Houston, TX – Claire Tompkins walked out of her home in an affluent neighborhood in the Museum District to grab her mail last Thursday. It didn’t take long for her ordinary day as a retiree to quickly turn to shock and outrage after she and her neighbors found dozens of antisemitic pamphlets littered across their yards, sidewalks and driveways.
“I thought it was rubbish that blew over, and I picked it up and read it and was just horrified,” Tompkins said. “It was horrifying trash.”
Multiple streets in her small neighborhood, just a few blocks away from Rice University, Hermann Park and Houston’s famous art museums, were hit with the hateful leaflets, she added.
The pamphlets, wrapped in sandwich bags and weighed down by pebbles, were a screed of anti-Jewish hate speech and conspiracy theories that have been on the rise in recent years.
Stephen Fox, a Rice University architecture lecturer who lives nearby, was delivering gifts to his friends in the neighborhood last Thursday when he, too, noticed the pamphlets. Although he didn’t read any of them, he was appalled after hearing about what was inside.
“I was shocked to realize the context,” he said, adding that the pamphlets lined the neighborhood’s streets and sidewalks and that he initially thought they were litter.