By Kara Seymour
York County, Pennsylvania – Residents of a Pennsylvania town hit by a rash of break-ins now have another problem: Their “rescuers” are members of what has been described as the oldest hate group in the United States, the Ku Klux Klan.
“You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake,” state flyers distributed throughout a section of Fairview Township, a town of about 17,000 at the crossroads of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 83.
“Are there troubles in your neighborhood?” the flyer asks. “Contact The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan today.”
If the specter of whistle-bearing block captains roaming the streets dressed in (reflective?) white sheets is a cure worse than the illness, residents have little recourse. Courts have consistently recognized the KKK’s right to free speech. Police contacted by PennLive, which first reported the story, had nothing to say.
The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan launched the neighborhood watch in response to recent break-ins in the community, PennLive reported.
“It’s just like any neighborhood watch program. It’s not targeting any specific ethnicity. We would report anything we see to law enforcement,” Frank Ancona, the organization’s imperial wizard and president told PennLive.
The Klan, of course, is not like any neighborhood watch program.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says the KKK, while dwindling in membership to less than 10,000 in various factions, remains a hate group.
“The Ku Klux Klan, with its long history of violence, is the most infamous - and oldest - of American hate groups,” the center says on its website. “Although black Americans have typically been the Klan's primary target, it also has attacked Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians and, until recently, Catholics.”
On its website, The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan says it is an “order of the highest class for white Christian men of intelligence and character.”
The website goes on to say, “it is the duty of every Klansman to know and understand the present political situation and the unconstitutional laws that are being forced upon us.”
Meanwhile, Fairview Township in another Pennsylvania county, Erie, is making it very clear the KKK watch group is not in its community.
“There are articles circulating the internet about the KKK leading a neighborhood watch on Ridge Road in Fairview Township. It is NOT Erie County's Fairview Township!!!!! It is Fairview Township in YORK COUNTY,” a member of the Erie County community posted to its website.Also on Patch
- Klan Clash: One KKK Leader Says Rival Isn't Racist Enough
- Chicago KKK Recruiter Goes on CNN to 'Rebrand' the Klan