KKK fliers circulated in neighborhood along Archer Road
Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 9:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 9:12 p.m.
A young white girl smiles in black-and-white on the flier beneath the word “MISSING” in bold, capital letters.
Something is missing, but it isn't this little girl. What's missing is “a future for white children,” the flier reads.
It warns the reader that corrupt politicians and anti-white special-interest groups are responsible for stealing the future of this girl and those like her.
Fliers like this one recently appeared on the driveways of residents who live in the Gainesville neighborhood of Mentone. The subdivision is off Archer Road near Tower Road.
The “Missing” flier includes contact information for the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a national Missouri-based organization.
Kelly Burch of Cornerstone Property Solutions of North Central Florida, who manages the Mentone Community Homeowners Association, said she has heard from a handful of residents upset by the fliers.
“People are obviously very offended,” she said. “We know the group that's doing it, but we're not inclined to reach out to them and acknowledge them in any fashion.”
Although Burch said the association is aware the Traditionalist American Knights are responsible for the fliers, they don't know who specifically is distributing them. There isn't much they can do, she said, other than alert the community this is happening and advise people to throw the fliers in the garbage as quickly as possible.
Burch has managed the Mentone association for the past five years and said the KKK-related fliers showed up for the first time only in recent months and will hopefully stop appearing altogether. To her knowledge, their most recent appearance in late March was the second time residents have seen them in the area.
Art Forgey, spokesman for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, said the department hasn't written any reports on the fliers in Mentone but is aware of the issue. However, there isn't much deputies can do, Forgey said.
As long as the fliers are left at the end of residents' driveways, the people distributing them aren't trespassing on private property, he said, and “no matter how vile it is,” the flier itself is a form of free speech.
But the Sheriff's Office has the Traditionalist American Knights on its radar now, although Forgey doubted the organization will find much local support.
“I would be real surprised with the makeup of this community,” he said, “that they would be able to gain a foothold.”
Frank Ancona, imperial wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights, said the organization distributes various fliers to raise awareness about issues affecting white people in America and to attract individuals to its cause.
The members of the Traditionalist American Knights stand for the preservation of the history and heritage of the white race in America and the importance of preserving the U.S. Constitution, Ancona said.
The fliers are usually spread in various communities under the direction of local leaders within the organization, although nationwide fliering efforts are sometimes organized.
A local chapter may disseminate fliers after hearing about a specific problem in a community, such as meth dealing or a nearby sexual predator.
The “Missing” flier and others are posted on the organization's website. One warns readers that homosexuals are pedophiles. Another issues a warning for white Americans regarding a significant increase over the last few years of violent black-on-white crime across the U.S.
Fliers help inform people about issues affecting whites that they might not otherwise consider, Ancona said, such as reverse discrimination in the workplace.
“Seems like so many people, if it's not right in their backyard, they're not worrying about it,” he said.
The Traditionalist American Knights have local chapters throughout Florida, including in the Gainesville area, but Ancona said the chapters in central and northern Florida tend to be stronger than those in South Florida. Many members prefer to keep their involvement quiet for fear of losing their jobs.
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Traditionalist American Knights as a hate group. That aggravates Ancona.
“Sometimes the truth may hurt some people's feelings, but I don't consider printing facts out to be hateful,” he said.
Although the Ku Klux Klan has committed horrible acts in the past, Ancona said, he insisted it was a small percentage of Klansmen who did those things.
“Not one single one of our members has ever committed a hate crime,” he said. “I don't label all Catholics as being pedophiles because of the actions of a few bad priests.”
Evelyn Foxx, president of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said she has seen the “Missing” flier and thinks it is terrible that people still feel that way.
According to Foxx, there has been a rise in bigotry and hatred directed toward African Americans since President Barack Obama was first elected.
These fliers show that racism still exists, and the people spreading them are bigots, she said.
“Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do about it,” she said. “So there's nothing we can really do for them but pray for them and hope they have a change of heart.”
Foxx said she hasn't viewed the Traditionalist American Knights' website or called their hotline because she considers that a waste of time.
“You ignore ignorance, and we're just not going to feed into it,” she said.
Contact Morgan Watkins at 338-3104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.