KKK Pitching Their Klan For Neighborhood Watch In Springfield, MO; Locals NOT Impressed

The real pitch: recruit in white 'neighborhoods' and with enough sheets and shenanigans you're likely to get at least a few to join the ranks of the KKK. Image @ RuthGroup

The real pitch: recruit in white ‘neighborhoods’ and with enough sheets and shenanigans you’re likely to get at least a few to join the ranks of the KKK. Image @ RuthGroup

Given the tragic denouement of one infamous neighborhood watch scenario in Sanford, Florida, the issue of just what neighborhood watch groups either are or are not has been a high-profile conversation of late. What originated as a grassroots effort designed to give locals a role in keeping their neighborhoods safe has been challenged by controversy over who should or should not carry guns, how a neighborhood watch participant should respond to potential problems, and just what their actual role should be if an actual problem exists. But even as the Zimmerman/Martin situation moves into its next phase of a potential wrongful death suit, we’ve got another controversial slant on the topic to consider: KY 3 News in Springfield, Missouri reports that a new neighborhood watch group is recruiting in their city and it’s not going over too well with the locals. The group recruiting? The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, better known simply as the KKK.

It started on a normal Sunday morning as neighbors in the west-central area of Springfield, MO came out to get their Sunday papers and found a flyer recruiting for the new ‘watch group’:

Steven Burchett has come to love living here on Olive St. “Never had any problems- never any trouble,” Burchett said.

On Sunday morning when he went to get his paper, he made a surprising discovery. “I found the note in the front yard. And it was from the Klan,” he stated. “I was furious. I was furious.”

The notice bore the name of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Complete with the image of a hooded figure, the flyer attempts to recruit people for a so-called neighborhood watch program. It asks, “Are there troubles in your neighborhood? Contact the…Klan today.”

“That just tells you what a coward they are. A simple knock at the door, I can say I am not interested, thank you very much and go on. But instead they have to come through in the middle of the night and drop a rock in the front yard. Nah- that is a coward,” Burchett stated.

The recruitment flyer. Image @ KY3

The recruitment flyer. Image @ KY3

Burchett wasn’t the only neighbor put off by the pitch from the notorious group; KY3 reports that they canvassed the entire neighborhood and found several of the offending flyers left lying on lawns and driveways, but people were “too afraid to go on camera with us.” Not hard to understand, given the “brand” of the KKK organization, an extremist right-wing, anti-immigration, white supremacist hate group that has often relied on violence and terrorism to promote its ‘ideals.’ That this particular group would decide to take the lead in any neighborhood watch organization bodes ill any way you look at it.

But wait, says a representative of the KKK; this is the new KKK. More from KY 3:

KY3 News then called the ‘Klanline’ phone number provided on the paper. We talked a representative, Frank Ancona, who told us his group has a nationwide flyer campaign. Their goal is to get people to form or join Klan-sponsored neighborhood watch groups to help police fight crime.

Ancona said he wasn’t sure if the flyers were distributed as part of an organized effort by his group, or if they were distributed by individual citizen “supports” of the KKK.

He also said the programs are not about race, claiming that if members saw a white guy ‘up to no good’ they would alert police just as well.

Want him running your neighborhood watch program? Image @ TrueCrimeReport

Want him running your neighborhood watch program? Image @ TrueCrimeReport

OH, well, yes; let’s work with the KKK to help police prevent crime, because they – the KKK – have such a long, storied history of doing right by the law! In fact, in a piece from the Anti-Defamation League, the organization is described as “a racist, anti-Semitic movement with a commitment to extreme violence to achieve its goals of racial segregation and white supremacy.” Doesn’t that sound exactly like the kind of group you want patrolling your neighborhood?

More than 40 different Klan groups exist, many having multiple chapters, or “klaverns,” including a few that boast a presence in a large number of states. There are over a hundred different Klan chapters around the country, with a combined strength of members and associates that may total around 5,000.

After a period of relative quiet, Ku Klux Klan activity has spiked noticeably upwards in 2006, as Klan groups have attempted to exploit fears in America over gay marriage, perceived “assaults” on Christianity, crime and especially immigration.

Again, this is the group interested in local neighborhood watch programs?? What’s the catch?

Likely the recruitment is less about preventing crime and more about stoking interest in their current mission statement, which is a stand against the “race war against whites.” From the KKK website:

America, Our Nation is Under Judgement from God!

“There is a race war against whites. But our people – my white brothers and sisters – will stay committed to a non-violent resolution. That resolution must consist of solidarity in white communities around the world. The hatred for our children and their future is growing and is being fueled every single day. Stay firm in your convictions. Keep loving your heritage and keep witnessing to others that there is a better way than a war torn, violent, wicked, socialist, new world order. That way is the Christian way – law and order – love of family – love of nation. These are the principles of western Christian civilization. There is a war to destroy these things. Pray that our people see the error of their ways and regain a sense of loyalty. Repent America! Be faithful my fellow believers. ”

National Director of The Knights, Pastor Thomas Robb

Ah, so there’s the real pitch! Start recruiting in the neighborhoods of white America (Springfield, MO is predominantly white) under the guise of a watch program, but with enough sheets and shenanigans you’re likely to get at least a few of those folks into the ranks of the white and righteous, right?!

So far Springfield is having none of it. We’ll leave you with Steve Burchett, our interviewee of above. Sounds like he’s got the right idea about the situation; let’s just hope he speaks for the greater Springfield… or any of the other communities the KKK has targeted for their faux recruitment effort:

“I am upset over this. I have no use for them people. None whatsoever,” explained Burchett. “You know this is 2013. I don’t know what to say for words on that part, on how much hate and discontent can just keep on going.”

I don’t either, Steve, but we’ll just keep saying whatever words come to mind. “No use for them people” will do.