Local Virginia Paper Takes Heat After Printing KKK Recruitment Ad On Its Front Page
Strange packages with the flyers and DVDs were dropped off people's front lawns.
April 27, 2018 at 10:40 pm
Some residents in Colonial Beach, Virginia, were distressed recently after finding Ku Klux Klan flyers and DVDs on their front lawns. They grew even more upset when a local paper printed a version of that flyer on its front page.
According to WGN 9 News, the move led many residents of the small town to unsubscribe to the Westmoreland News. The paper claims it merely wanted to report on the story, but readers claim the paper gave the hate group free advertisement by reprinting the flyer in complete with the chapter's contact information and message of "white purity."
“They posted the whole flyer as if they were giving them free advertising,” said resident Betty Tate Thompson. “It even had the number on flyer to contact the head of the KKK. Which I thought was totally ridiculous!”
Police Chief Danny Plott said he sent the flyer to the paper to inform staff it was being discovered on lawns, but he never intended it to be printed the way it was.
A Westmoreland news editor told the chief the paper printed the flyer to show racism in America hasn't gone away.
“She 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, there is, and I think she didn’t expect for this to blow up the way it did and with this outcome,” explained Plott.
Following the storm of backlash, the paper made clear they did not support the chapter.
“Westmoreland News in no way condones or supports the content or message of this flyer, nor does it condone or support any branch of the Loyal White Knights, or the KKK.”
W. W. Hynson, vice chairman of the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, said that the flyers are indicative of America's race problem.
“It’s a greater problem than just the flyers,” Hynson said. “There is something wrong with the country.”
The local police department has launched an investigation of the flyers, but say that recruitment is not a crime. However, those who were involved could be charged with misdemeanor littering, reports The Westmoreland News.