The Ku Klux Klan has extended its recruiting efforts to Lincolnton, distributing fliers around town late Saturday evening and into early Sunday morning.
Dr. David Staton awoke Sunday morning to find a plastic bag weighed down by birdseed containing a card urging the recipient to contact the Confederate White Knights hotline. The card depicts a hooded person with their finger pointed at the reader, surrounded by the words “The KKK wants you!”
“First of all, I was very disappointed when I found this in my driveway because I thought this kind of thing was far enough in our past,” Staton said. “I’m in my late 60’s, so I remember the KKK rallies in Lincolnton back in the day. I didn’t like it then and now here it is back today. Back in those days we’d see the marches, but most people were quiet about it. The folks who didn’t support it didn’t necessarily make a big to-do about it, instead they just watched quietly and shook their heads. This time, I want to say loud and clear that I don’t want this to come back and I don’t want it to be a part of our community. I don’t want to see the recruitment and I don’t want to see the kinds of things that (the KKK) stands for.”
Staton, who lives in the Forest Hills neighborhood off of Country Club Road, said a bag had been placed in the driveway of each home in the neighborhood. Two of the fliers were found at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church on North Cedar Street and another woman who lives on Pine Street brought the solicitation left on her driveway to the Lincoln Times-News offices. Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter said he hasn’t received any reports of fliers being distributed in the county outside of the Lincolnton city limits.
“I heard about it over the weekend,” Lincolnton Mayor Ed Hatley said. “It’s very disappointing that we have someone who thinks that Lincolnton might be a prime site for such literature. I hope that this is not a reflection of our citizens and from my experiences this is not a reflection of the City of Lincolnton that I am proud to consider myself a part of.”
The number for the hotline listed on the flier is registered in Auburn, Indiana. Anyone who calls the number is greeted by a recording of a man who claims to be a member of the KKK. The man on the recording says the KKK is on a recruiting drive for white, European, Christian Americans and that anyone who fits that description is encouraged to leave their information in a voicemail message. The man closes his message with “Long live the Klan and God bless America.”
While it’s unknown who is responsible for distributing the fliers, similar recruitment literature was found in Gaston County two weeks ago.
The local chapter of the NAACP has not responded to a request for comment from the Lincoln Times-News.