A KKK recruiting drive is in effect. The national chapter of the Ku Klux Klan is conducting a membership drive in Red and Blue states at a time when race relations and immigration are hot-button topics in America.
The Klan, recognized as the oldest hate group in the United States, is fast at work trying to attract more like-minded people who support its extremist agenda.
Residents of Hampton Bays, New York, were left shocked, angered, and fearful when they found recruiting pamphlets tucked underneath their doors and candles on their stoops with the logo of The Loyal White Knights, a Klan group based in the south, according to a CBS Local report.
The irony is the KKK, a white supremacist group that has a disturbing history of shunning blacks, Jews, gays, lesbians and Catholics, is leaving its recruiting literature in a town that doesn’t fit its membership makeup — all white.
In the early days of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s, Ku Klux members used white sheets and burning crosses to strike fear in the hearts of the black community. Lynchings by hanging, property damage, and brutal murders were methods used as part of domestic terrorism.
So, when residents of the Long Island community discovered KKK recruiting brochures at their homes, it took them totally by surprise. Case in point: Londoño, a construction worker and member of the community for three decades, received the Klan pamphlets, but he clearly does not qualify for membership.
“I’m Colombian and dark-skinned.”
The community comprises roughly 13,000 residents, of which one-third are Hispanic. Others, based on the feedback, don’t support bigotry and issues relating to bias against a person or group of people on any level.
Sister Mary Beth Moore, a resident in the close community, weighed in on the Klan’s marketing blitz.
“These people came in the middle of the night. We know somebody heard their dogs barking at midnight. These are people who are not honorable enough to share their point of view in the daylight. And we hope they go back to North Carolina, where their horrible little pamphlets came from.”
Some residents were so alarmed by the KKK’s recruiting efforts that they called police. However, the response they received from the Suffolk County Police Department’s bias crimes unit was not all that surprising, considering the protections afforded Americans under the U.S. Constitution.
“No charges at this time. Right now, it’s relating to freedom of speech. We have referred the incident to,” said Sgt. Susan Ralph.
The Ku Klux Klan’s national office in North Carolina claims to have less than 10,000 members nationwide, but many question that number, and believe the numbers are much larger. Moreover, there is evidence secret societies are growing, some cropping up in historically race-neutral communities.
Efforts by the group appear to be part of a larger effort, and many claim the Klan is merely trying to capitalize on a number of social issues that would-be candidates for the 2016 elections will have to contend with at one point during their campaigns.
Recently, the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, and the ongoing controversy surrounding the absence of a comprehensive immigration bill have made headlines. Issues of race and paths to citizenship continue to dog legislatures, and won’t go away any time soon.
It’s unknown if the KKK recruiting efforts — from New York to Texas will fizzle out or will take root and force to the surface matters that have only served to divide a nation of immigrants in the past.
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