KKK Flyers In Bell Bring Back Memories Of Racism
BELL - It was revealed today that two police officers in Lake County have been fired for having ties to the Ku Klux Klan. Now Gilchrist County residents are finding KKK related flyers near their mailboxes. And while they may just look like a piece of paper, the meaning behind them has many upset.
One organization with a strong message and plenty of history is trying to make a point by leaving these flyers on people's doorstep. We talked to some residents here in gilchrist county who are astonished about the findings.
Carol Sessler has volunteered with the Bell Library for the last 8 years. The library runs on donations and allows her to really be involved within the community. But in all her years here, she hasn't witnessed something like this. "I was shocked that this going on even today," Sessler said.
These flyers by the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan have been circulating around the Northwest area of Gilchrist County. "I can't believe it's alive and well, I thought it was basically over," Sessler added.
Seeing the flyer made Sessler remember what Florida was like in the late 50's. Sessler recalls, "And they would be so segregated. The water fountains for white people, water fountains for black people and they didn't use the word black people. I will not dignify the word that they used," Sessler added.
According to the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, they've had a few calls about these types of flyers however leaving them near people's mailboxes isn't illegal, due to freedom of speech.
Jeff Manning the spokesperson for the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office said, "Right now there's nothing illegal with the flyers. It could be considered to some littering if they did not want that information on their property."
While the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Frank Ancona the president of the organization says that on the contrary, they are community oriented and just interested in maintaining their heritage pure.
"Not one of our members has ever committed a hate crime against anybody of any other race. None of our flyers use racial slurs against other people. We're not being derogatory towards people of other races," Ancona said.
The organization is based out of Missouri but they have Klans all across the country. Including eight in Florida. "They've taken the acts of a few Klans that have done bad acts in the past and they've pushed those images and those stories over and over. Organizations like the NAACP the Southern Poverty Law Center use those instances in favor of their organizations… they have to have somebody to demonize," Ancona said.
if you have any concerns or find any of these flyers on your doorstep you can report it to the Gilchrist County Sheriffs Office.
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