KKK recruiting fliers pop up in small north Texas town

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by LAUREN ZAKALIK / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 7:57 AM

RHOME, Texas — In the quiet Wise County community of Rhome, something has people sounding off.

"Oh yeah, I was repulsed," said Sally Fowler. "It's offensive; it's shocking. You don’t want that stuff in your neighborhood."

Fowler is one of the people who found a Ku Klux Klan flier in the Shale Creek subdivision last week. It conveyed this message from the Loyal White Knights of the KKK: "The KKK Wants You!"

Fowler said she found the flier along with a stone inside a little plastic bag on the street. The sheriff's office said other examples were found hanging on residents' front doors.

"We do not need that type of problem in Wise County, Texas," said Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Kevin Benton.

He said they haven't seen anything like this since the 90s, and while the fliers are not illegal, it's still causing concern.

"You wish it was something from the past, that you’d hope everyone had gotten beyond that," Benton said.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks hate groups, Texas has the most active Klan chapters in the United States, with 21.

Click here to see a "Hate Map" put together by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

The chapter apparently behind the flier tripled in size last year, according to Mark Potok with the SPLC, and has now become the largest in the country. Potok said passing out recruiting fliers like the ones in Rhome is a typical tactic.

We called the phone number listed on the flier, but weren't able to reach anyone for comment.

Neighbors in Rhome who hadn't been aware of the recruiting message were floored.

"It's quite disturbing," said Connie Adams.

"There’s no place for anything like this in this neighborhood at all," added Evan Vidal.

It's leaving many wondering — including authorities — why Rhome was targeted in the "white power, white paper" campaign.

An FBI spokeswoman said the agency is aware of the fliers in Wise County, but couldn't tell us if this message of hate is being spread in other communities.

E-mail lzakalik@wfaa.com

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