While most of the country reacted with shock and grief over the killing of nine African-American churchgoers by a white supremacist last week, the Ku Klux Klan responded to the brutal massacre by revving up a national recruiting drive.
The Klan has been distributing recruitment propaganda for at least a year, with news reports sporadically popping up all over the country of residents waking up to find bags of candy and fliers. But Roof’s alleged shooting spree has apparently galvanized the hate group.
Residents in states on both coasts, including California, Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia awoke over the weekend to find bags of candy with messages inviting them to join the Klan placed on their lawns, the Daily Beast reports.
In Fullerton, an Orange County, California city, some of the fliers were mispelled and read, “Save our land, join the Klan in Calfornia.” The bags filled with rocks and Tootsie Roll candy were thrown from a car over the weekend, the OC Weekly reports.
“It’s just wrong, there’s no words,” Fullerton resident Alia Cass told CBS Los Angeles. “That’s what it is — basically, there’s nothing right about it. Racism isn’t born — it’s taught.”
Similar bags were found in Rockdale County, Georgia over the weekend, and police there are are doing door-to-door canvassing in search of witnesses or surveillance video.
“I want them to know that Rockdale County does not stand for this type of behavior,” Sheriff Eric Levett told the local NBC News station. He called the perpetrators “evil cowards” and said he will seek trespassing or littering charges against the flier distributors.
Residents in Palm Beach County, Florida were also targeted, a local CBS station reports.
“I think it’s horrendous that this country, that people in our country, still feel like this,” resident Gamael Nassar told the station.
According to the Daily Beast, a recorded message answers when calls are placed to the phone number on the fliers that “hails” the “victory” of Dylann Roof, who is accused of gunning down unarmed churchgoers, including an 87-year-old woman. The recording goes on to laud Roof for doing “what the Bible told him.”
“An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. They [black people] have spilled our blood too long. It’s about time someone spilled theirs,” the Daily Beast recounts.
In a racist manifesto penned by Roof before the shooting, he says he was compelled to kill because “We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”
In the manifesto found online, Roof describes being radicalized by the website of white supremacist group, Council of Conservative Citizens, where he found, “There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders.”
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