Ku Klux Klan distributes flyers in Newnan

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Flyers distributed in at least three Newnan neighborhoods over the weekend had an image of a hooded KKK member and implied that the Klan was watching the area.

By JOHN A. WINTERS john@newnan.com Members of a Ku Klux Klan organization distributed flyers in several parts of Newnan on Sunday, asking residents to call if they have problems in their neighborhoods. "You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!" is stated on the flyers.
Residents in neighborhoods around College Street, Waverly Circle and Riva Ridge all reported finding the flyers on their driveways Sunday morning. "I was kind of shocked," said Susan Conlan, who lives on College Street. "I didn't think that organization still existed. I'm disappointed to think it might be here in Newnan." Conlan said she saw several flyers on College Street between Wesley Street and Temple Avenue. In a prepared statement, the Newnan Police Department officials said it "has received several telephone calls from Newnan residences as well as inquiries from the news media about handbills being passed out this weekend in Newnan." Maj. James Yarbrough with the Coweta County Sheriff's Office said he was not aware of any reports of the flyers in the county. The flyers were inside small plastic zip sandwich bags, and residents who contacted The Newnan Times-Herald said they contained three small white rocks. The flyer reads: "Neighborhood Watch. You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake! "Troubles in your neighborhood? Contact the Traditionalist American Knights today!!!!!" That was followed by a web address -- www.traditionalistamericanknights.com -- and phone number, 1-888-276-6760. Calls to the phone number led to a recorded message, in part, "We are un-apologetically committed to the interest and values of the white race... we are growing fast and strong because we never compromise the truth." In a returned phone call, Frank Ancona, Imperial Wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, said his organization distributes flyers "all over the country." He said several different flyers are available on the group's website, but said he did not know who put out the Newnan flyers. He also said he was not aware of any symbolism with the white rocks. "It could have been a member or supporter," Ancona said. "But none of our flyers downgrade any member of any race." Ancona would not say whether his group has a chapter -- known as a Klavern -- in Newnan. "That information is protected," he said. "We don't give that information out." However, Newnan Police officials noted in a prepared statement that Ancona told them his group did not have any chapters in Georgia. When contacted, Ancona said he already had heard from Newnan Police, who told him there was a city ordinance prohibiting distributing handbills without a permit. His response, "The First Amendment is still in effect in the United States." The police stated in the release that any person or organization wishing to distribute handbills must have a permit from the chief of police. The Klan organization did not get a permit, according to police. Ancona said the intent of the flyer was so residents will know the Klan is watching out for crime and will report it to law enforcement. Exactly how many handbills were distributed is unknown. "They hit pretty hard over on Waverly Circle," said one resident who asked to not be identified. "When you get up Sunday morning to get your paper and get a Klan flyer next to it, it's pretty appalling," he added. "It's just something you don't like to see. People are upset. This should not be happening." Another resident said his daughter, who lived on Riva Ridge Lane, also got the flyer. He said she was upset because she has Afro-American friends and was concerned she was being targeted. The website for the Traditionalist American Knights includes a "who we are" section." "THIS IS A WHITE MAN'S ORGANIZATION, exalting the Caucasian Race and teaching the doctrine of White Supremacy. This does not mean that we are enemies of the colored and mongrel races. But it does mean that we are organized to establish the solidarity and to realize the mission of the White Race," it is stated in part. The website also has links to news articles about similar flyer distributions, ranging from Iowa and Missouri to South Carolina in the last three months. Newnan Police officials said in their prepared release that this particular group is based in Park Hills, Missouri. Ancona said the term "racist" is taken the wrong way with regards to his organization. "Racist is a word everyone uses to make someone bad," he said. "Racist is about family. I look out for my family first. And race is just an extension of family. So sure, I'm a racist because I look after my family and my race, just like any Mexican looks after his family." In a follow-up response, Newnan Police Deputy Police Chief Rodney Riggs said, "At this point there are no known members of the group to take action against. If members are identified and the person responsible for the distribution can be identified, we will consider action at that time."

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