Story by Ashley Traylor, Staff writer
Murray residents found Ku Klux Klan, or KKK, recruitment fliers in their driveways, and they are concerned about what this means for Murray, the 2012 Friendliest Small Town in America.
Concerned residents took to Facebook to express their unease on the matter.
Matthew Bradley, a Murray community member, posted on Facebook that he was depressed and disgusted to see KKK fliers around Murray.
“While our nation protects the right to speak their mind, including the KKK, it also protects my right to say this: Your time is past [sic], your power is broken and your days are numbered,” Bradley wrote. “I adjure you in the Name of the Living God, which you defame with your propaganda: Get out of our town.”
The fliers invite people to join the KKK’s fight against drug-filled streets, rampant crime and immigration.
Murray State alumnus Marc Peebles, who is a Murray resident, said he went for a morning run and saw a rolled-up scroll. He was surprised to find it was a KKK recruitment letter, as he believed Murray did not have hate groups.
“We are more accepting of our students, foreign students, minorities, other religions, sexual orientation and of all the differences that we have,” Peebles said. “We are not a community of hate.”
Fliers suggest the KKK is not hateful, but advocates as a Christian organization fighting for constitutional rights. There is a 24/7 KKK hotline number and the voicemail said, “I would like to thank our California Grand Dragon and his members for showing the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter movement protesters plus some … Mexican members that the KKK is here to stay.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks more than 1,600 hate groups in the U.S. and classifies the KKK as a hate group.
President Bob Davies reinforced that the university will not tolerate racism, intolerance or insensitivity to any group, he wrote in a post on his Instagram page.
“Our campus community must continue to actively engage in open and respectful discussions based on the merits of one’s intellectual pursuits, not based on stereotypes and discrimination,” Davies wrote.
City of Murray Human Rights Commission Chairwoman Jody Cofer Randall and Vice Chairwoman Jessica Evans Citizens released a statement about the fliers, and encouraged people to speak out against the KKK and other hateful groups because it does not exemplify the spirit of the Murray community.
“We denounce the materials distributed in Murray and all that the literature represents,” the statement reads.
The KKK wants to see America’s races separated, as God intended, because when races are integrated, it damages society, according to the Loyal White Knights of the KKK. Peebles, like Bradley, took to Facebook, but his friends had a different reaction to the post and some people were blaming the KKK revival on politicians, especially Republican Donald Trump. Peebles said he knows Trump has no involvement in the appearance of the KKK fliers in the city.
Peebles’ post has received a lot of attention, with 181 shares. Peebles said he worries that his post has done what the fliers in the driveway couldn’t.
This is not the first revival of the KKK in western Kentucky. Last December, KKK fliers were found in neighborhoods of Marshall County.
If anyone feels they are a victim of fear and discrimination, contact Murray Human Rights Commission or the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Murray State will continue to be a safe learning environment for students, despite the circulating recruitment letters, Davies wrote in his post.