WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Va. – Furious over after seeing a Ku Klux Klan ad in their local newspaper, some residents in a Virginia town are calling the police and speaking out, according to WTVR.
Betty Tate Thompson says it started when neighbors in Colonial Beach, a town with a reputation for tranquility – saw a story in the Westmoreland News about the KKK spreading recruitment flyers.
Next to the front-page article was a complete copy of the hate-filled flyer.
“They posted the whole flyer as if they were giving them free advertising,” said Thompson. “It even had the number on flyer to contact the head of the KKK. Which I thought was totally ridiculous!”
She’s not the only one fuming, Police Chief Danny Plott said he was shocked.
He says he sent the flyer to the paper only to inform them that it was being distributed to dozens of property owners. He says he didn’t think it would be published.
“That kind of shocked me, and I wrote them a very strongly worded email,” said Plott.
Plott said the editor called him back with an explanation.
“She explained that she wanted to put it in to show people that those of us in Colonial Beach who may think there’s not racism, there is, and I think she didn’t expect for this to blow up the way it did and with this outcome,” explained Plott.
He said the calls from upset neighbors have poured in.
“Most of them called and said ‘Could you come and get this crap,’” Plott said. “Unfortunately, it was racially hateful propaganda … in a free society … you are going to have people that say some pretty disgusting things in my view.”
Another resident called them domestic terrorists, telling WTVR, “They terrorize communities. Their intent is to get their America back, but you have to think, how are they going to get their America back?”
The paper’s editor added this disclaimer on the page:
“Westmoreland News in no way condones or supports the content or message of this flyer, nor does it condone or support any branch of the Loyal White Knights, or the KKK.”
But upset citizens said that’s not enough.
“At this point, the flyer doesn’t even matter. It’s on the front page of the newspaper for everybody to see,” added the resident.
Some neighbors said they contacted the paper to share their concerns. Others said they will no longer buy the paper and would like to see advertisers pull out.
WTVR reached out to Westmoreland News for a comment and we are still waiting on a reply.