Over the weekend, students at Sacramento State University became concerned after a drone dropped flyers with swastikas and anti-media messages on them outside an Ariana Grande concert and on the school’s grounds.
The school’s newspaper, The State Hornet, reported that the flyers said “the press is the enemy” and the media and the government are being “infiltrated” by “prostitutes and felons,” asking “who’s side are you on?” The flyers were reportedly dropped over an annual dinner held at the university as well as outside the Golden 1 Center arena where Grande was performing Friday night. According to Buzzfeed News, the Sacramento Police Department said they were aware of a drone dropping flyers and were investigating the situation.
After the incident, university president Robert S. Nelsen said that he condemns “in the strongest terms the dissemination of hate speech and propaganda.”
“The anonymous act of spreading such vile material is offensive and runs counter to the principles of inclusion and diversity practiced at Sac State,” Nelsen said. “It did not stop the event, nor will it slow our march toward greater understanding and commitment to the rights and safety of our campus community.”
While it was unclear at first where these flyers came from, some of them had “Tracy Mapes ©2018” and “The Red X Society” printed on them. Mapes, a 57-year-old man, is not new to expressing his opinion; according to KCRA, he was arrested in 2017 for a similar incident where he dropped anti-media flyers over NFL games in Oakland and Santa Clara. While he was charged with a misdemeanor, since it is illegal to fly drones over a stadium due to Federal Aviation Administration Guidelines, he was released.
Mapes told Buzzfeed News in an email that the media and government are being run by “felons and prostitutes,” but did not deny dropping the flyers. The same flyers were posted on his Facebook page last month. “The Red X Society” claims to be a “non-associative organization which the only membership requirement is in the participation or direction action in exposing the U.S. Corruption.”