- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ku Klux Klan recruitment fliers were distributed throughout towns in North Carolina, Illinois and Maine this week, triggering condemnation across three states from religious leaders, lawmakers and concerned residents alike.

Pamphlets touting a KKK faction known as the Confederate White Knights were discovered Sunday morning throughout Gaston County, North Carolina, including outside homes in Cherryville and Dallas near Charlotte, the Gaston Gazette reported. Hundreds of miles away authorities, confiscated roughly 25 Ku Klux Klan leafless left that same day outside residences in Manteno, Illinois, south of Chicago, according to the local Daily Journal.

On Monday, meanwhile, similar fliers referencing a separate KKK faction were found throughout Maine by residents of Augusta, Gardiner and Freeport, local media reported, each advertising a purported “neighborhood watch” and a “24-hour Klanline.”

“You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!” reads the fliers found in Freeport, the Portland Press Herald reported. “Are there troubles in your neighborhood? Contact the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan today!”

“We are unapologetically committed to the interests and values of the white race,” states a prerecorded message played to callers who dial the phone number listed on the fliers, a local CBS affiliate reported.

As offshoots of the nation’s most infamous and well-known white supremacist group, the faction’s sudden presence prompted particular outrage in light of President Trump issuing an executive order Friday imposing travel restrictions on citizens of certain Muslim-majority nations.

“We’re in a place in society right now where powerful people are giving green lights to this sort of stuff,” the Rev. Francis Morin of St. Michael Catholic Parish in Augusta told the Press-Herald. “I would imagine it’s because this neighborhood is where a lot of refugee people are living now. President Trump’s quick decision to ban Muslims from seven countries shows a real lack of empathy. I do (see a connection). It is very sad that people are resurrecting these attempts at dividing people in our society.”

“I find it appalling, I find it disgusting and there is no room for that in our society,” Maine Gov. Paul LePage, Republican, told WVOM radio on Monday. “Just the simply thought of it is appalling, the brain that thought that up is a sick brain.”

According to Mr. LePage, however, liberals are largely to blame for “causing havoc” in the wake of Mr. Trump taking office this month.

“If you see what’s going on since (Trump’s) inauguration, the intolerance of the left has gotten to epic proportions and now everybody is getting angry and mad and they’re saying that the conservatives are the bad people but they are the ones causing havoc around the country,” he said in the interview.

Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, Democrat, was expected to lead a community meeting Tuesday evening in Freeport Tuesday in response to the fliers after targeting the perpetrators from the floor of the House of Representatives earlier in the day.

“I and my neighbors and fellow Freeporters, at least, because I don’t know where else this has landed, will absolutely stand together and say that there is no place for these people anywhere in our community,” Ms. Gideon said in a statement.

“The values they represent on that flier or their voicemail is not ones any of us share and that we will absolutely, loudly drive them away.”

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