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KKK recruitment fliers found in Arkansas preach "white power"

About 300 fliers weighted down with rocks were tossed in Boone County yards

November 02, 2012|Mary Moloney and Aaron Davis | KSPR News Reporter, Photojournalist

HARRISON, Ark. -- "White pride. White power." That is the message hundreds of people in Boone County Arkansas found on their front lawns.

The propaganda came from the Imperial White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization attempting to recruit new members. The fliers depicted a hooded Klansman and were placed in plastic bags that were weighted down with rocks. Similar fliers were found in Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Indiana.

A representative of another KKK group based near Harrison said the fliers are a way to spread pride for a Christian based organization. Others denounced the fliers as a message of hate.

"This country was founded as a homeland for white people, we view," explained Thomas Robb, the national director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan that is headquartered in northern Arkansas. "We believe there's nothing wrong with white people loving white people. We are concerned about our heritage and concerned about our culture and about our children."

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There is concern about the stigma of the KKK. Racial tensions, cross burnings, and hooded meetings are some of the many images associated with the group. Jeff Crockett, Harrison's Mayor, said he and the police chief had meetings about the fliers and about the message.

"It was just another way for the Klan to rear its head and associate itself with Harrison, Arkansas again," explained Crockett. "We've been trying to distance ourselves from Harrison as being home to the Klan."

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a national civil rights organization, Missouri and Arkansas are home to 52 hate groups. Robb's group is listed as one of the hate groups. He disagreed with the distinction.

"I love my people more. I love my heritage more. But that doesn't mean I hate anybody. I don't have any hatred towards minorities. I really don't. But I'm not going to say my best friend is a black man. I'm not going to say that," said Robb firmly. "If you are a white, Christian, American, you have nothing to fear from the Klan. If you are a non-white American, you have nothing to fear either."

That is not good enough for Crockett who said he didn't subscribe to the "kinder, gentler, Klan" Robb preached about.

"We welcome anybody. Any race, creed, or color," he said. "Harrison will not tolerate hate."

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