Before Bobby L. Cutts Jr.’s court appearance Monday, fliers were slid underneath windshield wipers of nearby cars and handed out to those walking by. “White ladies beware -- once you go black, you might not come back!” the fliers read.
Before Bobby L. Cutts Jr.’s court appearance Monday, fliers were slid underneath windshield wipers of nearby cars and handed out to those walking by. “White ladies beware -- once you go black, you might not come back!” the fliers read. Six members of the Parma-based branch of the National Alliance, a separatist group that’s based in West Virginia, distributed hundreds of them downtown. With a crush of media and curious citizens on hand for a case that’s drawing national attention, the National Alliance used the opportunity to perform, in the words of the organization’s chairman, Erich Gliebe, a “public service.” Below photos of Cutts, a black Canton police officer, and Jessie M. Davis, the pregnant white woman from Lake Township whom Cutts is accused of murdering, the flier delves into the “dangers” of interracial relationships. Included on the flier is a photo of O.J. Simpson with his arm around Nicole Brown Simpson. The former NFL star was charged but acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and Ron Goldman in a case watched closely by blacks and whites. Not Overly Concerned Moniquec Conner, president of the Canton chapter of the NAACP, isn’t overly concerned about the leaflets and the Cutts’ case stoking racial tension in Canton. “Whoever was writing those fliers and doing that, it’s simply a sign of ignorance,” Conner said. “This is no longer a white county or a black county. We are in this together.” But Conner said, “Considering all the hate fliers and the different things that are going on ... I’m concerned with the additional crime that this could lead to.” “We’ve got to handle this in a mature manner and prevent any kind of racial war,” she said. Whether race is an issue in the Cutts case is a matter of perception. Conner pointed to a situation from Monday’s court hearing. Inside, Cutts’ family was tucked into a back corner while Davis’ family was seated closer to the front. Conner heard some community members speculate that the Cutts family was seated in the back because they are black. Conner didn’t see it that way. “The media took up so much space. ... They were just trying to squeeze people any way they could get (them in), but I know some people were upset about it,” she said. “We need to look at the overall situation and not just focus on one thing: Is this racial or is this not racial?” National Alliance Erich Gliebe, chairman of the National Alliance, said his group’s flier distribution will continue throughout the Cutts trial. Gliebe said Davis “was uneducated to the dangers of interracial relationships,” and in an attempt to reduce what he said is a significant risk to white women, members of his organization will distribute “thousands and thousands” of the fliers in the Canton area “as long as the trial lasts and perhaps even beyond that.” Gliebe said the National Alliance is not a white supremacist group, but they do support “geographical separation” of the races. On the organization’s news Web site -- news for white people, by white people -- the messages are anti-black, anti-Jew and anti-immigration. The group’s efforts before the court hearing “went well,” Gliebe said. “A number of people agreed with the message on the flier,” he said. “If anyone disagreed, they didn’t tell us.” Porter Helping Conner said she hopes community members will dismiss the message on the fliers. It’s her job, she said, to “make sure we don’t end up with a racial war here in Canton.” At this point, she said she doesn’t consider this a black and white issue. “I don’t care how many fliers they take to the courthouse and post around the city,” she said. “We are going to fight against it.” Conner said the way Patty Porter, Davis’ mother, is handling the situation has helped and will prevent Davis’ death from becoming a matter of race. “I feel that if (Porter) was preaching hate, hate, hate, hate, it might become a different issue, but she’s not that kind of a woman,” Conner said. “I don’t see this case creating a racial war. What I do see is outsiders, just foolishness, attempting to create one.” Contact Repository writer Joseph Gartrell at (330) 580-8562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.