The Rev. Ben Scott, president of the Topeka, Kan., chapter of the NAACP, says that his organization is concerned about Ku Klux Klan activity in the city, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.
That concern stems from the news that residents in several neighborhoods woke up June 15 to find fliers on their property, apparently from the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, an associated group of the KKK that’s believed to be active in Alabama and Missouri.
One flier “warns” white people about an upsurge of violent crimes by blacks targeting whites, listing six incidents from 2013. It also highlights neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman’s deadly shooting of unarmed African-American 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012.
A second flier displays the image of a hooded Klansman with these messages: “Neighborhood Watch” and “You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!”
Scott had not seen the fliers but says that he finds the messages threatening. The minister expressed specific concern about the reference to Trayvon.
“To those who haven’t been prejudiced by the KKK in the past, it might not be threatening, but to those that have been perpetrated against because of the Ku Klux Klan or other organizations like that, it is a threat,” Scott told the Capital-Journal.
Frank Ancona, a leader of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, declined to confirm whether there’s an active branch in Topeka. But he told the Capital-Journal that his group did use the fliers in past campaigns. Ancona believes that someone used them to make people aware of the group’s presence.
“We’re not here to threaten anybody,” Ancona told the paper. “We have the right to say what we want.”
According to the Capital-Journal, the local police gave copies of the fliers to specialized units that work with federal investigators. There have been no new reports of flier distributions, according to the news site. Topeka Police Lt. Colleen Stuart said the fliers are not a reason to be concerned about safety.