911 about the sign and was directed to the Concord Police Department, he said.

Concord Police spokeswoman Lindsay Mason confirmed officers took action about the sign Saturday.

“A Concord PD patrol sergeant notified the Speedway of the sign and the Speedway then took it down,” she said.

Holler said the bottom of the sign also said “North Carolina Patriot Front.”

The Patriot Front is classified as a white supremacist group by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. The group “broke off from Vanguard America in the aftermath of the deadly ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia” in 2017, and the group has a presence in North Carolina, according to the SPLC.

“PF’s activism typically consists of anonymously posting flyers, dropping banners off buildings or overpasses or performing miscellaneous acts of public service such as park cleanups,” the SPLC says.

The ADL defines Zionism as “the movement for the self-determination and statehood for the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland, the land of Israel.”

Patriot Front members have in years past “demonstrated outside AIPAC offices and Israeli consulates in New York, Chicago, Houston, and Boston ‘in support of national sovereignty, and in opposition to Zionist influence,’” the ADL says.

The appearance of the sign and its removal happened around one week before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, designed by the United Nations, recognized on January 27.