- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Monday’s holiday in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was marred in no fewer than four cities from coast to coast where residents received fliers advertising a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

Local media reports from across the country suggest that the fliers were distributed on Sunday evening outside homes in cities including Mobile, Alabama; Valdosta, Georgia; Anaheim, California; and Red Bank, New Jersey.

“Happy Birthday, Dr Martin Luther King Jr.” reads an excerpt from a flier that littered a midtown Mobile neighborhood this week alongside a drawing of the slain civil rights leader and the message: “The blacks have NAACP, the Mexicans have La Raza, the Jews have JDL and white people have the KKK.”

“I saw what was in it, some cards and a little flier. I picked it up and read it and it pretty much shocked me,” an Alabaman who asked to not be identified told local news network WPMI. “It was like a recruitment card, you know, that people could join this order of the Ku Klux Klan.”

Fliers found in all four cities referenced the Loyal White Knights, a North Carolina-based KKK chapter, and included a phone number for the organization that played a tape-recorded message when dialed in which King was referred to as a sex-obsessed communist, among other things.

Rufus Johnson, an individual identified himself as a media spokesman for the Loyal White Knights, told the New Jersey-based Red Bank Green website that his group was responsible for fliers discovered there this week that were part of a nationwide campaign. Red Bank Police Chief Darren McConnell told the site that the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office were investigating the stunt.

In Valdosta, near the Florida border, the city’s police department said it had opened an investigation as well after fliers were found there this week. Authorities planned on testing the literature for fingerprints and had alerted the FBI, law enforcement officials said.

“I have looked at the fliers and I find their content offensive and the fact they were distributed on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is nothing more than a cowardly way to insult a well-respected civil rights leader,” Valdosta Police Department Chief Brian Childress told the city’s Daily Times newspaper on Tuesday.

“The fliers, by their very nature, are repugnant but did not rise to the level of a specific threat,” added VPD Lt. Kari Williams.

More than 2,000 miles away in Anaheim, residents there received a similar flier as well on Martin Luther King Day this week which proclaimed “White Lives Do Matter” and said the civil rights leader was “unworthy to be praised as a national hero.” As the OC Weekly reported, however, KKK fliers are practically expected on Martin Luther King Day in Orange County, with the Klan having been blamed for similar stunts in years past in the nearby cities of Fullerton, Orange and Santa Ana.

King, who was killed by an assassin’s bullet in 1968, would have turned 87 last week. The third Monday in January has been celebrated as a federal holiday in his honor since 1983.

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