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Ku Klux Klan recruiting efforts reach Lawrence County

WATERLOO — Fliers and cards encouraging people to join the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan have been found in parts of Lawrence County.

“I hope everyone else is as disgusted by this as I am,” Melissa Stewart, who lives in the Symmes Valley area and found a flier tacked to a tree at the end of her gravel road, said.

The flier advertises two phone numbers, one for the KKK’s headquarters in Pelham, N.C., and another for the secret society’s “Virginia hotline.” A website, kkkknights.com is listed above the group’s slogan, “Save our land, join the Klan.”

Aside from random trees and telephone poles, fliers and cards were also posted or placed where a congregation of people would be, such as Dickess Market in Kitts Hill and the Waterloo Post Office.

A Sept. 2 article posted on CNN.com detailed the KKK’s nationwide recruiting efforts. According to the article, the same fliers that have appeared in Lawrence County have appeared in dozens of U.S. cities for the past six months. The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates there are between 5,000 and 8,000 Klan members nationwide and the Loyal White Knights have begun a major recruiting effort after the shooting and subsequent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, according to the article.

“We found little cards with a phone number on them on our shelves throughout the store,” Barbara Dickess, owner of Dickess Market, said. “We found three or four in all. Someone must have placed them on our shelves then just left. It’s so surprising because we never see anything like this around here.”

Dickess said one of her vendors said he saw the same fliers at a store in Gallipolis and she has no idea who left the cards.

Postmaster at the Waterloo Post Office Shawna Myers said she was made aware of the flyers when she arrived at work on Monday.

“Someone had stuck them in the lobby over the weekend,” Myers said. “A customer came in and brought it to my attention. She was very upset about it. I have no clue who put them there or why.”

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said the fliers, while not illegal, are still a cause for concern.

“There’s no law being broken because it’s free speech,” he said. “There is also a hate crime element involved and we are looking into it for sure.”

A Google search revealed situations similar to Lawrence County’s taking place in New York, California and South Carolina.