White power group recruits in Vance

Sheriff’s office investigating propaganda fliers
Jul. 17, 2014 @ 02:54 PM

The Ku Klux Klan is targeting certain areas of Vance County for recruitment.

Two incidents of ethnic intimidation were reported to the Vance County Sheriff’s Office on Monday on Poplar Creek and Glebe roads. Officers said they are investigating for local links to the secretive society originally started after the Civil War to assert white supremacy, often using violence.

Shirley Wilkerson, of 1135 Poplar Creek Road, said the KKK fliers she found on her lot were inside plastic bags with rice.

“I just called the sheriff because I didn’t know if there was anything dangerous with the rice,” she said. “It doesn’t upset me. I just wanted to see what was going on.”

Crystal, who requested The Dispatch not use her last name, said she got a flier on her Hicksboro Road property in April and then again about two weeks after that.

More fliers were dropped off in her subdivision July 13.

“We have a lot of African-Americans that moved into the community, and my kids are friends with most of them,” she said. “These fliers are trying to intimidate people.”

One flier reads, “Save our land, Join the Klan.”

The Loyal White Knights of the KKK is listed as responsible for the propaganda.

Another flier states, “Support the white revolution” and includes a phone number for the Klan hotline.

When The Dispatch called the hotline, a message plays promoting white supremacy, condemning illegal immigrants and connecting immigrants to leprosy and tuberculosis.

Maj. Joseph Ferguson of the Vance County Sheriff’s Office said there is an ongoing investigation into the matter.

“We are currently in the process of determining who is distributing these materials,” he said.

Though the KKK has been distributing propaganda recently, Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center said the group has seen decline in its numbers in local chapters — which are called klaverns.

“We don’t see any evidence that the Klan is growing, even in a small way,” said Potok, who is a senior fellow at the SPLC.

In 2010, there were 221 klaverns in the United States, and by 2013 that dropped to 163, Potok said.

He said there are roughly 4,000-6,000 active KKK members in the country — compared to about 40,000 during the 1960s and 4 million in the mid-1920s.

“The Klan is nothing like what is was in the 1960s,” he said.

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.