Virginia newspaper prints ‘KKK recruitment flyer’
The story details a recruitment campaign by a group calling themselves “Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan”, which saw the group drop flyers and DVDs on front lawns in Colonial Beach, Virginia, two weeks ago.
The Westmoreland News reprinted one of the flyers alongside the article, a move that outraged readers. They said the page’s design looks like an advertisement for the KKK.
The flyer bears the KKK’s cross emblem and the image of a hooded Klansman on horseback. The text is a lengthy diatribe against African Americans and Jews.
Westmoreland News in Virginia ( @TheWN ) featured this #racist ad on their front page today. In 2018. In America.— Jennifer Knecht (@_jenniferknecht) 26 апреля 2018 г.
This is unacceptable and should enrage every decent human. #racists#racism#WhiteSupremacy#FightRacismpic.twitter.com/vBTZ7BzThw
In response, locals flooded the Westmoreland News’ Facebook page with negative reviews, calling the paper “sickening,”“heartbreaking,” and “ignorance at its finest.”
“This story could have been told without promoting these lunatics,” read one comment. “Them and any other racially biased hate group have no business on the front page of any paper. Or any page for that matter. It is utterly ridiculous that you would print something like this without thinking of the repercussions.”
The flyer was given to the Westmoreland News by Colonial Beach Police Chief Danny Plott, to help with research for the story, but Plott never expected the newspaper to actually publish it.
"It bothers me to think that kids would read that stuff and while it didn't incite anyone to violence, some of the statements in there were just disgusting," Plott told CBS.
The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was formed in 2012, and sees itself as a modern incarnation of the infamous KKK. Its members wear the traditional robes and hoods of the Klan and take part in the same ritualistic gatherings and cross-burnings.
Some members of the group participated in last year’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In the weeks before the rally, the group’s leader, “Imperial Wizard” Chris Barker, was interviewed by Hispanic journalist Ilia Calderón.
During the interview, Barker claimed that he was not a racist, but referred to Calderón as “a n****r” and told her “we’re going to burn you out.”