Illustration for article titled Virginia Newspaper Runs KKK Flyer on Its Front Page. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?
Photo: William Thomas Cain (Getty Images)

This has been said before, but it is worth repeating: To those allies who want to expose racism in 2018, think first about your tactics before you pat yourself on the back. To not even consider how the “big reveal” might affect those who experience racism the most (like the time the New York Daily News splayed a dead Alton Sterling on its cover to highlight police violence) is in itself … kinda racist.


And for the more conspiracy-minded among us, it may be an indication that, once again, wypipo are trying to be “funny” (like having Trumpettes Diamond and Silk testify before Congress).

On Thursday, one Virginia newspaper, the Westmoreland News, supposedly trying to do the right thing, ran a full-throated recruitment ad for the Ku Klux Klan on its front page, complete with disgusting things the “Negro” should “apologize for” and the telephone number to a national KKK hotline.


The newspaper reported that KKK recruitment flyers and DVDs were starting to surface in the small town of Colonial Beach, Va. The Westmoreland News also noted that the anti-black ads were placed in plastic baggies on lawns, beginning in the middle of April.

Black residents, who make up only about 15 percent of the town’s population of about 5,200, were not really feeling the reportage.

“They posted the whole flyer as if they were giving them free advertising,” Colonial Beach resident Betty Tate Thompson told WTVR-TV. “It even had the number on [the] flyer to contact the head of the KKK. Which I thought was totally ridiculous.”


Colonial Beach Police Chief Danny Plott, who alerted the paper about the flyers, told the station that he spoke to the editor of the paper, Brittlynn Powell, who “explained that she wanted to put it in to show people that those of us in Colonial Beach who may think there’s not racism … I think she didn’t expect for this to blow up the way it did,” Plott said.

Newsweek reports that there are calls for boycotts on the paper’s official Facebook page, saying that the story was essentially free advertising for the murderous hate group.


To sum it all up: “Colonizers! The road to hell … ” Well, you know the rest.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Deputy Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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