Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Is the Ku Klux Klan in Cedar Rapids, IA?

Here's something you don't hear too much about these day.  Folks in nearby Cedar Rapids woke up to KKK literature at their home.

Tyrone White and his wife, a biracial couple living in Cedar Rapids, found a KKK flier outside their home with the following message: "NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH.  You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!"  Needless to say, the pamphlet caused them more stress than comfort.

According to the police and the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission, there's not much that the city can do outside of conduct a general investigation.  And unless the leaflets are directed at specific individuals, their distribution does not count as a hate crime or a form of hate speech.  Needless to say, everyone interviewed in the two articles are concerned and want to find out more information about these fliers.

Fortunately, I've not heard of any such incidents here in Iowa City.  Our household isn't what you'd call "Klan-friendly" (i.e., two gay dads raising a biracial son and I'm sure they'd have something to say about the poodle, too), so I'm sure we'd be some of the first on the phone if we ever woke to Klan literature on our front porch.

What would you do if you found Klan literature in your mailbox?  Do you think the Klan has a prevalent presence in eastern Iowa or do you think these are the actions of a couple Klansmen?


Anonymous said...

i think that it is a fantastic idea what the klan is doing. what is worng with people these days is they dont stick up for them selfs or what they believe in. the knights are just showing there presences letting you know that they are here in iowa all over the place. more than what meets the eye. they are not to cause trouble they are simple letting you and me know that they are here and there not going anywhere

Jon said...

Thanks for commenting, Anonymous. I guess I don't understand what people are sticking up for in this situation. White's family wasn't comforted by the unsolicited Klan flier given the Klan's history towards black people, nor were other people. Plus there didn't seem to be anything that prompted Klan members to leave the fliers for people in this neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I, honestly, think it's just a couple of immature teenagers. Trust me, if this was a serious matter, I'm sure the Black Panther Party wouldn't mind hanging their flyers up too. Cedar Rapids is a very diverse city....and we don't have time for this foolishness.

Anonymous said...

When doing some research I found Iowa has "more KKK groups per capita than any other state in America." = one more reason I despise this place & REALLY regret moving here.

thank you for writing this blog post.
and best wishes to you and your family.

kim hook said...

i think kkk should have the right to be in any town. Our society has groups to protect every race it seems except white. As long as no violence is used towards anyone then go for it.

Jon said...

I get your point Kim, but you have to admit that the Klan has a horrible reputation of violence, murder, and intimidation. They have the right to be in CR but their fliers certainly didn't comfort those they reached out to this past spring.

Anonymous said...

I got to this blog through a search while doing some research. May not find it again, but wanted to comment on that flyer. Very upsetting, I agree. However...

It occurs to me that it is more than likely a political propoganda hit; tying neighborhood watch to kkk - to stir up racial tensions (Martin/Zimmerman).

Divide and Conquor, people. The country's problems are not racial issues, but human issues. Love one another.

Jon said...

I received the following Anonymous message. I've modified it to eliminate some identifying information:

"Those flyers were put out by a wannabe self made pop up klan called the traditionalist american knights... they more than likely targeted that household to draw publicity which {redacted} craves for his overblown ego. believe me in this for i know well this idiot, i am a retired iw from another klan that quit in disgust at what has been happening lately."