Racist images found at democratic headquarters in Bennington

BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) – Tuesday morning, an envelope containing racist political images were found slipped under the door of the Democratic Headquarters in Bennington.

The four images may be offensive to some.

Community members shook their heads when they were shown the images. They said it’s not necessary.

“It does concern me if they are local because, as I say, I find the people here very friendly and open,” Phil Lewis said. “I’m just surprised it’s perhaps a little disappointing if it is a local.”

One image shows Donald Trump in front of a U.S. flag that says ‘Trump 2016.’ Two images depict the cartoon frog Pepe acting as a Jewish man smiling and standing in front of the burning World Trade Center.

The final image is of Pepe depicted as Trump standing across from characters that reflect Mexican and Muslim stereotypes. They are standing behind a ‘U.S. Border’ fence while an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin putting on a facial expression of approval with the caption, ‘This Trump guy, I like him.’

Nathan Stone lives in Bennington.

“If that starts at the headquarters, where is it going to go from there,” he wondered. “Especially if it’s somebody disagreeing with our opinion openly. Who’s to say these people aren’t radicals?”

The Vermont Democratic Party said it cannot speculate if it’s a local person, but it is a possibility.

“Because they were hand delivered and not in the mail,” Christina Amestoy, Communications Director of the Vermont Democratic Party, said. “It does feel like it’s an attack coming from within the community, which I think saddens us even more.”

To add to the outrage, it’s not the first time a similar incident has taken place. Images of the Ku Klux Klan were mailed to the headquarters a few weeks ago from an out-of-state address.

“Shock, outrage, and saddened,” Amestoy said. “We’ve heard a lot of racism, a lot of hate filled speech throughout this entire election season, and so it’s sad to know that Vermont isn’t immune from that.”

Bennington police have been notified of the incident. The investigation is being handled by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont.

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