Parents in one Virginia neighborhood were outraged on Sunday after their annual Easter egg hunt tradition was upset by white supremacists who had secretly hidden eggs with racist messages for the children to find.
West End parents Brandon and Jackie Smith told WRIC that they discovered the offensive eggs while having an Easter Egg hunt with their 3-year-old son on Sunday afternoon.
"My husband noticed the last Easter egg and I knew it wasn't one that we put out," Jackie Smith recalled. "We opened it and it's got the white supremacist stuff in it.”
Other neighbors also found hate-filled eggs in their yard with messages that said "Diversity = White Genocide" and “Mass immigration and forced assimilation of non-whites into our lands is genocide."
The notes pointed to the websites WhiteManMarch.com and WhiteGenocideProject.com, a reference to a so-called "worldwide" protest in March that reportedly ended with a very small turnout.
“We don't want other kids around here who can read being like, 'Hey mommy what's the million man white march or what's the genocide project?' Most of us don't want to explain genocide to our 6-year-olds,” Jackie Smith explained.
Brandon Smith said it was "disturbing" to think that his child could find racist messages so close to home.
"It’s something he may find and have questions about that not necessarily at his age," he remarked. "I want to explain to him. That there are people in this world who don't think everyone is equal."
Police in Henrico have launched an investigation to see if anyone associated with the websites is responsible for planting the eggs.
"You can hit the whole world with the Internet, stay out of my yard," Jackie Smith warned.
Update: The Southern Poverty Law Center's David Neiwert pointed out that the idea for putting racist messages in Easter eggs originated with White Man's March founder Kyle Hunt, who insisted that he was not targeting children.
"[T]hat overlooks the fact that Easter eggs are in fact targeted to children," Neiwert observed.
Watch the video below from WRIC, broadcast April 20, 2014.
[Two boys in the park, having fun with colored eggs for Easter via Shutterstock.com]